How to Get Rid of Loose Skin After a Gastric Bypass

Woman lifting dumbbell
Lift weights to tighten loose skin after your surgery. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

If you have had gastric bypass surgery, you may notice your skin sagging under the arms, on the stomach and on the buttocks. Your sagging skin is completely normal and usually means you have lost a significant amount of weight, according to Dr. David Smith, director of the University of South Florida Health Division of Plastic Surgery in the article "Get Rid of Saggy Skin After Weight Loss." Your skin may not be elastic enough to adapt to your current weight loss right away.

Step 1

Wait at least 12 months after losing weight to get any type of surgery to correct loose skin, recommends Dr. Smith. Waiting will give the body a chance to stabilize and for your skin to tighten on its own.

Step 2

Exercise to minimize the look of saggy skin. In some cases, exercise may make skin look firmer and tighter by toning the muscles underneath. Lift weights and practice resistance training several times a week to help tone loose skin.

Step 3

Get a tummy tuck to reduce sagging skin in the belly area. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a tummy tuck is performed by a cosmetic surgeon and involves a horizontal incision in the lower stomach, where excess skin and fat are removed and stretched taut.

Step 4

Consult your doctor about a full or partial body lift to eliminate sagging skin all over the body. Get a lower or upper body lift if your loose skin is centralized around one area, or a full body lift if your skin sags over your entire body. Insurance companies do not usually cover the cost of body lift surgeries, according to Health Services of Columbia in the article "Go Ask Alice!: Weight Loss and Excess Skin."

Tip

Your age may determine your skin's ability to adapt to your new body size after gastric bypass surgery.

Warning

Consult your doctor before making any changes in your exercise routine, particularly if you have health problems.

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