Obesity, weight loss and hair loss - The Alan Titchmarsh Show

25 October 2013

By Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

My slot on the Alan Titchmarsh Show continued on the 25th September where I was once again joined by Dr Anita Sturnham and dietician Lucy Jones. During the show we spoke about everything from obesity to acid reflux and hair loss.

Obesity

The first topic we explored was the ever growing problem of obesity in the population. Today, two thirds of adults are obese or overweight and one in three children are also considered overweight. A very worrying statistic! People who are overweight have an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, strokes and other serious medical conditions.

For some people their weight can be due to a genetic disorder, but for most it’s simply a case of eating too much and doing very little exercise. Treatment for obesity is quite simple really, eat less and do more exercise. However plastic surgery can be option; liposuction can be a useful form of plastic surgery for the right person. The procedure removes the excess fat around the tummy, but it’s important to remember that liposuction is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. I will only recommend liposuction to a patient that meets the criteria. If a patient is too overweight I will require them to lose a certain amount of weight naturally before any cosmetic surgery is undertaken. After liposuction some patients may require an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) to remove the excess skin left behind.

Weight loss

Like obesity, weight loss is a growing problem in UK. While anorexia doesn't get the same attention in the mainstream press as obesity does it’s just a serious. Significant weight loss can be down to a number of factors but dramatic weight loss can occur due to an underlying health condition. Diabetes is a disease that can cause dramatic weight loss and with around 850,000 people in the UK living with it without a diagnosis, if you notice dramatic weight loss speak with your GP immediately.

Some people who lose a lot of weight can be left with saggy skin, this can be most prominent on the arm, around the tummy, breasts or the neck. Only surgical intervention can cure saggy excess skin and we talked about necklifts on the show. A necklift is designed to remove excess skin around the neck and tighten up the skin. A small incision is made around the ear near the hair line and then the skin is mobilised across to help reshape the neck. A necklift procedure will last around 1-2 hours under general anaesthesia and will usually require a 1-2 day stay in hospital so that you can be monitored and heal effectively.

Hair loss and transplants

We finished the show speaking about hair transplants – why people suffer hair loss and how to treat hair loss. Hair loss in males is typically down to genes and doesn't have any serious effects other than lowering self-confidence in some men. In women, hair loss can be down to too much stress or anxiety in their lives. Maybe too much stress at work or the stress of raising a family, there are a number of possibilities. Most can be cured by just reducing stress, but if you feel that the problem is more serious you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist who will be able to determine the real reason for your hair loss.

Should the dermatologist feel plastic surgery is the only option, they’ll refer you to a plastic surgeon for a hair transplant treatment. These are fairly simple and usually see healthy skin and hair cells taken from the back of a head and implemented in the areas suffering from hair loss. Most skin grafts cost around £5 but please be aware you could need anything up to 1000 grafts to fully cure your hair loss.

If you’re thinking about any of the plastic surgery procedures mentioned here or on any previous Alan Titchmarsh episode please get in touch. I’ll always provide you with advice that has your health at the forefront of any decision.

View the full weight loss solution episode on YouTube.

Question?

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