Weight loss, loose skin, surgery, and remedies: Q&A

image credit: img155.imageshack.us

Losing 130 lbs takes a lot of bulk from under your skin.  I have loose skin as a result of my weight loss.  I don’t like it much, but it is worth it.  You would be surprised at how many people don’t ask this question.  It is like it is taboo or something.  It is, I must say, pretty embarrassing; but it is a reality of becoming healthy after you haven’t been for so long.  The pic to the right is a good example of loose skin.  No, I am sorry,  It is not my loose skin.  I took pictures of mine but I was just to embarrassed.  Mine does look very similar though. Here are the questions that I received regarding the loose skin.





  1. So has your body adapted to your weight loss by toning  up the extra skin or do you still have access skin?
  2. Ok, yes, tell us about the skin! I am starting to look like an old (emptier) saggy bag!
  3. Regarding the flappy skin, do you think you’ll have surgery to remove it?

My body has adapted some but I am sorry to tell you it has not adapted as much as I had hoped for.  I am very disappointed in this and constantly ask for reassurance from my wife about it.   One weird thing that has happened though is that I can tell how dehydrated I am by feeling and looking at the loose belly skin.  As I said, my skin looks similar to the picture above except that mine is bigger.  When people get loose skin from weight loss, it is not just skin.  The flap contains glandular material, cells, and skin.  I learned that from watching many surgeries.  I also have some loose skin on my inner legs and (HAHAHA) butt cheeks.  It is funny because I never had a butt in the first place.  The skin is not noticeable in these areas and it is minimal.  I am not expecting the skin to reduce in size anymore.  It has been over a year now.  Don’t forget to keep reading.  Good resources and more of my story below.

For more information about losing weight and keeping it off, subscribe HERE.

I have and do consider getting an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  I am scared to death about anesthesia so I am not sure what I will do it.  Since my skin is not horrible and I could go without a shirt in public by pulling my shorts up a bit, I am not sure if the benefits outweigh the risks for me.  My wife agrees with this being a nurse and all.  The idea of getting it removed is always on the back burner for me.  What do you guys think?  Should I get it taken off?  Would you want to get yours removed if resources were not an issue?

On another note, the quick fixes don’t work as far as I can tell.  Any place you try and learn about alternative methods is usually very infomercial like.  I don’t trust that.  The whole thing is a personal issue that weighs in on each persons skin elasticity, make up, and weight loss rates and pounds lost.

Here are some good, balanced, and objective resources on this subject.

After Losing Weight, Will I Have Extra Skin?

How do I get rid of loose skin after weight loss?

Resources on abdominoplasty surgery

Before and afer abdominoplasty pics

29 Responses to “Weight loss, loose skin, surgery, and remedies: Q&A”

  1. 1 maggieapril
    January 17, 2009 at 4:42 am

    I’m not a fan of elective surgery and I hate pain, so no way. Roni of Roni’s Weigh has pictures of her tummy tuck at http://ronisweigh.com/ronis-updates/tummy-tuck-picture . She’s thrilled with the results, but her scars scare the heck out of me. Please don’t think I am criticizing her or her decision because I support everyone’s right to make their own choices – as long as they are informed, educated decisions. And I’m glad she shared the pictures – I had no clue how invasive the procedure is.

    But seriously, who needs to see my stomach? Me, my signicant other, and my doctor. My man loves me for who I am on the inside, and my doctor is thrilled I lost the weight and could care less about my skin. Now I just need to learn to love myself, saggy skin and all.

    • 2 run4change
      January 17, 2009 at 5:37 am

      I tend to agree with you. I am not one for elective surgery much either. It is invasive, my wife loves me, and it is well worth the weight loss.

  2. January 17, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Jason… I am going to send you some real hope here! I lost the bulk of my weight in 2004, over the years the extra skin has diminished some. I still have a bit of fat in the area as I still have some weight to lose, however so I still believe that it will continue to get better. It will probably not be perfect, but I agree, if someone is not losing weight because of it they are doing themselves a bit diservice. I feel much better about myself for losing the weight. I still have fat days, and feel insecure about my body image. My focus or whole unprocessed foods has made a big difference in the appearance of my skin overall so I will continue to focus on that.

    I hope for all of us that have lost and are losing weight can realize that everyone no matter what shape or size has their own insecurites. It was only recently that I was sharing with a trainer at the gym and her response was so heartfelt that she feels the same way about herself! Amazing, in the past I would have thought, are you crazy your perfect! I have come to an acceptance that her feelings are as valid as mine and yours, I veiw her very differently today as I did and would have years ago.

