Can excess skin be prevented following weight loss surgery?
Doctor Answers 1
There's nothing worse than working your way through a diet only to end up with skin that hangs. Unfortunately, it's a common byproduct of weight loss.
The issue of loose skin begins long before any weight loss occurs. Instead, it starts when a large amount of weight is gained. When you gain weight, your skin's surface area increases to accommodate the new fat tissue (which is why "stretch marks" sometimes occur).
While your fat cells shrink when that weight is lost, you still retain the same surface area. The new void under the larger surface area creates a layer of skin that may "hang," because there is less tissue underneath taking up space. This is what's known as loose or "sagging" skin.
Maintaining or increasing muscle tissue is the key to minimizing loose skin. Remember, the phenomenon occurs when the underlying layers of tissue shrink under a much large surface area. If muscle mass is lost in addition to fat, it creates an even larger void under your skin's surface. On the other hand, increasing lean tissue fills the area underneath the skin, keeping it taut.
Similar to the reasons above, incorporating strength training will allow you to maintain more muscle mass, or even build muscle if you're relatively new to this type of regimen. In your first year of resistance training, you may actually be able to build up to 20 to 25 rounds of muscle. (This will likely be less if you're dieting, given that a caloric deficit is not the optimum conditions for building muscle.)
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.