Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Health Watch: Excess skin removal following weight loss

Rashes, open sores, even fungal infections could happen to those who have lost over 100 pounds but have excess skin.  SLUCare plastic surgeon, Dr. Sumesh Kaswan helps patients who want to feel comfortable in their new body after losing a lot of weight.

"The country is getting more obese and, with the invention of minimally invasive procedures, we are encountering more people who have these surgeries." Patients can lose 50 to 300 pounds or more and, "after reaching their new normal weight, they may notice deformities, like excess skin or skin rolls," Kaswan says. That is why body contouring is growing in popularity.

Body contouring procedures include tummy tucks and lifts of the face, breasts, thighs and arms. With so many corrective options available, it's important for patients to work with their doctor to set priorities during the pre-op assessment. Surgery is typically limited to six or eight hours to decrease bleeding risks, and that allows time for just two or three areas of the body, Kaswan says. "If the patient is willing to have multiple surgeries, then we can figure out which additional areas to do in a second surgery," he notes.

Nurse Becky George underwent body contouring surgery after losing 150 pounds and keeping it off for more than six months.  She started with her abdomen, and did well.  About six weeks later, she had her arms treated on an outpatient basis.  "I still couldn't get into shirts that looked cute and small. By the time you got them big enough to go over my arms, they were too big everywhere else."  George says Dr. Kaswan prepared her well for the surgery.  "He spent time.  He wasn't in and out, rush, rush, rush."

Now, George gets a big confused when she sees pictures of herself from before she lost the weight.  "I saw myself in a group, and I didn't even recognize myself."

To learn more about SLUCare Plastic Surgeons and body contouring, click here.