With the weather turning and all eyes on warm weather activities, many people are working on their summer bodies. For some, the upcoming season may be the first time to show off the hard work put in toward losing weight through diet and exercise.
No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, you know the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with a total life and body change. Along with the overall improvement in health and wellness, weight loss can improve confidence, energy, and mood.
There are, however, problem areas that can arise even if you exercise regularly and eat well as part of your weight loss program. The surgeons at the Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery work with people to tackle these unexpected problem areas where even the best diets and exercises fail.
“I think that the important thing about weight loss is that it is a good thing that requires a lifestyle change,” said Dr. David Hing, plastic surgeon at the Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. “If you lose it and then regain it you are only contracting and then re-stretching the skin. Weight loss is a long game.”
Here are the key areas they regularly see people find problems:
Face. The skin on your face is a little more resilient to changes than the rest of your body, but there may still be some surprises. Some people find new wrinkles and creases that had previously been filled by excess weight. Significant weight loss may leave loose skin around the neck and jaw line. Some respond to non-invasive treatments, others may consider surgery to correct these changes.
Arms. The main issue found in arms is excess skin. The upper arm area can be a source of a lot of loose skin no matter how intense the weight loss is, and people with significant loss can have a hard time with excess skin around their upper arms. Targeted exercises can help tighten these areas up, but surgeons find that there may be a plateau to that method and people will still be left with loose skin.
Breasts. This can be a problem area for all women, but also arises in men when losing weight. The skin in this area maintains firmness due to collagen and elastin, but weight gain and loss stresses these proteins and directly impacts skin elasticity. This can lead to sagging breasts, loose skin, and even alter their shape overall. While women expect some changes when losing weight, they are often surprised by the amount of changes that can occur.
Every person’s body responds differently to weight loss, whether it’s ten pounds or 100 or more. It’s important to monitor your body throughout your dieting journey; being healthy about weight loss can improve the way your body responds.
Dr. Paul Izenberg, plastic surgeon at the Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery says “some areas just don’t seem to change with weight loss, for women this may be the lateral hips or lower abdomen and for men the “love handles”. If the skin maintains reasonable elasticity, liposuction may be the next treatment of choice.”
When considering post-weight loss surgery, it’s important to work with doctors prepared to give you a thorough consultation. Dr. Hing added, “There are different surgical approaches to weight loss treatment and it is important to understand the anatomy of each patient. A good surgeon will guide a person with this process and create a personalized plan for them.”
If you are feeling stuck with problem areas that you can’t fix, and are looking to rejuvenate for summer, you can contact the team at the Center for Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery for a consultation today!