Gastric bypass is a surgical procedure carried out to reduce the size of the stomach. This procedure can decrease your stomach size by over 80%. But those who have undergone this procedure usually notice loose skin on the stomach and hip region. So the question of how to prevent loose skin after gastric bypass arises.
How to Prevent Loose Skin After Gastric Bypass – What to Do
The following are a few steps to take in order to prevent loose skin after gastric bypass:
- Eating healthy meals
- Looking after your skin
Eating Healthy Meals
Here’s how eating healthy meals prevents loose skin after gastric bypass:
Consumption of healthy meals like protein-rich foods will help in the building of the muscles, so they can fill out loose skin. A sufficient amount of protein in the body also helps enhance the elasticity of the skin by building collagen.
In fact, after gastric bypass surgery, it is recommended that you take 70–100 grams of protein-rich meals daily. So go for foods such as beans, lentils, white meat and eggs.
Apart from protein, vitamin-rich food is another great way of improving the elasticity of your skin. Vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K are vital ingredients that help in preventing loose skin after gastric bypass.
With good elasticity, the skin snaps back into shape and does not sag or hang loosely.
How does exercising help prevent loose skin after gastric bypass?
Exercising helps prevent loose skin after gastric bypass by building your muscles so they can fill out the void created by removed fat.
Running, swimming, jogging, brisk walking, mountain climbing, hiking, cycling and jump rope are some of the exercise routines you can engage in for this purpose.
After undergoing a weight loss surgery, however, it is necessary to see a fitness expert. This is to design a workout program that will yield the best results for your skin.
Looking after Your Skin
Does looking after your skin really help prevent loose skin after gastric bypass?
Taking good care of your skin, which is the largest external organ of the body, will help prevent loose skin after gastric bypass.
Using the right skincare products and exfoliating with brushes will cause the proper circulation of elastin and collagen in the body. This will increase the firmness and elasticity of your skin, leading it to get tighter.
The overall health of your body contributes enormously in your fight against loose skin. If you pay little or no attention to your skin’s health, you are bound to end up with loose and saggy skin. With the help of a dermatologist, you can build a skincare routine that will always work for you.
How to Prevent Loose Skin After Gastric Bypass – Surgical Procedures
If you don’t want loose skin after gastric bypass, you can go for another surgery.
There are two surgeries that can help reduce loose skin after a gastric bypass. They are:
- Tummy tuck surgery
- Body lift surgery
Tummy Tuck Surgery
What is a tummy tuck surgery and how does it help prevent loose skin after gastric bypass?
A tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is the removal of excess fat and skin from the abdominal region. This is done by two incisions: one on the hip bone and the other on the navel.
If there is any loose skin after gastric bypass, a tummy tuck will take care of it.
However, tummy tuck surgery is quite expensive and complicated. It takes roughly two months to fully recover from the surgery.
Video: A Look at the 2 Main Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
If you want to find out more about the types of tummy tuck surgery and the procedures involved, check out this video…
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Body Lift Surgery
What is a body lift surgery?
A body lift surgery is one that takes away excess skin, stretch marks, fats and damaged skin. A body lift surgery can help you achieve the body size you crave for, especially if you recently lost a lot of weight.
Plastic surgeons recommend that you allow your body mass to become stable before going for a body lift. In fact, you should wait for at least one year after a gastric bypass before going for a body lift or any surgery for that matter.
Eating healthy meals and having a strict exercise routine are some of the best ways for your body bounce back to shape after gastric bypass.
However, if you cannot follow these steps or if you believe they will take too long, go for a tummy tuck or body lift. But always remember the downsides.
How to Prevent Loose Skin After Gastric Bypass – Frequently Asked Questions
Is Gastric Bypass a Good Idea?
Gastric bypass is not a good idea if your weight is not life-threatening and you have other means to shed the weight. Gastric bypass is major surgery and has its own dose of risks.
There is no guarantee the surgery will help you lose all the extra weight. Then, there is the risk of nutrition. After gastric bypass, you will have some restrictions on the food you consume. This will be a lifetime lifestyle.
Recovery takes more than a month. So you will need constant hands-on care for a long time.
In addition to the above, it is cost-intensive. If you are not well-balanced financially, this surgery will take a toll on your finances.
Does Everyone Get Loose Skin after Gastric Bypass?
Everyone does get loose skin after gastric bypass. Gastric bypass is a surgery to reduce stomach size and this will involve removing excess fat. The result usually is some loose skin from the area where fat was removed.
But the amount of loose skin depends on the individual. Some people get insignificant or negligible loose skin while others have prominent loose skin. This will depend on several factors like muscle mass, age, genes and total shed weight. And these factors vary in individuals.
What Happens to the Rest of the Stomach after Gastric Bypass?
The rest of the stomach remains where it is after gastric bypass. There is no change: it will not shrink, the supply of blood to it will continue, food will pass effortlessly through it. Gastric juices and acids will continue to flow, to keep the stomach functioning.
The difference will be in how you eat and how you look. If the procedure reduced the size of your stomach, it will show in the long run. And if the procedure changed your stomach so that you retain more calories, that will also show.
How Do You Prevent Saggy Skin When Losing Weight?
To prevent saggy skin when losing weight, exercise is your best bet. And of all the exercise routines, weight training is the best to choose.
Weight training builds muscle mass. While you are shedding excess fat, it will build the muscles to fill up the space created by lost fat. If you already have a considerable mass of muscles, weight training will help you maintain it. It will also shape and protect the muscles so you don’t look bent or misshapen.
You can also try other routines that will involve the use of every part of your body. Swimming is a good example.
What Are the Negative Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery?
The following are some of the known negative effects of gastric bypass:
- Low blood sugar
- Bowel obstruction
Low blood sugar will happen because your body is not getting the right amount of glucose it needs.
Malnutrition occurs because the size of your stomach reduces and you are restricted in what you eat. This is also where low blood sugar comes from.
The chances of your bowel being obstructed are high due to the changes in your stomach.
The unsettling of your bowels and stomach will lead to regular vomiting.
And ulcers will develop if there is nothing done about any effects you experience.
How Long Does Gastric Bypass Last?
Gastric bypass lasts a long time, sometimes as long as the rest of your life. The length of time it lasts depends on your lifestyle after the procedure.
Gastric bypass is a procedure that opens the door for you to keep losing weight for some time, in some cases up to two years after the procedure. And it is possible to lose more than half the excess weight through the procedure.
If you maintain a good and healthy lifestyle and follow the steps given by your doctor, the results of your procedure will last a long time.
But the surgery itself lasts somewhere between two hours and three hours.