Sunday, 31 July 2016

Some things you may not realize about major weight loss and possible treatments (could be confronting)

Major weight loss = major skin folds 

Major weight loss = major skin folds for most people especially if you have been large for many years. Skin does not just snap back to your new, much smaller, shape. A few kilos up and down it can cope with. 45+ kilos not so much. Dressed this is not so visible especially with Spanx or similar underwear that is now available. All the extra skin is compressed and you look normal. Most of us want to have fun with intimate contact involved at some stage. It can be terrifying to know that when the clothes come off you will be seen in all your saggy glory. Your permanent partner may not worry too much but if you are in the process of dating it can be a major barrier.

Of course there are other reasons for getting rid of your saggy, baggy skin. Those folds can quite easily get infected. A large fold holds moisture in and that is a lovely environment for a lot of infections. Some abdominal folds can be large enough to impede movement when walking or trying to exercise. There can be ongoing spinal problems caused by the excess skin folds altering the way you stand and move. These are all valid reasons for doing something about it.

1.Exercise is a first option.
Time spent at the gym, or any other form of exercise that will help build up the underlying muscles, is always the start of your body shaping journey. Getting fit and healthy will make any needed surgery much easier on your body. Some skin folds will lessen a bit.

2. Nutrition needs must be met before, during and after surgery.
You want your body to be good nutritionally as surgery uses up a lot of vitamins, minerals etc while you are healing. Your doctor will check blood tests and advise on any supplementation needed to ensure speedy and good healing. Fruits, vegetables and protein are needed here. Iron and vitamin tablets can help also.

3. You need to reach goal weight and stabilize for a number of months.
There is a reason for this. Every surgery carries major risks. You don't want things done and redone. You wait for a while so that your skin will do any changing that it is going to without help. You are getting as fit as possible for the surgery to go well for you. You may need to save to have the surgery done if it is something not done in a public health system or under your health insurance. Your mind needs to be in the right headspace. Surgery and reshaping your body does not cure everything. You are still you. How you are emotionally may not change unless you have taken the time to work through it. Research on body dysmorphia  if you don't believe me.

Pictures of the body changes after large weight loss.

These are confronting photos and you may never be exactly like these people but you will have some issues that you may want addressed in the end. The main thing though with the weight loss achieved through your surgery is that you gained your life back. Once again you can move freely, tie your own shoe laces, cross your legs or wear lovely clothes again. Your blood pressure may have gone back to normal, your diabetes may have improved or disappeared, your heart or kidney problems may have improved, you are healthier all round. That is the prime reason for weight loss surgery; to improve and lengthen your lifetime. The rest is just the niggly bits. Your self image may be happier if the outside mirrored your insides. That is not to say that everyone needs, or wants, surgical help to alter their outer body too. It is a personal decision always.

6 common surgeries after WLS to remove excess skin
1. Tummy tuck - this can be large or small abdominal flaps and may include some muscle repair
2. Breast augmentation/lift - some lose cup size, others need a lift to come off the waist area
3. Face/neck lift - to remove jowls and sagging of the face and neck
4. Arm lift - to get rid of the sagging under your upper arms.
5. Medial thigh lift - the inner thigh sag
6. Lower body lift - this may include the buttocks, groin, outer thighs and sometimes the lower abdomen

Pictures showing the possible differences

You need to think long and hard about body contour surgery.

What they do

 This surgery can be very extensive and hard on your body so you need to go into it with your eyes open. There will be pain. You will need time off work. You will need to take care for a time afterwards and follow your surgeon's orders. You may need to wear support garments to help your body during the healing process. Learn everything you can before you decide to do it. Chose a good doctor and hospital. Enjoy your new body if you go this route. It is your life, live it how you want to.

Your new body is rising from the older larger one. You did it. Celebrate.

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