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We were constantly sending messages back and forth for a day period. Then he mentioned he was keen to book a hotel room so I thought I'd test the water.
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But before their meeting, Hannah sent him a saucy snap of her in underwear to show off her excess skin. Then the messages stopped.
I heard nothing back from him. I've realised I'm not going to find someone looking like I do. I just want to get my confidence back. Brave Hannah vowed not to let his rejection bring her down and is now crowdfunding for a skin removal operation.
The single mum explained: Not in terms of sex but have someone to do the little things with. I just want another chance at finding love and happiness. Hannah was a size 22, but after giving birth to daughter Alice in she suffered symphysis pubis dysfunction — a severe pelvic pain. I traded one insecurity being morbidly obese and fat for another having pounds of loose skin. Bobbit's skin, which had lost its elasticity from years of stretching, hung low over her waist and past her groin. It weighed down her arms with large flaps.
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It caused pain and frequent infections and put her at risk of necrosis of the skin, which occurs when cells die and rot while embedded in living tissue. Her self-image took a dive. Excess skin requires careful cleaning between the skin folds to prevent infection and painful rashes, though those can happen despite best practices.
It also necessitates strategic and often specialized clothing to mask its presence and can lead to the shame and distress of feeling uncomfortable in one's own body. But despite complications both medical and psychological, many insurance companies don't cover skin removal.
Last year, almost 45, Americans went under the knife to re-contour their bodies after massive weight loss, according to recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the number of such surgeries grew at their fastest rate in four years. But the statistics only represent roughly a quarter of the approximately , Americans who got bariatric surgery in and could conceivably have lost enough weight to warrant excess skin removal or contouring.
That's because insurance companies commonly regard excess skin and contouring surgery as elective cosmetic issues and thus not worthy of coverage, putting the surgery out of reach for thousands who may want or need it. John Morton, chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Stanford Health Care, calls skin removal "functional, not aesthetic. Even with health insurance approval, many patients find their coverage may only allow removal of the infected skin of a high risk area, like the belly. And before approval, a patient has to prove that he absolutely needs the operation by enduring and documenting several months of skin rashes, explained Jeffrey Gusenoff, an associate professor of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
In January , Bobbitt got all three procedures done on one day, removing some 12 pounds of excess skin. She sustained nerve damage from the surgeries, as well as an abdominal abscess that formed as the result of a complication.
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But despite the enormous costs and months of excruciating recovery, Bobbitt says she's one of the lucky ones. Until , weight loss surgery itself wasn't considered medically necessary. It was only after scientists proved that the operation also seemed to cure type 2 diabetes and hypertension that the tide began to turn. The marquee moment, according to the Obesity Action Coalition, was nine years ago, when bariatric surgery was approved for Medicare patients with a body mass index over 35 and at least one additional obesity-related health complication.