    Keep up the good work you are an inspiration!

    • 4 run4change
      January 17, 2009 at 5:40 am

      Isn’t that so true. Skinny, fat, loose skin, or tight skin; we all have our own insecurities. That is honest truth right there. Thanks for sharing

  3. 5 Mel
    January 17, 2009 at 5:25 am

    Thanks for this post! I have heard that if you are just starting out on losing weight (i have 110 at least).. and you start weight training to firm up.. that that can help reduce (not completely eliminate!) the resulting lose skin. I suppose when this issue comes up for me.. I would seriously consider a tummy tuck or surgery to reduce my loose skin areas.. and If that makes me vain.. well then ok. If it means it will help my self confidence, which is already so damaged from being overweight.. then yes.. I would do it if I had the resources.. but thats a very VERY personal issue that I think each individual has to deal with and decide on by themselves (and input from spouses ofcourse!)

    Thanks again!!!

    • 6 run4change
      January 17, 2009 at 5:43 am

      Agreed. It is a personal issue and there is certainly nothing wrong with getting the surgery. I think weight lifting would firm up the area where you have muscles some. Legs, arms, etc. But I would have to have abs about 8 inches thick to tighten my skin and that is impossible 🙂

  4. January 17, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I have skin issues as well after 110 pounds. Not really noticeable when clothed. But, I would not trade one inch of it, because if I didn’t have it, that means that I would still be at 250 pounds!
    It is a bit of a bummer to do so much work and not end up with the ‘perfect’ body, but the skin is a battle scar of the journey and the fight.

    You did awesome, and are doing awesome!

  5. January 17, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Aww…I am disappointed that the Polo boxers aren’t yours. HAHA!

    If you (and your wife) can live with it, there’s no need to have surgery. I might consider surgery after I’m at goal for a few years, if the loose skin really bothered me.

    Do you think rapid weight loss contributes to the amount of loose skin remaining afterwards? That’s what I’m hoping. I don’t have any loose skin yet, but I still have 80 lbs to lose. If I continue to lose 1-2 lbs per week, maybe I won’t have any???

    • 10 run4change
      January 17, 2009 at 6:48 am

      I lost on average about 2.5 lbs per week. This is cosidered “slow” weight loss and is also the maximum that Dr’s say you should lose in a week. I think rapid weight loss is a factor but not the only factor. I think also that how many times we lost and gained makes a difference to.

  6. January 17, 2009 at 6:30 am

    I have the same problem… and trust me, after having 2 pregnancies, 2 major surgies + losing weight.. my stomach looks like a road map to hell, and as I lose more weight I can see the extra fold of skin that are being left behind. I could not put myself thru surgery. I didn’t want my emergency surgery… let alone an elective one!

    I think a flap of skin is much easier to put up with then 70 extra pounds!

    • 12 run4change
      January 17, 2009 at 6:51 am

      You got that right Tiger. I think for me, the loose skin is not as bad as the dang stretch marks. I mean, I have seen the stretch marks on the pregnant or formerly pregnant ladies, but for me as a guy it really embarrasses me. I have not see stretch marks on many guys. So even thought I could pull my shorts up a bit and the “flap” would not be visible, the stretchy’s would be.

  7. January 17, 2009 at 6:39 am

    First, bravo for this post!!! I just love your honesty and appreciate you so much! In case you haven’t noticed, you are a big part of me getting re-focused and getting back to goal this past week. Now, to your questions:

    Should I get it taken off? You’ve already said it yourself, it is a personal issue and only you can come to that determination.

    Would you want to get yours removed if resources were not an issue? I have excess skin in my lower tummy area not really from weight gain, but more so from having two babies. However, it does look bigger to me when I am not exercising. Maybe it’s all in my head. It is a constant barrier for me. It makes me feel less sexy and it gets in the way of me completely letting go during intimate times with my hubby. He is supportive like your lovely wife and tells me he doesn’t even notice and that I am beautiful. If resources were not an issue, YES, I would have the tummy tuck. But then the question becomes what else would I have done? :0)

    • 14 run4change
      January 17, 2009 at 6:54 am

      What else I would have done. HA! 🙂 I guess we could go on and on with all kinds of beautification huh? I am pretty sure that I won’t ever get it. It is great that your hubby loves you the way you are. You know what I think about the intimate relationship thing you mentioned? A woman may think/feel her body is not perfect or looks kinda bad or whatever. But the moment that hubby is with his beautiful nude wife, with warm and soft skin, he thinks she is the most awesome thing on earth. Guys may see these perfect images of women here and there, but when it comes right down to it; a real women lying next to him, who loves him, cannot be beat.

