Dear Dr. Gott: Over the past 18 months, my 28-year-old granddaughter has been on your no-flour, no-sugar diet. She has lost 170 pounds and uses a treadmill for one hour every day. Her only problem now is getting rid of the extra skin on her arms and belly. Do you know what sort of exercises she can do that will make this skin shrink?
Dear Reader: First, I would like to congratulate your granddaughter on her astonishing weight loss.
Skin is very stretchy and often reshapes as weight is lost. This, however, doesn’t always happen. The longer the skin remains stretched out, the less likely it is that it will return to normal. Your granddaughter has discovered this the hard way.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to tighten the skin other than surgical removal of the excess. This can be expensive and is a major operation.
If not done correctly, too much can be removed. This can cause the wounds to break open, become infected and lead to massive scarring.
If your granddaughter is truly bothered by the skin or if it is causing problems, she should consult a plastic surgeon to discuss her case thoroughly. She needs to find someone she trusts. The doctor needs to explain how the procedure is done, the potential risks involved and whether your granddaughter is a good candidate for the surgery.
This is decision is not to be taken lightly and must be completely thought out beforehand.
Dear Dr. Gott: I am responding with our personal experience that ties in with the enclosed article you wrote.
My husband was diagnosed with a 50 percent heart blockage. Since he was not looking forward to surgery, he tried chelation. We interviewed the doctor in our town, who also had a chelation center. We were assured it would handle the blockage.
After 30 treatments, I begged my husband to have another echocardiogram to compare to the previous one that indicated the blockage. Thank goodness he agreed, because the blockage had worsened to 70 percent!
My husband had successful aortic valve replacement and bypass surgery at the Ross Heart Hospital at Ohio State University. His recovery was wonderful. I am very thankful to the doctors there. I believe they not only saved his life but improved the quality of it, as well.
I wrote to the doctor who performed the chelation, stating my reasons for his false hope. He replied back with double talk about how chelation is so wonderful and will cure heart problems. I believe this doctor is interested in the dollar only.
I want to thank you for your wonderful columns. My husband and I enjoy them very much and have learned many things over the years. Keep up the good work!
Dear Reader: I have printed your article as more evidence that chelation is not a cure for heart disease. In fact, the only thing it is good for is treating heavy-metal poisoning. Chelation therapy should be used only for victims who have been poisoned and nothing more until there is sound medical and scientific proof that it can help other conditions, as well.
I am glad to hear that your husband is doing well after his surgery. Thank you for writing to share your story.