The short answer to this question is yes to a limited degree. The skin is the largest organ of the body. It contains multiple anatomic structures which are essential to life as we know it. Two of the components of the skin structure are proteins – collagen and elastin. These two proteins work together to create the structure and the appearance of the skin as we see it daily.
Collagen provides strength and structure. In addition, it is a protein that provides flexibility in the ability to return to a more optimal and firm state when stretched. Body contouring after massive weight loss is a very rewarding combination of procedures. This prolonged stretching of the skin damages the collagen and reduces the ability of the elastin to return to its more aesthetic and pleasing state.
Prolonged obesity damages these two proteins to a great degree and prevents the restoration of the most optimal skin appearance and texture. Genetics, nutrition, and hydration all contribute to the collagen and the structure of the skin.
When I perform body contouring reconstructive procedures after massive weight loss my staff and I encourage the patient to adopt a new lifestyle of nutrition and activity. Multiple lengthy procedures can be performed simultaneously provided the patient can absorb and understand the cost. Not only financial cost but an investment in time, and a change of lifestyle to preserve the value of this most precious investment.
We have an extensive practice of massive weight loss patients having significant reconstructive procedures with great results. Our gallery of before-and-after photos illustrates this point. We develop these very personal relationships with these patients and are available to serve them over time.
So yes, the skin will shrink to a degree, but the prolonged damage limits the skin’s ability to shrink completely. And, therefore, these reconstructive procedures are profoundly helpful and life-changing. Only these procedures after weight loss can produce and create the best-looking bodies.