Sadly, Channel 4‘s documentary programme ”My Baggy Body” showcased some all-too familiar stories.
29th January, 2014
My heart went out especially to Gregg, whose sheer determination and focus led to considerable weight loss over a 3-year period through diet and exercise. However, he then discovered that women still weren‘t interested in him because of the mounds of loose skin this process left behind.
Sadly, there doesn‘t seem to be much that the NHS can do for courageous people like Gregg who manage to face up to and beat their food demons. It is simply not equipped to meet the treatment demands this relatively new kind of patient generates. As obesity rates soar, so do requests for costly weight-loss surgery. Meanwhile, skin-removal treatment has become low priority for the NHS.
There are several reasons for this:
Gastric surgery candidates are often classed as malnourished due to gut absorption issues. Body-lifts are classed as major surgery and healing following the procedure can be problematic if patients are not fully ”fit”
This type of surgery takes a number of hours and is very costly to the NHS. Reading between the lines: the NHS trust could be spending the money elsewhere.
Skin removal is not a life-saving procedure and this fact keeps the operation low on the priority list.
False expectations; body-lift surgery will not result in a body like Elle MacPherson's. The reality is that scarring can be a problem and smooth contours are quite difficult to achieve.
Of course, body-lift surgery is available privately but unfortunately, as Gregg discovered, these complex procedures can be expensive.
What lessons can be taken from Gregg‘s story?
As with most health issues, I strongly recommend taking a prevention rather than cure approach. If you are embarking on a weight-loss journey, I wish you the very best with it and would advise the following:
- Try to lose the pounds slowly to give skin plenty of time to retract.
- Invest in a pressure garment, to help define your contours as you lose the weight and afterwards.
In addition to a sensible diet and exercise routine, these measures should help minimise the unsightly quantities of excess skin, resulting in a happier, more confident you once you’ve won your weight-loss battle.