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Evaluation of excess skin in Swedish adults 18-59 years of age

Journal article
Authors Jonas Ockell
Anna Elander
Trude Staalesen
Monika Fagevik Olsén
Published in Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Volume 51
Issue 2
Pages 99-104
ISSN 2000-656X
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Section for Surgery and Gastrosurgical Research and Education, Department of Plastic Surgery
Pages 99-104
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/2000656x.2016.11...
Keywords Bariatric surgery, body contouring surgery, excess skin, massive weight loss, Sahlgrenska excess skin questionnaire, SESQ, body-contouring surgery, quality-of-life, laparoscopic gastric bypass, randomized clinical-trial, bariatric surgery, weight-loss, duodenal, switch, experience, obesity, image, Orthopedics, Surgery
Subject categories Plastic surgery


Background: Little is known about excess skin in the normal population. The aim of this study was, therefore, to analyse the prevalence, impairments, and discomfort of excess skin in a cross-section of the Swedish population. Methods: From the population registry of the Swedish Tax Agency, 1408 subjects living in Vastra Gotaland County from 18-59 years of age were randomly selected with an equal distribution of the sexes. Additionally, age was equally distributed, although twice as many subjects under 40 years of age were sent the questionnaire due to an expected low response rate for younger people. All subjects were asked to fill out the Sahlgrenska Excess Skin Questionnaire (SESQ), which included questions concerning the amount of and discomfort due to excess skin. Results: No excess skin was reported by 78% of responders, including 71% of women and 87% of men. The responders who reported any excess skin were significantly older, had a higher body mass index (BMI) and reported larger differences between their maximum and current BMI. The most common reported site of excess skin was the abdomen in both women and men (26% and 8%, respectively), and this was reported to cause the most discomfort (median 4 and 2, respectively, on a scale from 0-10). Women graded psychosocial symptoms significantly higher than men, but there were no significant differences in other symptoms. Conclusions: The results indicate that Swedish adults, regardless of sex, do not suffer from excess skin and may be considered as reference values.

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