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Q: Will I have loose skin after weight loss surgery?

While many people choose to have bariatric surgery to lose weight and improve their health, they also sometimes worry about loose skin. Not everyone has loose skin after losing weight, but it does happen in most cases. Skin can lose elasticity with age, and if you were overweight or obese for a long time, your skin might sometimes stay "stretched out" even after you lose the weight.

Of course, some people are self-conscious about the way loose skin looks. But it can also cause health problems. Loose skin can be prone to rashes and yeast infections, and it can also be uncomfortable and lead to back or joint pain.

So what should you do? First, give it some time. Wait at least a year after surgery, to see if loose skin bounces back or improves on its own. During this time, take pictures of any rashes or uncomfortable areas that develop around these areas. While surgery is an option to remove excess skin, insurance won't always pay for it. Documenting any health problems related to your loose skin can improve the chances that the surgery will be covered.

While loose skin happens to some people after weight loss, it's not inevitable, and there are options for making it better.

Arthur B. Chasen, MD

General Surgery

Mid Pacific Surgical Specialist
1830 Wells St., Suite #101
Wailuku, HI 96793