Will I lose my loose skin? Or do I need surgery? (Photo)

I have been losing weight on and off over the past 5 years and finally getting down to my ideal weight (I started at 98kg and now at 69kg) but throughout the whole process I have lived with my sagging belly that has recently got even worse after I took up running. I just want to know if I'll ever be able to rid myself of this on my own as I have always wanted to do, or is my only option surgery? Its causing problems for me and my confidence. I am 29 years old and 5ft 7in.

Doctor Answers 7

Body contouring after weight loss

In my experience, stretched skin and an overhanging tummy will not respond to diet and exercise.  The problem is that skin that has stretched significantly looses its elasticity and doesn’t shrink back to offer you a smooth contour.  Once you are at your ideal goal weight and you have held it steady for a few months, you an in a good position to start planning your body rejuvenation procedures.  You will likely be a good candidate for a tummy tuck combined with liposuction to further enhance the results of the tummy tuck surgery.

Skin excess

Congrats on your weight loss. The extra skin will stay with you as diet will not reduce it. In my experience, a tummy tuck is very helpful here. The timing of surgery is important, so delay your surgery until you are at your maximum weight loss. This way you only need one surgery. All the best..Dr T Narsete, Denver, Co

Extra Skin After Weight Loss #tummytuck #bodylift

  • Congratulations on losing so much weight!
  • We commonly see patients just like you who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with extra abdominal skin.
  • Unfortunately, the abundance of skin that you have been left with will not disappear without surgery.
  • Definitely, meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to be evaluated for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
  • Thanks for sharing!

Loose skin after weight loss . . . will surgery be required?

Congratulations on your weight loss and thank you for your question. Based on your photos, the amount of weight you have lost and the time frame over which you lost the weight, I think it would be unlikely that your loose skin will make a significant and spontaneous improvement. Your photos demonstrate skin laxity in the abdominal area and it's very likely that you would benefit from a tummy tuck. In addition, if there is skin laxity and ptosis affecting the lateral thighs and buttocks then you might consider a circumferential lower body lift as an alternative.

Owen Reid, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Tummy tuck - will loose skin tighten after weight loss

Thank you for asking about your abdomen.
  • Congratulations on your weight loss and on your approach of do-it-yourself! Well done.
  • You will need surgery to improve your tummy.
  • The reason - the skin stretched to store your fat. With fat gone, skin is loose and has lost elasticity.
  • Without elasticity, it can't shrink down.
  • Once you get to your goal weight, if you can stay there for 3 months, you can have surgery.
  • So finding the right plastic surgeon can start now - it can take time to find one you can trust.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Loose skin after weight loss

You should feel proud of your accomplishment!  Unfortunately, once skin gets stretched, the damage to the collagen and elastin fibers, as seen as stretch marks and loose skin, will not ever recover.  The only treatment for this is with surgical removal with an abdominoplasty.  Seek out the services of a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to get the best assessment and suggestions.

Samuel Shatkin, Jr., MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Loose skin after weight loss

Thank you for including photographs and congratulations on your ongoing weight loss!  I would always encourage you to be at or very near your ideal weight before contemplating any sort of body contouring.  In my experience, the stretched skin and the lower abdomen that "hangs over" does not completely shrink up even when you are at your ideal weight.  The body contouring procedures that could address this issue, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and body lift, are highly effective an very satisfying to patients.  My best advice is to get closer to your ideal weight and evaluate at that point.  If you still have excess skin and lower abdominal fatty tissues, seek out advice from a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.  Best wishes for ongoing success with your weight loss and having a body you love!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.