5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Loose Skin After Sleeve Gastrectomy
By Susan K. Manez MS, RD, CDN
Weight loss has a lot of positive “side effects”. Some of them include:
- Increased energy,
- Improved health,
- Better confidence,
- Greater mobility.
But weight loss can also have a few less pleasant consequences as well. Among these less desirable effects is sagging or loose skin.
Sagging skin can be mildly unpleasant, whereby you dislike your appearance in clothing or the mirror. It can also be detrimental to your health, by resulting in skin rashes, ulcerations, unpleasant odor and even infection.
So how can you prevent or minimize loose or sagging skin from arising?
- Slow and Steady
You may not be able to control how your body naturally loses weight after surgery. But you can help yourself avoid losing weight at an excessively rapid rate by focusing on keeping yourself adequately nourished.
Losing weight too quickly through crash dieting or starving yourself can drastically slow your metabolism and make weight regain inevitable. This resulting yo-yo effect on your weight can stress your skin and make it less likely to tighten up with each loss following a gain.
Every organ of your body needs water and your skin is no different. When skin becomes excessively dry through dehydration, it may lose some of its elasticity and therefore become looser. Ask any dermatologist and they will likely agree that adequate hydration is key to healthy skin.
- Good Nutrition
Protein is necessary for
- Healthy weight loss and prolonged satiety between meals.
- Keeping your skin and muscles strong.
- Protein contains collagen and other key nutrients that help to strengthen the skin and improve elasticity.
Without adequate amounts of protein in your diet, you will:
- Lose muscle mass,
- This will cause your skin to loosen on your body and allow fat cells to take over,
- The result is skin with a saggy appearance.
Adding strength training, such as weight lifting, squats, lunges, and planks to your routine, will improve muscle tone and give you a leaner, fitter appearance. Improving your physical fitness will also raise your metabolic rate. This will make your body better able to burn calories and therefore keep the weight off.
Before starting any exercise routine, consult your physician to make sure it is appropriate and safe for you.
If your best efforts do not prevent or improve loose skin, you may need to consult a plastic surgeon to explore other options. Our medical providers at Tristate Bariatrics can help guide you if this is the case.