Loose skin and sagging skin commonly develop after patients have undergone significant weight loss. Women may often develop excess skin after pregnancy. The ageing process also causes a gradual loss of skin elasticity resulting in skin wrinkling and sagginess. People who gain weight often find the skin begins to stretch out to accommodate the extra underlying fat volume. The collagen and elastin components of the skin can be damaged with excessive skin stretching. Losing significant weight over a short period often leads to an increase in loose skin, which in some areas, particularly the lower abdomen, may result in unsightly hanging folds of skin. Once the skin has been stretched out, it does not return to its usual tightness after massive weight loss resulting in sagging skin.
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Being overweight or obese results in excess fat deposits accumulating in a generalised manner across all body areas, including the face, arms, size, mons pubis, chest, stomach and breasts. Losing a substantial amount of weight can lead to generalised skin laxity and excess skin in many parts of the body. In the most severe cases, these loose and redundant folds of skin can result in painful skin irritation and the development of skin infection in areas including the lower breasts, lower stomach and inner thighs. People who develop sagging skin due to significant weight loss often develop a loss of self-confidence, leading to increased stress, anxiety and depression.
Surgery is the most effective treatment to get rid of excess skin permanently. The type of surgical procedure planned will depend on the area where loose skin needs to be removed.
Surgical removal of loose skin
Surgical removal, also known as surgical excision, is the best way to remove excess skin. This procedure involves removing areas of loose skin with a surgical scalpel followed by stitching of the skin resulting in skin that appears tighter, firmer and smoother. Our expert plastic surgeons commonly use surgical skin excision as part of many types of body contouring procedures to remove sagging and excess skin. Examples of skin removal surgery include mastopexy, brachioplasty (arm lift), abdominoplasty, thigh lift and body lift surgery.
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Excess skin removed by surgical excision is only one part of a body contouring procedure and is commonly combined with liposuction to contour and sculpt specific areas of the body, such as the arms, thighs or stomach. Liposuction on its own is not an effective treatment for removing loose skin, and this is especially the case in patients in their 50s and older as the skin gradually loses its elasticity with age.
Facelift, neck lift and brow lift
Facial rejuvenation surgery is one of the most effective treatments to get rid of sagging skin on the face and neck and includes a facelift, neck lift or brow lift.
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A facelift procedure involves the surgeons making incisions positioned at the front part of the ear, which angles upwards along the hairline and also consists of an incision behind the ear which extends into the scalp region. The surgeon then gently dissects the skin away from the underlying soft tissues before repositioning the skin in the most appropriate direction to achieve tightening of the middle and lower face before surgically removing the loose skin. Facelift surgery is commonly combined with a neck lift procedure for skin tightening of the lower face, neck, and jawline to remove jowls effectively.
The upper part of the face often develops loose and sagging skin due to the effects of gravity and age. The brow usually begins to droop, resulting in a saggy brow and forehead. The best treatment to get rid of a sagging brow is brow lift surgery. The endoscopic brow lift is the most common type of brow lift procedure, which does not involve the long incisions of the traditional coronal brow lift procedure. The ideal candidates for a surgical brow lift are patients between the ages of 45 and 65 years of age with overall good skin quality. Patients below the age of 40 may be more suitable for non-surgical treatments, including anti-wrinkle injections and AccuTite radiofrequency treatment.
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Liposuction for fat removal
Liposuction is one of the most effective procedures to remove excess body fat and is a straightforward procedure involving suctioning of localised fat deposits that have proven impossible to remove with a sensible diet and exercise alone.
Liposuction is a very versatile procedure in that it can tackle many different body parts and is designed to produce improved body contours with a sculpted and harmonious appearance. Common liposuction areas include the abdomen, upper arms, back, buttocks, thighs, knees, calves and ankles and the chin area.
Liposuction is ineffective in improving the appearance of loose and sagging skin. Wrinkly skin is most effectively removed with a surgical skin removal procedure such as a tummy tuck, breast lift, arm lift, or thigh lift. Liposuction is an excellent treatment for patients with good skin elasticity and has localised areas of fat that have not shifted with exercise and diet alone.
Abdominoplasty for removal of loose skin
Abdominoplasty is also known as a tummy tuck and is one of our most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures at Centre for Surgery in London. Tummy tuck surgery is also one of the most popular body contouring procedures in the UK.
Abdominoplasty surgery involves removing loose skin from the abdomen, followed by surgical tightening of the weakened abdominal muscles, often resulting from pregnancy. The desired outcome of tummy tuck surgery is a flatter, tighter and more contoured-looking stomach. Abdominoplasty is usually carried out in combination with liposuction for the elimination of excess fat and to produce a slimmer-looking waist. Liposuction combined with abdominoplasty is also known as a Brazilian tummy tuck.
People who are significantly overweight or obese are not suitable candidates for a tummy tuck, and the abdominoplasty procedure should not be viewed as a treatment for weight loss. A tummy tuck is most commonly performed in women who have been pregnant and wish to restore their pre-pregnancy body shape. Abdominoplasty surgery may also be combined with a breast lift or breast augmentation as part of a mummy makeover UK.
If you are concerned about the appearance of excess skin or sagging skin, we would recommend booking an appointment to see one of our expert plastic surgeons to identify the best excess skin removal treatment for you. Centre for Surgery is the leading cosmetic surgery clinic in the UK with wide experience across the full range of excess skin removal surgical procedures.