Woman Who Lost 282 Pounds May Need Plastic Surgery

MakenzieR on 13 Dec 2011 at 5:00pm

In a country faced with an obesity epidemic, massive weight loss is always highly praised.  It’s revered enough to earn folks like 20-year-old Natalie Strawn a segment on Good Morning America.  But what’s rarely talked about is what happens to your body cosmetically when the fat is gone.  And the results may make dieters just as self-conscious as the extra pounds.

Strawn’s weight loss story is truly impressive.  At 17 she weighed 562 pounds, but over the past three years she used Weight Watchers to lose 282 of them.  She still wants to drop another 100+ to hit her goal weight.

But what happens when she does?  (Aside from a big celebration, sans cake and ice cream.)  While Strawn is and will be healthier from the inside out, she’ll likely be left with a lot of sagging skin all over her body.  As anyone who’s been pregnant knows, you may lose the internal mass, but the skin that has stretched around it rarely goes back to normal. 

RealSelf member WhoDatGal​ experienced this: "I lost over 130 lbs from my weight loss surgery. I had all this loose skin and everything looked horrible even in clothing. I had lost my butt. I needed serious help."

What help is there for Natalie and WhoDatGirl?  

Check out this slideshow of 5 skin-sagging solutions:

The weight loss journey is difficult enough, but having to consider surgery afterward only adds an extra layer of emotion.  RealSelf member Yankee ME only decided on a body lift after "months of agonizing over whether or not I was 'just being vain.' "  But in the end she says she's really happy did it.

We're excited to follow Natalie through her journey to body she feels comfortable in.  It's a long road, but judging by the Worth It Rating of all these related procedures, the end result is, well, totally worth it! 

See Natalie's story on GMA

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Photo credits: ABC News; Dr. George Marosan; Dr. Michele Shermak; Dr. Lisa Sowder; Dr. Siamak Agha; Dr. George Yang

Comments (11)

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The people who lose weight on Biggest Loser have the same problem. I think the show should pay for their surgery since they are making a fortune off of their weight loss. Insurance companies want you to lose weight but they won't pay for people to get rid of the extra skin, which isn't healthy for them to have to carry around. It should be the same as breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, it should be considered part of the treatment. It isn't just to look better, it is unhealthy to drag all of that unsupported skin on your body.
wondering if those that have the stomach surgery and hae the rapid weight loss tend to have the sagging skin more than others that do it naturally, slowly.
congrats to natalie, she was pretty before, but her real beauty is coming through now!

I think there's probably some truth to that... of course, any massive weight loss would result in extra skin. At a certain point if you've stretched the skin out enough there's no going back ( naturally, anyway). 

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Welcome to my world. I lost over 200 lbs with WW, and when the plastic surgeon tried to get it covered by insurance, they rejected it because I don't have a "functional impairment." Wow. Imagine ... I don't have skin-on-skin issues, fungal or yeasty infections in the folds of my skins because I'm adamant about keeping myself clean. I have primary (systemic) lymphedema, but apparently that isn't reason enough to consider getting rid of excess skin. If I had the money, I wouldn't be trying to go through insurance to try for it. So tired of the BS.... and tired of hauling around 30 extra pounds that's just skin! UGH!

Wow, 200lbs??? Congratulations! I did Weight Watchers a few times, first in high school and again in college. I can only imagine how long you had to stick with it to drop 200! 

It is unfortunate that insurance won't cover those procedures -- I think at the very least they should cover it as a reward for you making yourself healthier -- costing them less down the line :) 

Hi there Makenzie - it took me 3 years and 3 weeks. :) Lots of patience and not giving up! I would love it if they saw it that way too.... that's what I've said for a long time. "I'm trying to save you money in the long run!"
Congrats on the weight loss! You will definitely need to have an abdominoplasty, among other kinds of plastic surgery to get rid of the excess skin.

The total body lift is my fave... what a difference!


Wow! Those are some dramatic photos.