‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to try to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on 8 August 2012, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
“I have recently lost 6 stone in weight, through exercise, and have been left with a fair amount of excess fat around the stomach and under arm. This is quite unsightly, and makes me feel uncomfortable. I would like to know what options are available to me”. Sue, East Grinstead
Mr Asit Khandwala, consultant cosmetic and plastic surgeon, says, "Skin overhang and fatty remnants after weight loss can cause quite a few problems. At the outset I would like to congratulate you for losing six stone. This is not an easy feat! Sometimes localised fat deposits can be treated with liposuction. However, more often than not this excess tissue is simply skin. This would need surgical removal as non-surgical means are usually not effective in severe weight loss.
Please ensure you see a reputable surgeon at a good establishment. You should not be losing more weight at the time of surgery as this would slow healing. It is best to ensure you have lost all the weight you were going to lose before the operation. Further weight loss following surgery can undo some of its effects. Your surgeon will explain the procedure and recovery to you as per the surgical plan. Weight loss can cause anaemia and low protein levels which must be corrected before surgery. The surgeon may suggest an arm lift (removal of bingo wings) and a tummy tuck."