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Bariatric / Weight Loss Surgery Community
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Belly fat or loose skin?

I had serious health problems which kept me bedridden for two years, during which time I put on an additional 70 pounds.

But I recovered, and through a regimen of intense cardio training and strict dieting over a period of 9 months, I took that 70 pounds back off.

But although I’m now at my ideal weight (according to the Mayo Clinic website and WebMD), I still have some belly fat that seems extremely resistant to coming off.

Or so I thought. But by squeezing a fold of this “fat” in the palm of my hand, I note that it’s only about 3/4 of an inch thick, and seems to be getting slightly less thick with continued training.

Here’s what I think it REALLY is: a bit of belly fat, but mostly just a lot of very loose skin, I guess because that skin was stretched so far when I got so overweight.

So here are my questions: will my skin eventually shrink back so that it’s no longer loose? And if so, how long would that take?

Or is there any other way to get rid of it, short of surgery? I’m pretty sure my health care insurance won’t pay for any elective surgery.

Or could a doctor prescribe an appropriate procedure as NON-elective surgery, on the grounds that this condition is dangerous to my health?

By the way, I’m 65 years old, so a couple people have suggested that my skin may have lost the elasticity needed to shrink back to what it once was. And for what it’s worth, I recently started a full-body weight lifting regimen, in addition to my cardio training and continued dieting.

Besides the fact that I hate this loose skin, I’m also under considerable pressure to get rid of it. So ‘just getting used to it’ isn’t an option.

Thanks for any help.
2 Responses
3191940 tn?1447272317
It's definitely not uncommon to have a lot of loose skin after losing a significant amount of weight.  I don't know what you weighed prior to putting on 70 pounds, but 70 pounds is almost certainly "a lot of weight."  

Exercise is a great start, but as you mentioned, if it's skin, you have probably lost a lot of elasticity over the years and it's not likely to just return to its previous appearance.  Is it causing mobility issues, or is it purely cosmetic? If it's causing physical problems, you may have an argument for surgery to be covered by insurance.  Cosmetic - well, there are some cosmetic procedures that are commonly covered by insurance, such as breast reconstruction following mastectomy.  If you have some time, it may be worth calling your insurance to find out.

These two articles offer some options for non-surgical intervention, though looking at the cost of a few, it's hard to say whether they are more economical than surgery (if you can do outpatient surgery).
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/loose-skin-after-weight-loss#section5
https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-tighten-loose-skin-without-surgery-3495174

Good luck, and I hope you find something that works for you.
1 Comments
Hi, CurfewX:

Thanks for your response.  I am currently weighing my options.
20703499 tn?1552605515
It's not complicated to tighten the loose skin on your stomach. You can exercise regularly and eat a nutritious diet, and your skin will slowly adapt to your new body shape.
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