Obesity is a serious concern in the UK and it’s predicted by the Government Office for Science’s Foresight that nine in ten adults will be either overweight or obese by 2050, without some form of intervention. The growing call for a sugar tax by health officials and MPs is a reflection of that need for decisive action.
Another growth market as such has been bariatric surgery, commonly known as weight loss surgery. Figures from the NHS show that publicly-funded procedures, from gastric bypasses to banding, is rising year on year with increasing numbers of men resorting to surgical intervention in the bid to lose weight.
However, losing the weight is only part of the journey as this recent story in the Daily Mail revealed. James Jordan shed a third of his body weight after undergoing a gastric bypass when the scales hit 30 stone, but he has been left with two stone of excess skin.
Why weight loss surgery isn’t always the solution
The skin contains two proteins important for its condition and structure – collagen provides strength and elastin is the substance that retracts the skin after it is pulled and stretched. Levels of these proteins deplete as you age, but extreme weight gain can also have an incredibly damaging impact on them, meaning that the skin cannot retract sufficiently once the underlying fat tissue has shrunk.
A common theme for patients after weight loss surgery is that the excess skin often leaves them as depressed and unhappy as they were with their previous appearance. In fact, James commented to the Daily Mail that the excess skin “is really frustrating – the skin is a constant reminder and it almost feels like I’m still the same size.”
There can also be health considerations of excess skin; infections can proliferate in the folds, it can be tiring or physically painful to carry the weight round, prohibits what you can wear and it can obstruct ease of movement.
NICE, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, recommends bariatric surgery as an effective treatment for obesity, meaning that the NHS will fund these procedures once certain recommendations are followed, but body reshaping surgery such as a tummy tuck or an arm reduction are now far less readibly accessible on the NHS. Patients are often left with the option of having to live with the excess skin or undergo surgery privately.
Which body contouring procedures may I need after extreme weight loss?
A common problem area is the abdomen and a tummy tuck is a very popular procedure for those who have undergone weight loss surgery previously. An incision is made just above the pubic bone, stretching from hip to hip, and excess skin can be removed and the stomach muscles tightened. I will often combine a tummy tuck with a trunk reduction, extending the incision around the back, as this greatly improves the appearance of the torso.
Women often require a breast lift after losing large amounts of weight and this can be combined with a tummy tuck or trunk reduction in the same procedure as long as you are assessed as fit and well enough for surgery. Other procedures include arm reductions, thigh lifts and even buttock lifts. If you have any further questions about which body contouring procedures may be most appropriate for you, please call 01926 436341 to book a consultation at my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic.