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lap band procedure

8/16 15:28:25

Question
Hi jacqueline
 My name is Bekky.  I'm 24 and my BMI is 48.  I'm 5'2.  Anyway my question is after the surgery do all paitents experiance the extra skin issue or is there a way to prevent it?  I'm looking into getting the surgery my insurance will pay for most of the actual surgery but not the cosmetic surgery afterwards alot of people need.  Do you think i still have good elasticity cause of age or should i be concerned about it still? Thank you for your time
Bekky

Answer
Bekky,

First of all, congratulations on your decision to have surgery.  I am really glad to see younger people having surgery made available to them as an option - because it is really so much easier when you are young.

These are good and important questions you are asking about skin and the need for plastic surgery.  Here is what I can tell you:

1) After significant weight loss through surgery or even from diet alone, many people feel that they need or desire cosmetic surgery to complete their experience and be satisfied with their body.  Sometimes, excess skin actually creates problems as well and really needs to be removed for medical purposes.

2) It is probably impossible to predict who will and who will not need/want plastic surgery.  Everyone loses weight differently, everyone has different skin, everyone has a different concept of what they are comfortable with when it comes to their body and their self image - and all of these issues come into play.

3) Despite products thay are sold for this purposes or what you may hear in chat rooms, there is no product or routine that will guarantee that you will not need surgery.  Exercise probably affords some protection, but is still not sure-fire.

4) That said, you do have a couple of things in your favor.  You are young - young skin is more elastic in general.  You are having a Lap-Band, which produces more gradual weight loss than a gastric bypass. With more gradual weight loss, the skin has a better chance of adapting as you lose weight.  Again, these thing are in your favor, but they do not assure that you will not need or want additional procedures.

5) You have time.  With a Lap-Band, if you get regular adjustments and follow the recommendations, you will lose weight pretty consistently for 18 to 24 months.  Most of the time, a good plastic surgeon will want you to be at a stable weight for a year before you have major work done.  This is a lot of time.  In this period, you will be able to explore procedures, find a good surgeon, etc - even save money should that be necessary.

6) It is becomming increasingly common for plastic surgery procedures following massive weight loss to be at least partially covered by insurance.  If you do need or want cosmetic surgeon, find a doctor who works with a lot of weight loss surgery patients - they should be able to help you with what needs to be documented and how to work towards insurance reimbursement.  In the time between your Lap-Band placement and when you become a candidate for plastic surgery, I am betting that it continues to become even more common for insurance to reimburse.  There are also companies like Care Credit and Capital One that provide lines of credit for non-reimbursable procedures.

I hope that some of this has been helpful for you!

If I can answer anything else, please let me know.

In Health,

Dr. Jacques
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