Gynecomastia Forum, Doctor and Surgery Resources

Supporting Doctors => Ask a Doctor => Topic started by: gray on June 01, 2013, 06:58:02 AM

Title: Skin elasticity
Post by: gray on June 01, 2013, 06:58:02 AM
Is there anything you can do to improve skin elasticity in the months leading up to surgery that will help the skin for after surgery?
Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: Dr. Elliot Jacobs on June 01, 2013, 03:25:14 PM
Skin elasticity is affected by being or having been overweight /obese, smoking, cumulative sun exposure and aging (40 year old skin is not as elastic as 20 year old skin, all else being equal).

There is absolutely nothing you can do to improve the elasticity of the skin, either before or after surgery.  And it is the skin's elasticity that is the big question mark when I discuss possible results with patients.

Dr Jacobs

Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: gray on June 01, 2013, 04:53:35 PM
So if the skin is not as elastic, would that indicate a need to remove some skin during the procedure?
Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: Dr. Elliot Jacobs on June 02, 2013, 08:25:06 AM
That depends.  I usually give my patients the benefit of the doubt and allow time for the skin to tighten on its own -- and then if needed, take out some skin in a smaller operation months later.. Sometimes the decision is made during the actual operation.  This decision, though, should be based on a hands-on physical exam by your surgeon.

Dr Jacobs
Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: gray on June 02, 2013, 09:42:45 PM
Thanks doctor. I'm a little concerned that at age 45 the old skin might not snap back. At least I know that if it doesn't, there is something to correct that too.
Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: DrPensler on June 03, 2013, 04:57:51 PM
Skin elasticity is a tough one.There is not much you can do to increase the elasticity.One thing you can do in the postoperative period is increase the volume of the pectoral muscles to take up the slack so to speak from the glandular and fatty tissue removal.
Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: gray on June 04, 2013, 08:24:02 PM
Am I correct in assuming that having some skin removed is where the greatest possibility of more severe scarring would occur?
Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: Dr. Elliot Jacobs on June 04, 2013, 09:31:23 PM
Removing excess or lax skin will require longer incisions -- much larger in fact than the "minimal" incision technique that most experienced gyne surgeons utilize.

However, therein lies the skill of a plastic surgeon to try to minimize the length of the scars and also try to best manage how they will heal.  Yes, the scars are permanent, but given time, the scars fade significantly and are an acceptable trade-off for a trimmer chest.  And BTW, one of the "benefits" of being older (like 45, for example) is that scars generally tend to mature faster and with less redness than those on a younger person.

Dr Jacobs
Title: Re: Skin elasticity
Post by: gray on June 05, 2013, 08:51:32 PM
Thanks to both of you. The support you guys provide on this site is so appreciated and beneficial.