So we’re ready to discuss the next steps after you have reached maximal skin recoil. Once you’ve lost the weight and notice you have excessive or leftover skin, the options to resolve this issue can be primarily broken down into surgical and non-surgical techniques. For simplicity, I’ll break this down into two main categories depending on the skin quality, amount of laxity (elasticity), and amount of fat present.
No Striae, Good Elasticity, (+) Fat present
This situation is often encountered with what we call “problem areas” such as the flanks (aka “love handles”). These areas can be problem areas that may persist despite ideal body weight. To reduce the fat in this area, there are two main treatments: cryolipolysis and liposuction.
- Cryolipolysis is a process wherein a specialized paddle is applied to the skin. This paddle freezes the fat cells, but preserves the skin integrity. Once the fat cell is frozen, it ruptures and the body resorbs the broken down fat. This procedure can be done in the office and may require multiple treatments over weeks to months to achieve the desired effect.
- Liposuction is a process wherein a plastic surgeon makes small incisions in the skin. Through these incisions, a solution is introduced which numbs and prepares the fat. Then, a specialized cannula is utilized to remove the fat. While small areas of treatment can be done in the office, larger areas require anesthesia through intravenous or general means. This method typically requires one treatment and may require additional touch up procedures.
(+) Striae or Poor Elasticity, Minimal Fat Present
This situation is often encountered with people who have lost significant amounts of weight. As we previously talked about, once the skin is stretched beyond its maximal capacity, the result is either striae or poor elasticity. There are some non-surgical means of tightening the skin in these areas, but they have limits to their effectiveness.
- Radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening is a method wherein a specialized handpiece is applied to the skin and through it, high frequency waves are used to help regenerate collagen. This technique is best reserved for people who only need mild skin tightening. This procedure is done in the office and may required multiple treatments over weeks to months to achieve the desired effect. Effects are individualized.
- Surgical Skin Excision is the last method that we’ll discuss to reduce excessive skin. There are various ways in which Plastic Surgeons achieve this and we’ll go into more detail in the following segments.
As expected the best way to determine which method is right for you is to visit with your Plastic Surgeon for a consultation.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you mayor schedule a consultation by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 970-259-5990.