If someone had told me two years ago I would…
*Please note this post contains some photos that you might not want to see. If you’re at all squeamish then turn back now. If you don’t want to see my post gastric bypass skin don’t say I didn’t warn you! Also please ignore my RBF in these pics I just wasn’t feeling smiley the day we took them.
If there is one thing the others considering some sort of bariatric surgery want to ask about it’s how has my skin fared through this progress. Having a gastric bypass and losing heaps of weight has been great for my health and body in many ways but I have to say, my skin will never be the same again. In this post I’m going to be laying things bare with photographs so if you’d rather not know (Hey certain family members that’s you!) then turn back now, you have been warned.
In considering having bariatric surgery the potential skin left over goes firmly on the ‘con’ list. There has to be a downside to losing so much weight so quickly and unfortunately the condition your skin might be left in is it. I did have my age on my side and while I was morbidly obese I wasn’t in the highest weight range of people who have bariatric surgery so didn’t think it would turn out too bad.
Honestly, I don’t think my skin has fared too badly through this whole thing. I didn’t expect much and I think that makes the few bits I’m not thrilled about easier to deal with mentally. I’ve also had a c-section so in terms of my tummy really did not expect it to end up perfectly flat anyway.
If there’s one word for parts of my skin now it is baggy. There’s just a bit much at the top and inside of my arms, top and inside of my legs, around the bottom of my tummy and my boobs, well they will never be the same again. I won’t be posting pictures of my boobs but just imagine a tennis ball in the bottom of a long baggy stocking and you get the drift. Also in my armpits and around my sides where my bra sits there’s just a bit extra. The good news about all of this is that its easy to hide with clothes and if you didn’t see me naked you’d never know.
Arms and armpits: Considering how bad my arms could have turned out I’m actually surprised they aren’t so bad. The bit that annoys me the most is the bits that poke out from my armpits and it means I feel uncomfortable with tops that sit on the shoulders. I make a conscious effort to wear things now that at least have little sleeves so you can’t see the extra bits spilling out.
My tummy: It’s a bit wrinkly and I do have a bit of an overhang as you can see. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an apron but there’s definitely bits that need to be held in with clothes. In all honesty if I could afford surgery to fix this and I had finished having kids I would do it. It’s not something I’m going to make an effort to save for of anything but it’s on my list if I ever win lotto.
My Legs: I was trying on clothes at my mum’s house the first day I ever noticed how the skin in between my legs now looks. I was standing with no pants on, looked down and was thinking, “What the …..” This is the bit of skin I’m least bothered by and really apart from the look of it, it doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t really look at the top insides of my legs often so this really doesn’t bother me. I can’t get a picture of my legs that isn’t TMI so I’ll save it for another day!
I have found that exercise helps my skin and it’s still getting better as time goes on. It will look the same for a few months and then suddenly I will realise that it looks a bit better than it did. The overhang on my tummy reduces every now and then and the bit on my sides where it starts occasionally moves slightly closer around to the front so is steadily reducing still as well I think.
The other thing I can suggest is to really look after your skin and give it all the help and nutrients it needs to rearrange itself down to fit your new shape. I gave done a post on skin care after surgery and you can check it out here.
I’m glad I didn’t let worries about how my skin would turn out hold me back from surgery. It is something that has a different outcome for all us and you need to assess it from your point of view and what the likely outcome is for yourself. I would do this all over again because my skin doesn’t really bother me. Next time though I would start strength training earlier and my skin care from pre surgery so if you are pre-op start now!! I’ve put in pictures in comparable positions clothed so you can see how unnoticeable my skin actually is when I’m fully dressed.
Let me know in the comments below if these pictures are what you expected keeping in mind I lost 70 kgs after my gastric bypass, I’d love to know what you think.