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Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss Including discussions about excess skin and reconstructive surgery

Weight Loss And Skin FAQs

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Old 12-19-2004, 01:59 PM   #16
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Regarding excess skin - I've seen this posted NUMEROUS times at other forums and thought this needed to be addressed here for reference...

With so many people losing a great deal of weight and having to deal with excess skin as a result...for some reason the 'buzz' is that burn centers (such as Shriners) will perform free or discounted plastic surgery if you donate the excess skin...

Unfortunately...'taint so.

Here's an article which I found here that pretty much sums that up.

Quote:
Can I donate excess skin to a skin bank?
Question:

I recently lost a great deal of weight and I have a lots of excess skin. Can I donate my excess skin to a skin bank to help burn patients? Will a tissue bank pay for my skin reduction surgery if I agree to donate my tissue?

Answer:
These questions are asked quite often by individuals who have lost large amounts of weight and have excess skin folds. We appreciate your desire to donate. However, this kind of donation is unworkable. Allow me to explain why, and to give you an alternative.

Our tissue bank does not obtain skin from these patients for several reasons. First, this method of obtaining skin is cost prohibitive. The amount of transplantable tissue obtained from tissue reduction surgery is minimal when compared to the amount of tissue obtained from a cadaveric (deceased) tissue donor. The procurement costs would be much greater as it would require the services of doctors, nurses, anesthetists, and other health care professionals as well as the use of an operating room and other hospital services. Cadaveric donation requires only trained tissue recovery technicians, and they can procure tissue after the body has been sent to the morgue (rather than in an operating room), thus keeping expenses to a minimum.

Additionally, cadaveric donated tissue can be used for transplant soon after recovery (as soon as quality assurance testing is complete), but the FDA requires that tissues recovered from living donors must be placed into quarantine for six months. At the end of six months, all serologic testing (HIV and Hepatitis) must be repeated before that tissue can be used.

It is virtually impossible to obtain a skin graft from tissue than has been removed during tissue reduction surgery. The usual procedure for tissue reduction surgery involves the removal of skin and underlying attached tissues, but skin grafts used for transplant are only 15/1000 (0.015) of an inch thick and do not include these underlying tissues. Skin grafts for transplant are procured by the use of a surgical device called a dermatome, which peels off a very thin (0.015 inch), uniform layer of skin, and it only works on skin that is stretched taut over and firmly attached to muscles, such as in the back, arms, and legs. Very few people have an abdomen taut enough to permit skin tissue recovery. Skin folds (such as those removed when someone has lost a large amount of weight) lack the firm attachment to underlying tissues, and so the dermatome can't work properly.

I do not know of any tissue bank that would pay for a donor's tissue reduction surgical expenses for the purpose of obtaining skin for transplantation.

I would like to encourage you to be sure that your family knows you would like to donate your tissues upon death. Your gift can save lives and greatly reduce suffering.

Tom Taddonio
Director, University of Michigan Skin Bank
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:07 PM   #17
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For those of you who had surgeries, are the numbers quoted at the beginning of this thread pretty accurate?!?!
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Old 11-10-2005, 07:26 AM   #18
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They are a few years old and cost varies a lot by where you live.
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:50 PM   #19
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Emedicine just published a brand new overview on skin removal surgery after weight loss that I highly recommend. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/articles/69986-1.asp You may have to register to read it, but registration is free.
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:08 PM   #20
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Ive had my boobs "refluffed" You know how after you lose alot of weight they just become flaps of skin, so I just got them filled up w/ implants. They are beautiful, I love them love them love them. My boobs cost $4600 thats with a 10 year warranty. Next is a tummy tuck but we are waiting because we cant decide if there are more babies in the future or not. I cant wait. That will be the last thing i need to fix and after 100lbs and 2 babies, 1 csection, i definitely need one.
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:58 PM   #21
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Another great thread. I am one of those people who has excess skin after my weight loss. I've intentionally waited this long in order to see what my skin was going to do. I recently saw a plastic surgeon who said my skin is in great condition and he said I need a tummy tuck, lipo on my back flanks, and a breast lift and augmentation. Unfortunately my wallet says "HA!HA! You want how much!" LOL!! I am hoping to get at least the tummy tuck. I see another PS next week to see if I can have it covered by my insurance. I'm not holding my breath. I have met others who are lucky and their skin bounces back great. Too bad we aren't all so fortunate. *sigh* I've gone from a size 26 to a size 12 but I'm in a size 12 to accomodate all the skin on my abdomen. I can't wait to see what size I will be. At this weight in highschool I was a size 8. It would be nice to be a single digit again.
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Old 06-27-2006, 11:42 PM   #22
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I had wrongly thought that I didn't have much extra skin. However, my DH had the video camera out the other night and I was shocked at the loose skin in areas that I couldn't really see very well. I knew my arms were flappy and breasts unusually saggy. Now I see that I have extra skin on my back, hips, tummy and thighs. I have lost 87 lbs. and am 46 yrs. old, so this should not be such a surprise. But it is. I am going to save money first for a breast lift because this bothers me the worst. Next, I want my upper thighs and hips done. I don't think any PS would do a tummy tuck due to multiple hernia repairs with mesh. I could consult and find out. Does anyone Know?
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:57 PM   #23
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For those in the know......... can the swelling caused by ps fluctuate a bit day by day or week by week? Because it seems as if I "gained" 3lbs overnight. I know that in the end the swelling all settles down and goes away (though I know it takes a full 6mos to a year to do that) but I just was wondering if it is normal to have "good" and "bad" swelling days.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:32 PM   #24
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The swelling comes and goes with activity, diet, humidity.... Some of my worst swelling was at about a year and a half. I'm over two years from surgery and still feel that my abs swell when I do cardio or eat salty food.

Mel
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:26 PM   #25
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Hi Charlotte! Hope you're feeling better every day.

Like Mel, I had swelling that varied a lot day by day and often not for any good reason at all. I think it's totally normal to have 'good' and 'bad' swelling days. For sure you didn't gain three pounds overnight!

Take care of yourself.
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Old 07-23-2006, 10:09 PM   #26
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I'm just curious. How did you all finance PS? Can you make payments or are home equity/401k's the best way to go? I know that I will have TONS of loose skin on my chest, arms, abs, and upper thighs. I'm just thinking that I ought to prepare myself for the financial aspects.
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Old 07-24-2006, 04:51 PM   #27
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After losing the weight (80 pounds and maintaining it for two years), I began to look into a tummy tuck. I found a good doctor, a lady doctor. I paid for half the cost and my dad (who was so proud of my weight loss, covered the rest--I am so blessed). But my doctor does do payment plan. I think most plastic surgerons have a payment plan.

So check around and see, it is no more than buying a car on credit. But you look so much better in your jeans LOL LOL

By the way, I had a full lower body lift done--the cost was $9600 and worth every penny.

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Old 08-04-2006, 10:13 AM   #28
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Here's a link to an article in the New York Times about weight loss and excess skin removal: Newly Petite in Skin Thatís XL.

I think you have to register (free) to read the article.
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Old 02-25-2007, 11:08 PM   #29
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I don't want to sound silly.. but HOW does loose skin feel? I think I can imagine it, but then I wonder if I actually can. And how much loose skin is loose skin? A wrinkle, a whole wad that sags or hangs? I know it varies.. but what is typically loose skin, how much of it at the least?

I'm just thinking.. I'm in my early 20s, and this isn't my primal concern about loose skin, but I just wonder what it's like in terms of physical intimacy? Especially with a new partner. A serious relationship partner not just some fling, but new partner nonetheless... I can just imagine feeling so incredibly self-conscious.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:45 PM   #30
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How does it feel??? Like normal skin, only more of it without any fat or muscle to fill it out. Usually you can pinch an inch of pure skin off a part of your body, for some it is much more.
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