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Aging skin, liposuction, and tummy tucks:

Remember the millions of little elastic fibers in your skin that we showed you in our last post? Yeah, those are constantly disappearing as you age. This means that, like an old sock, your skin no longer recoils when it is stretched. In fact, without those tiny fibers pulling your skin back to it taut, firm, shape, the surface area will actually expand. That’s right, the skin layer is effectively growing as it loses more and more of the micro-elastic fibers, the same fibers which would otherwise keep the layer small like a sheet of contracted spandex. And, as the layer “grows”, it will gather, and hang, and form all sorts of little ripples and shadows.

Making matters worse, every time you’re pregnant, the rapid expansion and stretching of the skin from within will cause further damage to the elastic fibers, causing them to snap by the millions. The expansion is so stressful to the skin, that the deeper layers of the dermis can snap and tear, forming a scar beneath the skin, also known as a “stretch mark”. These troubling streaks mean that the skin’s elasticity is essentially shot, gone, dunzo. And, any attempt to perform liposuction without skin removal is doomed to make the skin appear even worse, like a stretched out balloon that’s been deflated. Isn’t the human body magical?

BOTTOM LINE: If your skin has lost its elasticity, DON’T let anyone try to convince you that Cooclsculpting, liposuction, or skin-tightening lasers/devices is going to replace the lost elasticity. If you’ve had a few kids, or weight loss, or just plain old aging has made your skin lax, THE ONLY THING THAT WILL TRULY RESTORE TIGHTNESS to your skin is removing a large portion of the excess, and pulling it tighter: in other words, some version of a tummy tuck

This post written and illustrated by Dr. Subbio, a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in tummy tucks in Philadelphia.