Dr. Rukmini Rednam of Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery took Eyewitness News inside their Katy Freeway facilities, where she performs surgery to remove loose skin after weight loss.
Here's seven things you need to know after shedding some serious pounds:
First, do your homework
Dr. Rednam said she hears a laundry list of concerns, fears and misconceptions about excess skin removal surgery at her practice. "People need to come, make sure you're informed," Rednam said. "The more you know, the less scary it is. Your dream results can be possible."
You need to have a stable weight
Good candidates for the surgery are those who are at least one year out from bariatric surgery or weight loss from even diet and exercise. The reason? "If you're fluctuating a lot, it can cause changes in your results. You're going to put in a lot of time, money and emotions, and you want to look as good as you can."
Multiple surgeries may be needed
Don't expect it to be one and done. "A common misconception is that I'm going to have one surgery, everything's going to look perfect, and I'm going to love everything," she said. When you lose significant amounts of weight, your skin is stretched to capacity.
Dr. Rednam said there may be more need to nip and tuck, touch up and alter parts of the skin beyond your first surgery.
You will have scaring afterwards
"Everybody wants to look better, have a better shape, but the whole idea there is no scarless surgery is hard, especially for the younger patient," Dr. Rednam said. "But there can be nice scars and well-hidden scars."
You should opt for an overnight stay
This surgery can literally change your entire body in a single day. "These surgeries are big surgeries," Dr. Rednam said. "You need to make sure people are taking care of you, that your pain is controlled, and that you're safe before you go home. I think that's really key, and not every place is offering that."
This procedure is more than just physical
It's not just surgical care that matters, but also having emotional support. Dr. Rednam said having support groups is vital to dealing with what happens before, during and after surgeries.
"You're stronger with others," Dr. Rednam said. "When you're going through things together with somebody else, it just helps ground you and really helps you realize you're not alone."
You'll be happier after the surgery
"They may have drains, garments, all these things, but there's big smiles on their faces," Dr. Rednam said. "Obviously, recovery takes time, but you feel better immediately. You're able to see the changes you've been thinking about and dreaming about all this time."
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