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Conditions

Excess Skin

Excess Skin

For those people who are morbidly obese, losing weight can sometimes not be the end of their health worries. As weight is put on the skin stretches and grows to accommodate the increased surface area, along with all the required blood vessels and tissue. When the weight is lost, the skin shrinks back, but only to a point, and those who have been heavily overweight are often left with saggy excess skin. Although exercise can help to tone up skin, the sheer quantity involved is often to much for self-help remedies, and in these circumstances surgery can be considered.

The operation, called an abdominoplasty, aims to remove the excess skin and fat and seal the skin back up. It is a serious pertain, and the sheer quantity of tissue that is involved means that it can only be carried out in stages, requiring multiple operations and extended recovery periods. The treatment is available on the NHS, but a patient will normally have to wait several years to ensure that their weight has stabilised and their body has fully recovered from the initial weightless.

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I am 18years old and had twin boys 15months ago and i have tried to get rid of my baby belly by going to the gym, dieting and toning classes nothing has worked. If i went to see a gp would they be able to help as its getting me down and im really uncomfortable with my body. Thanks in advance..





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My name is claire and I'm 31 at my heaviest I was 27stone 8 pound I'm now 9 stone 11 but my doctor without viewing me under my clothes has said that I need to lose another stone and half to be put forward for any kind of excess skin removal surgery. I want to know if this is true because I believe the excess skin that surrounds my arms, stomach, thighs and especially pubis would have quite a considerable weight and am already displease with the way my ribs and collar bones pertrude. What are the guidelines for GPS to put forward a patient for skin removal surgery. My excess skin is making it difficult to exercise as my skin slaps so violently, I sweat so bad and get irritated in the folds between my thighs and pubis, when I go to the toilet I wee on myself as the excess skin gets in the way. Due to excessive washing to combat the many abscesses I have had on my upper inner thighs I suffer with Bv regularly. Losing the weight has been a loss in my self asteem and confidence. Should my Gp be helping me? Desperate





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I have lost weight and have a baggy belly apron, I have recently re-fallen in love with a guy who I met pre weight loss. My baggy belly, or 'the enemy' as we call it is having a major effect on our love life,HELP please? I was diagnosed with hydrocephallus at the age of 40, and had to have a VP shunt inserted in my brain, then 2 years ago I had a pacemaker implanted due to heart problems. Because of this, surgeons I have approached appear to be reluctant to perform an abdominoplasty, can anyone please tell me why? I really dont want to lose the last chance of happiness I may have. I dont really want to post any more details on here, crying now....





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Dear Nita I think this may be a genetic/dermatology problem. I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome, and one manifestation was that post- babies I was always miserably self- conscious sexually about bagginess in this area, the problem being that my skin has defective collagen, and so it just stayed loose rather than springing back like most peoples'. You would need to look online for a specialist, not hard, because otherwise you tend to hear 'it's quite natural' etc, even from GPs and gynaecologists. I think surgery to fix it would be quite simple, but you need someone who knows what the problem is. Make sure your family is complete though!

Hi Ginny.. I have sought advice from 3-4 different specialists,initially one in Spain. All seened quite able to help until I mentioned my pacemaker. Apparently it would be dangerous because of this, the first specialist being in Spain, was worried about the VP shunt that I have due to my hydrocephallous,saying that they would have to stop any surgery as soon as the shunt tube was visible to them,its been there for over 15 years! Will it suddenly pop into view when they open me up? My family is quite complete now thanks, I am now happy to be a Nanna, would just like the chance to look good and not be embarressed about it.

Hi I'm 20 years old and had my first and only baby 2 years ago.. These 2 years have been hell for me looking at my body.. Well mainly my vigina.. I have a lot of excess skin down there.. If I pull it out it measures around 2inches on each side.. What is the name for this and would my doctor be able to put me in to have it surgically removed? Has anyone els had this? If so how did you deal with it? Thanks Leah





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Do you mean your labia? Labial reduction surgery is available, it is known as labiaplasty. Bear in mind that if you have the surgery done, it will reduce sensitivity in that area. Best regards,

Hello, I'm a 55 year old woman, and am on the Cambridge Diet - milkshakes, with a calorie total of about 500 daily - I've lost 4st since July, and have another 3st to go. I have very saggy skin now - bingo wings, flat, saggy breasts, abdomen which resembles a kangaroo pouch, and some loose skin on my thighs. I don't like the look of t, but I look good in my (smaller sized) clothes now. I have dropped 3 dress sizes, and when I get to my desired weight (should be about March) I plan to get a loan and have cosmetic surgery, to sort out my breasts and abdomen (not sure I want to bother with arms and legs), hopefully in time for my holiday in June next year. I must say that I FEEL fitter, healthier, and am able to walk and do things without being out of breath (I used to be breathless just going up the stairs at home). I am proud of myself for having the sheer willpower and determination to stick to this severe diet, without resorting to gastric bypass/gastric band surgery. I would rather be saggy than obese like I was (I'm still overweight but look better than I did)





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Hi I'm 24 years old I be been reading through all ur stories and I've just. Cried and cried I can stop crying as I do to have the Same problem I have t lost any weight but I had a child and a gained 8 stone and after when bk to my normal size as it was water retention now I'm left with a saggy belly that just wobbles causes soreness also my belly button you can't even see it I have suffers for the past 5 years I don't have relationships never go outside due to how bad I feel about myself I'm. It's not me who is suffering also it's my son he deserves the best in life and because of how I feel and look also the pain when running it's awful if I have been thinking about going private and getting into debts but that would help out future I'm wanting to go to uni and study paramedic but am unable to , but I've been a severely depressed the doctors know how bad but there not willing to help as they say it's a cosmetic problem





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After having a gastric bypass I 2011 I am left with an awful lot of baggy skin and er my arms and around my "apron" it gets sore and flaps around if I don't tuck it into my underwear. The operation was plagued with complications and I went back to surgery 4 times to get it right.my self esteem has plummeted and even tried to take my own life as I hate what my body looks like. I've tried exercise and running but to no avail.i am now running out of options to help myself I think I'm in need of some surgical intervention. I am a carer for my daughter so do not work or I would have considered going private. Unfortunately this is not an option. I just want to be normal again. Please help me





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Hi I am a 23 year old single mother and in the past 4 years ive lost almost 14 stone I was im very uncomfortable with how its.left me I want to be happy but to me jm still the same person before the weight loss because I carry it all around in skin im so.self conscious and have awful nervous feelings when it.comes to anything social my stomach and.breasts are.awful I refuse to let.anybody see.can you give me any advice on what I can do I feel like theres no hope for my body.





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Weight loss and saggy skin. I'm 31 lost 4st 9.5lb in last 10 months. At my second target weight. Only need to go down another 5lb to get to a healthy bmi. I'm left with a saggy tummy with a line in the middle looks like another bum. Not funny even though it sounds it. No boobs saggy skin instead. I'm a single mum I exercise and run. Yet its not going to tone up. With my son's disability there is no way I can not afford to pay private. I feel so fed up that I feel like cutting it off my self. Lost weight for my health and also saves NHS money in the future and yet they can't help those who have lost weight.





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hi please I need help in six years have lost half my body weight and just short of my target weight of 11 stone for my height of 5ft 6 an half, my skin hangs every where, my breasts are flat and down to my waist, im trying to get help as at 47 I don't think that the nhs will help, I had a gastric bypass in 2006 then stopped losing last year so this may I started slimming world to boost my weight loss, I am so unhappy. please advice me how to get my body to look normal , you are my last hope





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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