If you’ve recently experienced weight loss, your body may be lighter, but excess, sagging skin could still be weighing you down. Loose skin is caused by losing 100 pounds or more in a very short time. While it can happen to those who lose weight through diet and exercise, it happens more often with weight-loss surgery patients. Not only do these extra folds cause some people emotional distress, but they also cause many people physical pain from chafing.
While excess sagging skin is common for most bariatric patients, only about 21% undergo a body contouring surgical procedure, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine. This low percentage may be surprising, as 74% expressed a desire to have a body contouring surgery. A reason for this disparity may be the cost; most insurance providers do not cover body lift surgery.
Non-surgical skin tightening procedures are cosmetic treatment options that target loose areas of your skin to stimulate collagen production.
How to get rid of excess belly skin without surgery
If you’re looking for noninvasive, non-surgical skin tightening treatment options that work, Beltre Bariatrics recommends these in-office procedures:
Theramlift is a non-surgical procedure that uses radiofrequency waves to stimulate the skin. It uses a controlled treatment tip device to pass waves through the top layers of your skin. A cooling gel is applied topically to protect your skin as the waves penetrate the lower layers of your epidermis and stimulate collagen growth. Collagen makes up 80% of your skin’s structure and provides firmness and strength. Thermalift requires one treatment session, however, some may need multiple sessions.
Velashape is a noninvasive, non-surgical body contouring treatment that uses a handheld device to send infrared and radiofrequency waves into your skin layers to break apart fat deposits. This procedure requires no anesthesia or downtime. However, several treatments are recommended to get the most visible results.
If you’re overweight and trying to decide on bariatric surgery, you may be concerned about how to manage sagging skin after the procedure. While non-surgical skin tightening procedures like Thermalift and Velashape can help tighten and firm smaller areas of sagging skin, they are only recommended as part of an annual skin rejuvenation maintenance program. These procedures are not an ideal first choice for bariatric patients.
Non-surgical skin tightening options after bariatric surgery
After achieving significant weight loss following bariatric surgery, Dr. Wiljon Beltre recommends body contouring plastic surgery to remove excess skin, eliminate excess fat, and reshape the area. Body contouring surgery is performed after you have completely recovered from bariatric surgery and stabilized your body weight.
Other non-surgical skin tightening and body contouring options include:
Cryolipolysis, commonly referred to as fat freezing, uses freezing temperatures to destroy fat cells. CoolSculpting® is not guaranteed to tighten loose skin. If you have extreme excess skin after significant weight loss, a body contouring surgery, like a tummy tuck, may be required.
- Injection lipolysis
Deoxycholic acid is injected into the body to target and break down cells in fatty tissue. Injection lipolysis is a safe and effective alternative to body contouring surgery on smaller areas for patients who choose not to undergo plastic surgery. The ideal patient has small to medium fat deposits that have not improved with exercise and diet.
- Laser lipolysis
Laser lipolysis uses laser energy to heat and destroy fat cells without impacting other types of cells in the skin or other structures. The ideal candidate for laser lipolysis is a thin patient who is in good health with isolated pockets of removable fat.
- Radiofrequency lipolysis
This non-surgical procedure uses ultrasound waves to heat and target fat cells. Those interested in reducing a localized fat deposit that has not improved with diet and exercise may be interested in this procedure. People with extremely loose skin or poor tone may not be suitable candidates.
If you’re interested in learning about Dr. Wiljon Beltre’s bariatric procedures or would like to learn about the health benefits of weight loss surgery, call Beltre Bariatrics at 407-863-7108.