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Massive Weight Loss Causes Turkey Waddle for WLS Patients


A friend of mine who recently lost nearly 150 pounds after gastric bypass was sharing her excitement with an acquaintance. She was excited because all symptoms of her Type II Diabetes were gone and she no longer takes any medication - she feels healthier than ever in her life.

Then the acquaintance, a life-long skinny-minny, burst her bubble, "But doesn't having that turkey neck bother you? You know, all that wrinkly skin just hanging there?"

What a cruel world. My friend was crushed. It is true, she has a turkey neck. Most people who lose massive weight will have a saggy wrinkly neck so kindly referred to in the cosmetic surgery profession as "turkey waddle". A saggy neck is a small price to pay for better health and wellness. Even so, we want to look our best after weight loss surgery and having someone draw attention to this residue of our obesity is disheartening.

There are some surgical options to tighten then neck skin: A neck lift is actually a set of procedures used to enhance the appearance of your neck:

Cervicoplasty is the procedure used to remove excess skin

Platysmaplasty removes or alters neck muscles

A plastic surgeon also can perform neck liposuction, which removes excess fat. In some cases, Botox injections may be the answer to your problems if you have fullness or "bands."

A neck lift was out of the question for my friend, so we did some research and found a more holistic approach that yielded some improvement. From Bharti Vyas' book, "Beauty Wisdom" we found the following advice:

Give your neck a weekly massage

Hold your head in proper alignment - imagine that your head is being pulled upwards by a piece of string attached to the crown

Cleanse your neck night and morning the same as you do your face, starting at the collarbones and working up to the jawline.

Apply a rich-moisturizing cream at night and moisturize with sunscreen during the day. Cover front and sides of neck and the area around the collarbones.

Exfoliate your neck weekly.

For crepey neck, apply almond oil as a nourishing moisturizer.

Ms. Vyas also recommends some simple exercise to tone neck muscles (and *Bonus* these are wonderfully relaxing):

Hold your head in a central position, then lean it as far over as you can towards one shoulder and hold for a count of 10. Your neck may feel rather stiff to begin with. Repeat on the other side, making sure that your shoulders remain still and relaxed throughout. Do five repetitions.

Keeping your chin level, turn your head to one side so that the chin is over your shoulder. Incline the head backward in a "come hither" movement. Repeat on the other side. Repeat the sequence five times.

My friend follows these practices faithfully. Her neck is not flawless, but to me it's beautiful. She has collarbones and a chin and a beaming smile on her healthy face.

Copyright 2005 Kaye Bailey - All Rights Reserved.

Kaye Bailey is a weight loss surgery success story having maintained her health and goal weight for 5+ years. An award winning journalist, she is the author and webmaster of http://www.livingafterwls.com and http://www.livingafterwls.blogspot.com

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