News Presenter: Welcome back to WBRZ news 2 at 4:00 with people putting in the hard work to lose excessive weight. Another challenge they have to overcome is sagging skin and in some cases it’s necessary to go under the knife, so Dr. Anthony Stephens is with us today. So, you’ve had plenty of these, these cases.
Anthony Stephens: Well it’s been a very popular surgery for quite a while now or called bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery, gastric sleeves that’s termed. So we see a lot of this and I think a lot of patients that have lost all this weight maybe 100 pounds 150 pounds, they may not realize what they’re going to be left with and it’s a lot of excess or sagging skin which can be sometimes worse than when they were very large and they may not realize the consequences of such and so we see this and so we see it not only in the abdominal area, the legs, the thighs, but also in the arms and so it’s, it could be quite a bit of a problem for these patients, they can have rashes underneath the skin, can have various other sorts of problems that we need to take care and it’s basically removing the excess skin that they have.
News presenter: Is this considered a major surgery?
Anthony Stephens: Well, it’s basically skin surgery and so you can see here the arms that we have with the sagging skin and the procedure that was performed as an arm lift or called a brachioplasty and so this patient probably lost somewhere around 100-150 pounds so you can imagine having all this weight or all this skin that they’re dragging around and trying to cover this up in clothing and it’s just almost impossible for them to do that and so it provides or it is a big problem for most of these patients and so we do have options for them and it is major surgery. Sometimes the procedures can last five-six hours, most of these are outpatient surgeries, it doesn’t require them to have a hospitalization but it is a major surgery of sort.
News presenter: And I can imagine the recovery just takes, takes some time.
Anthony Stephens: It takes a while, it takes a lot, but again this is mostly a skin operation and it’s usually not involving the muscles which really would require a longer recovery say for an abdominal surgery that we were doing more of a hernia operation and some of these may require that at times, but most of the time it’s a skin operation and so the recovery is not as bad as you may think. Even though it is a lengthy surgery, the recovery usually is somewhere around two weeks of time.
News presenter: Is there a type of person that this surgery might not be good for?
Anthony Stephens: Well, obviously they need to be healthy and you know, age we talk about that a lot in surgery and we’ve talked about here several times that’s a relative thing for them, but most patients need to be cleared by their medical doctor if they have on medications like high blood pressure medications and remember, a lot of these patients will not be on it after their weight loss surgery, so they can actually be healthier after their weight loss procedures. So these surgeries can be done in an outpatient setting. They can go home the same day and recover within two weeks.
News presenter: Okay, for a person who lost a lot of weight and does have that excess skin, is surgery the only option for them?
Anthony Stephens: Surgery is the only option for excess skin. There is no way that you can work out enough to tighten the skin, it’s better if you’ve lost the elasticity, the collagen and makeup the building blocks of the skin and we’ve stretched it out, think of it kind of like rubber, right we stretch it out it’s just not going back and the only way to fix that problem it’s just remove it and the only way to remove that is by surgery.
News presenter: Okay, Dr. Anthony Stephens thank you so much. You’re watching WBRZ news 2 at 4:00, we’ll be right back.