It is an exhilarating feeling to shed a massive amount of weight, but peeling off the pounds can lead to a whole new set of problems. Extreme weight loss often requires plastic surgery – there will be no amount of dieting and crunches to cure excessive, stretched skin. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Shaun Parson explains the best approach to rejuvenate the body after extreme weight loss.
A Weighty Issue
Obesity is huge issue, one that a growing number people are willing to tackle. It’s something that Dr. Shaun Parson says more Americans seem willing to address. “Massive weight loss is a real concern, globally and right here in our country, but fortunately people want to deal with it and they want to get rid of that weight.”
Parson, a plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, Arizona, says he often sees patients who have lost almost a whole other person when they enter his office. “It’s not uncommon that I see patients who have lost 50-100 pounds,” he shares. After the weight comes off, Parson says health tends to improve, but there are lingering consequences of having packed on the pounds. “The blood pressure is down. They no longer have diabetes, but they have a lot of extra skin and the only way to deal with that is through surgery.”
The Final Problem – Dealing with Loose Skin
It’s a tremendous feat to lose a massive amount of weight, but the changes to the body afterward can be startling. “Unfortunately, with that huge change where we balloon out and reverse back down, our skin elasticity just can’t handle that,” explains Parson. He says for women, the trunk and breasts are usually the most impacted by the stretching.
“A lot of times we don’t have to do as much facially, but on women it’s usually their breasts that need the most attention because they have less volume and they get deflated and become droopy.” It’s perhaps hard for many people to even imagine what patients deal with who are struggling following extreme weight loss. Parson says massive weight loss takes a much greater toll on the body than pregnancy. “This is like a normal pregnancy, times 100.”
Hope, For A Fix
There seems to be a dual trend. Many experts in plastic surgery believe there is a correlation between the escalating number of weight loss surgeries and the spike in plastic surgery procedures associated with massive weight loss. People who have lost weight are turning to plastic surgery to regain and restore their confidence. “They have loose skin on their abdomen, flanks and even the arms and legs, so surgery is a great way to put them back to where they were prior to the weight gain,” says Parson.
Some procedures used to rejuvenate the body after massive weight loss have seen pronounced increases in the last few years, according to experts. Parson says he uses a number of procedures to restore vitality after massive weight loss. “Surgical procedures for massive weight loss might include, facial rejuvenation, arm lift, thigh lift and body improvements, which would be abdominoplasty and breast mastopexy (breast lift).”
Parson tries to keep scars to a minimum, but says they can’t be eliminated. “With massive weight loss there are scars, but they are so minimal they are so hidden and it’s so better than living with redundant skin.” Parson says some of his most satisfied patients are those who undergo massive weight loss surgery, who can now see a new path unfolding in front of them – free of the weight of the world.
“There is extreme patient satisfaction because they feel like the journey they began, when they started losing the weight, has finally come to fruition.”