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Weight Loss and Plastic Surgery

While the battle for an aesthetically pleasing body doesn’t plague every American, it has quickly become recognized as an important part of Western culture. Represented by magazine covers, blockbuster movie posters, and even food advertisements, having a thin body and flawless skin seems to be the norm for celebrities. This sometimes unobtainable goal has brought an increase in those seeking plastic surgery, especially in regards to weight loss, or skin modification following drastic weight loss.

New studies and medical procedures centered around the practice of plastic surgery following massive weight loss, particularly face lifts, have been ultimately unsuccessful and pose problems for surgeons and patients alike. The latest information on this subject was brought to light by Kailash Narasimhan from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Reversing Turkey Neck

One of the most problematic features of drastic weight loss is what many surgeons refer to as “turkey neck”, this drooping skin around the jowls and neck can cause even young patients to look increasingly old and unhealthy. While this is ultimately possible to fix through cosmetic surgery and a procedure called a facelift, doctors find that there is a much greater need for fat augmentation when performing this surgery on patients who have undergone massive transformations through weight loss. Science Daily suggests: “Compared to the typical facelift patient, patients with massive weight loss needed a larger volume of fat augmentation, increased tightening of the cheek and neck skin, and more extensive elevation of the underlying muscle and other facial tissues.”

This is not the only facial issue that has been affecting the success of procedures of this nature among surgeons. The same problem seems to appear around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead, causing baggy eyelids that require additional fat augmentation, and forehead skin that doesn’t sit properly on the face without further procedures.

Weight Loss And Skin

When a human being loses a small amount of weight over an extended period of time, the natural elasticity of the skin helps to create a fitting form with smooth lines and a natural look. This is unfortunately not the case when a large amount of weight is lost over a short amount of time. When the skin doesn’t have time to shrink with the body mass, it can lose elasticity, become damaged, and wind up hanging from the body causing an unappealing look to arms, legs, stomach, face, and other body parts. This sometimes occurs even if the large weight loss occurs over a number of years, simply because the body has stretched the skin to a point where it can no longer retain its former position. PlasticSurgery.org says: “The unique challenges of facelift surgery in this group of patients—and effective techniques for addressing them—are presented in a paper in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).”

This can be a cause for embarrassment, especially among those who have worked hard to retrain their bodies, build a better physique, and who want to be physically appealing rather than different than the average American. This is where plastic surgery comes into play, and many surgeons are instructed to remove access skin, tighten skin, and smooth skin by removing cellulite and other leftover fatty deposits.

Avoiding The Problems Associated With Excess Skin Surgery

While completely overcoming the battle with obesity in America may not be on the horizon in the immediate future, there has been a clear rise in those working toward losing weight and becoming healthier. Plastic surgery is not the answer for all those who lose large amounts of weight, and although it can be helpful on an aesthetic basis, it also comes with possible side effects and dangers, making it a procedure that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Fortunately, researchers like Dr. Narasimhan have helped reduce some of the struggle with surgeries for patients with high levels of loose skin. Medical News Today supplies: “While emphasizing the need for an individualized approach in every case, Dr. Narasimhan and coauthors believe that their modified techniques can help to address the unique characteristics of patients seeking facelift surgery after massive weight loss.

In order to avoid the need for surgery of this nature, and to resist worry over the problematic nature of facelift surgeries in particular, those who are greatly overweight and are interested in becoming healthy, should work toward this goal at a pace set by a medical physician. When losing weight at a healthy rate, the skin has an easier time reducing itself as the weight comes off. It may not completely shrink down and become as it once was, but it certainly has a better chance at reducing signs of sagginess and drooping. Exercise, proper diet, and help from a nutritionist or physician can get you well on your way to a healthier life and smaller pant size.

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