  8. January 17, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I don’t know why, but it hadn’t even occurred to me until reading this that my problem with my stomach not budging was loose skin! Uh, duh… I had a 10 pound baby you’d think that I would have realized that it could be loose skin and not fat that wasn’t budging! It is a little discouraging to read this though because I had really convinced myself it would go away with enough exercise. As for me,the only one that sees my loose skin is my hubby and he loves me as is and would be very upset if I opted for surgery so I will not be undergoing any.

    • 16 run4change
      January 17, 2009 at 8:07 am

      I am just loving to hear about all of your husbands loving you loose skin and all. No man bashing. That is great. We love our ladies and what we would do without them I don’t know, but I am sure you know that right? 🙂 THanks for your comment.

  9. 17 Cheryl
    January 17, 2009 at 8:39 am

    One thing I didn’t put in the story, and I guess I should have is that after mainting for 6 months I got a tummy tuck. My skin on my stomach was so loose that if I laid on my back, I could pull it up about 10 inches. I also have loose skin on my arms, inner thighs and butt. The tuck did help alot with the butt skin. It sounds weird, but they pull everything so tight that everything got a lift. They cut off about 10 square inches of skin that weighed about 1.5 pounds. I was very happy with the results. The only thing I would have done differently is maintined for 1-2 yars before having it done so that I knew I was at a stable weight. That being said it was a major surgery and took a week off of work to recover. Then it still took another couple of weeks before I felt like myself again. Just some info to consider, as you say surgery is a personal choice.

  10. January 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Okay, I’m back because I have to ask (and I apologize if it’s already been addressed), if that is not a picture of you in the boxers, then who is it? I’ve got to give props to that person because I am also too embarrassed to ever post mine. I don’t even want to show it to my husband!

  11. January 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for this. I never think, gosh, that person should get a tummy tuck, but I think I would want one for myself. We’ll see. My husband’s not for the risk.

    • 22 run4change
      January 18, 2009 at 5:51 am

      I don’t like the risk either, but eve more than that I am just so afraid of being but under for surgery. Not sure what that is about but it freaks me out.

  12. 23 toofew
    January 19, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I asked a dr. about that once, when I was actually partially considering using surgery to lose the weight. He said that he had seen a lot of people who get one thing done, and were then dissatisfied with something else. They never accepted their bodies and kept using surgery to tweak them.
    However, there are a few things I would get lifted and or reduced after my baby birthing days are over. Also, I would try to be sure that there are additional reasons to getting the work done. Like if the loose skin chafes, or is a daily problem. Just some thoughts.

    • 24 run4change
      January 19, 2009 at 8:30 am

      Thanks for the comment. I have thought that people might take it too far and keep getting more and more stuff done.

  13. 25 Jujubee
    December 9, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Thank you so much for posting this and sharing something so personal. I think this is very brave of you. Thank god for the Internet that let us find support coming from the most unexpected places. I have to lose 80 pounds and I have been terrified about this. The infomercials make me extremely anxious, and I must admit I have been putting off my weight loss for fear of hanging skin. I wont be doing that any longer

    In my country, it is very common to wear a girdle after pregnancy, and *during* (not after) weight loss to help the body go back in shape gradually. Doctors recommend it. Here, in the US, where I now live, they say this is silly and has no real effect on saggy skin. I dont know whos right and whos wrong. But for those of us who still have to loose weight, maybe it is something to keep in mind. I dont even know how or where to get good girdles here, but I will try to find them, just in case.

    And, hey, good job to all of you who lost the weight. Life can be tough sometimes. People like you who stare the challenge in the face and do what has to be done make all the difference in this world. Surgery or no surgery, Im proud of all of you.

  14. 26 Bryan
    April 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    It looks like it’s been about 15 months since you’ve posted this. How is the loose skin now? Has it continued to shrink up or is it about the same? I’ve lost 27 pounds since December 2009 and I have about 100 more to go to reach my goal weight. I’m sure I will have some loose skin, and just wanted to see if this is something that will eventually correct itself.

    Thanks for the motivation and keep up the good work!

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