Too old for skin to bounce back?

on 9/23/12 10:08 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12
 I am 50 years old and about to have a RNY in question is simple:  Will my any of my skin be able to shrink with my weight loss? Especially my face, arms and thighs....If I have really good abdominal muscles now (I swim at least 6 miles a week),   Will I still need an abdominaplasty, in addition to a panni?  Will I just start to look really old and wrinkled?  I am 230 pounds now, with a lot of muscle mass, but I have been struggling with my weight all of my life....Thanks!



on 9/23/12 11:33 pm - MD
Age and genetics do play a big part.

You will have some skin.  Unfortunately, no one knows how much.

I was 54 when I had WLS.

Highest - 279 (08/2009)     Program Weight - 256 (03/10)  Surgery Weight - 232 (05/24/11)     


Angela S.
on 9/24/12 12:07 am
 I had wls 2 yrs ago and my doc thought my skin would bounce back because I was younger, worked out, and seemed to have enough elasticity left in my skin. T It didn't. I'm 33, had a LBL and will have a inner thigh lift next month and then will need my arms done. It's different for everyone. I'd expect loose skin and then if you don't end up with loose skin, you'll be pleasantly surprised. 
on 9/24/12 12:29 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12



Jody ***
on 9/24/12 1:41 pm - Brighton, MI
RNY on 10/21/08 with
 I was 49 when I had my WLS.  I had similar stats to yours.  No - my skin didn't bounce totally back - it depends on where you carry most of it.

Expect your stomach skin NOT too - no matter how toned your muscles are, skin doesn't react the same way.  You'll have a flap of skin hanging.. If you have one now, expect one after too.  

BUT - I don't have any issues with my arms - they bounced back well.  My thighs, well... when I was at my lowest they looked like shar-peis, I've put a few lbs back into them (not too happy about it) and they don't look nearly as bad.

My advice to you is to lose your weight, keep it off for 1-2 years, then consider PS.  Let your body redistribute as it needs to (and believe me - it will!)  If you get real low, allow time to see if you're going to have "bounce back" and see where it goes.  A part of your body you HATED before, may not be so bad later.

It also depends on how long you've been carrying the weight.  Some folks who haven't been obese for a long time, may still have some good skin elasticity, but it does depend on age, genetics.
HW-218/SW-208/CW-135/ Lowest Weight-121/Goal-125 - hit 8/23/09/Height-5'3"
90+/- pounds lost      
BMI - 24 or so
Starting BMI between 35 and 40ish? 
Join us on the Lightweights Board!
on 9/24/12 1:23 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12
Thanks for the info! I appreciate your input, 



on 9/24/12 12:14 pm
 I was 54 and 284 when I started.  I lost about 130 pounds.

My face is fine.  My boobs shrunk and looked like empty tube socks when I was naked, was ok in a good bra.

My upper arms were awful, so I had them chopped off!

my abs were tight (my surgeon said the tightest he had seen in 25 years of performing tucks) but the skin still had to be removed.

I sit in an exercise ball all day to strengthen my core, but there was excessive skin that I wanted removed.

I dropped a pants size with my tummy tuck and am thrilled so the results.

on 9/24/12 1:24 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12
Thanks for the info! I appreciate your input! 



on 9/24/12 12:32 pm - Honolulu, HI
I was 55 when I had my RNY.  I lost 130 pounds (started at 307).  I'd been overweight most of my adult life.  I was the typical yo-yo dieter who lost alot of weight many times and always gained back more than I'd lost.  After my RNY I really got into working out but after 18 months stillI had  alot of extra skin.  Fortunately, I was in a position to be able to take time off from work and after six different surgeries have had most of it removed.  If I've learned anything through this process - it's that everyone is different.  Good lock to you. 
on 9/24/12 1:25 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12
 Thanks for the info! I appreciate your input!😃



on 9/27/12 5:21 pm - TX
Do you have photos.  I did not go to your profile because you don't have an avatar with a photo, so I figured you are really private.  With all the work you've put into this, you must look great.

Laura in Texas
on 9/24/12 12:54 pm - Cypress, TX
Most likely you will have loose skin and if it bothers you, get plastic surgery. I was 42 when I had my RNY and have lost 200 pounds. I had tons of excess skin. I know of some people who have posted here that did not get their abdominal muscles tightened and were happy with the results. I am in good shape and got mine tightened. I'm glad I did.

on 9/24/12 1:25 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12
Thanks for the info! I appreciate your input! 😊 



Kim S.
on 9/26/12 8:39 am - Helena, AL
As our bodies gain weight, they make more skin to cover it.  Unfortunately, we can't absorb the extra skin once we deflate the fat-so some excess is likely inevitable. 

Genetics and age do play a role in the elasticity of the skin.  Exercise will firm the muscles under the skin making it "look" better, but extra skin is extra skin.

I've been in maintenance for 2.5 years now and am having a LBL in November, and probably a breast lift too if he can do it all in one day.  I lost 160 lbs, and consider myself lucky in the skin department.....I've seen much worse.  Mine causes issues when I run, so I'm ready to get rid of it.

I was 44 when I had my surgery and had been overweight most of my life and a classic yo-yo dieter.
on 9/27/12 6:35 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12
 Thanks! I am feeling better about the surgery with every post!



on 9/27/12 5:19 pm - TX
There are so many factors at play, and we are all different.  I am 57 and was 54 when I had surgery.  Throughout the years I spent hours in the gym, when I was on yet another one of my diets.  Those hours in the gym helped me in some places but not in others. 

Shoulder exercises were always my favorite.  So I feel really fortunate my neck held up well.  My cheeks have fallen, as one PS said "considerably," but it doesn't show in my photos.  But my cheeks did fall.  I always had great stomach tightness.  I don't have a pani problem, but I have loose skin in the mid area.  My biggest issue, and I knew it would because that is where I carried my weight, is my butt and upper/inner thighs. 

My butt is sad, and I do need a LBL and inner thighs done.  Even with all the time working out, I had too much weight loss and not enough muscle tone underneath. I could live w/o PS, but that is not what I would like to settle for.

One thing I found true was this.  When I was 6 mosths post op, one poster made a comment she was doing really great in the excess skin area until she hit the 80 pounds lost mark.  She said once she went beyond that number, she began having excess skin issues.  I had lost 70 pounds multiple times, and I had zero skin issues.  But post RNY once I got passed 80 pounds lost, skin became an issue.  Her observation was right on.  I thought I was home free, was not to be. 

Even if I never had PS, I am so pleased with my results.  So... it is kind of hard to say how you will fare.  Genetics, muscle mass, activity, age, a lot of things determine the outcome.

Don't worry about the skin.  As active as you are, you will be thrilled with the results.  You may find once your weight is off, any excess skin you may, or may not, have won't matter to you at all.

Best wishes on your surgery.

on 9/27/12 6:33 pm - MD
RNY on 10/10/12
 Thank you so much for your input!  You and everyone else that have replied have helped me confirm that I am making the right decision by having the surgery performed!  I really appreciate the information!



on 10/14/12 3:59 pm - DC
Everyone is different - age, highest weight, yo-yoing and most importantly genetics all play a role. You won't know til you get there. But there are things you can do to give your skin the support it needs to tighten up as much as it can on its own before you consider plastic surgery.  I spent a long time researching this for myself and ended up compiling my research into a book, which is now on Amazon ( and a website, It mostly looks at vitamins, minerals, extracts, oils and exercises that help.

Losing the weight will change your life in ways you can't even imagine. I've lost almost 200 pounds and, loose skin or not, it's totally worth it. Best of luck on your RNY!