Fitness

Woman, 27, who lost a staggering 303lb has surgery to remove 7lbs of excess skin

Lexi Reed was left with folds of excess skin on her abdomen, arms, legs and buttocks after losing a staggering 303lb (137.4kg) from her 490lbs (222.2kg) frame. She was forced to have surgery to remove the skin after it was pulling her posture into an agonising position 
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A woman has had surgery to remove 7lbs (3.2kg) of excess skin after she lost a staggering 303lbs (137.4kg).

Lexi Reed, 27, from Terre Haute, Indiana, who used to weigh 490lbs (222.2kg), was left with severe folds of loose skin after she shed more than half her body weight.

Mrs Reed would be left in tears after battling agonising pain in her jaw, back and neck, which doctors put down to sinus pain related to a root canal.

It was not until her husband Danny, 30, lifted up the excess skin on Mrs Reed’s front last September that she finally felt relief.

A doctor later revealed the weight of Mrs Reed’s excess skin was pulling her body out of its natural posture. 

Mrs Reed is now finally enjoying having a flat stomach after undergoing nine-hour surgery to remove the excess skin from her abdomen, thighs and buttocks.

Lexi Reed was left with folds of excess skin on her abdomen, arms, legs and buttocks after losing a staggering 303lb (137.4kg) from her 490lbs (222.2kg) frame. She was forced to have surgery to remove the skin after it was pulling her posture into an agonising position 

Pictured at her heaviest with her husband Danny, Mrs Reed had a BMI of 78.3. Danny weighed 280lb (127kg) at the time, with the pair eating 8,000 calories a day between them. They embarked on a weight loss journey in the hope it would boost their chance of having a baby

Pictured at her heaviest with her husband Danny, Mrs Reed had a BMI of 78.3. Danny weighed 280lb (127kg) at the time, with the pair eating 8,000 calories a day between them. They embarked on a weight loss journey in the hope it would boost their chance of having a baby

Speaking of her discomfort, Mrs Reed said: ‘I suffered months of pain, taking four or five antibiotics and was told it may even be a sinus infection.

‘But I knew my body and the way I felt wasn’t normal, the bizarre symptoms weren’t adding up.

‘A few times I wondered if I would wake up the next day as no one knew what was wrong with me.

‘It wasn’t until standing in front of the mirror that we figured it out, some days I would stand there crying to Danny not knowing what was wrong with me.

‘Danny asked if the skin may be causing the problem because of how heavy it was on my new body.’

Mrs Reed’s husband lifted up the excess skin on her front, which instantly relieved the strain on her neck.   

‘It was then that we came to the realisation that it was my skin that was causing me pain,’ she said.

The couple reached out to consultant Dr Joseph Michaels, who confirmed her excess skin was likely to blame and recommended surgery to remove it.

Although still recovering, Mrs Reed believes the ordeal of surgery, which cost $17,000 (£13,060), will be worth it.

‘While I’m still in pain from the surgery right now I don’t have my stomach holding me back and the pain being gone from my neck will be a new life and make it worth it,’ she said.

Pictured after losing 392lb (177.8kg) between them, Mrs Reed is now a lean 182lb (82.5kg) and Danny 185lb (83.9kg). The pair even kept motivated with chants of 'baby Reed' while they worked out. To celebrate their weight loss, they ticked off a travelling bucket list 

Pictured after losing 392lb (177.8kg) between them, Mrs Reed is now a lean 182lb (82.5kg) and Danny 185lb (83.9kg). The pair even kept motivated with chants of ‘baby Reed’ while they worked out. To celebrate their weight loss, they ticked off a travelling bucket list 

Mrs Reed  claims she was not fazed by the appearance of her excess skin but the weight of carrying it left her with agonising pain in her jaw, back and neck. She did not realise the skin was to blame until her husband lifted it up and her discomfort vanished immediately

Mrs Reed claims she was not fazed by the appearance of her excess skin but the weight of carrying it left her with agonising pain in her jaw, back and neck. She did not realise the skin was to blame until her husband lifted it up and her discomfort vanished immediately

Doctors previously dismissed Mrs Reed's pain as a sinus infection linked to a root canal but a cosmetic surgeon recommended she go under the knife. She is pictured after surgery, which removed skin that was 3ft wide and 1ft high from her abdomen, thighs and buttocks

Doctors previously dismissed Mrs Reed’s pain as a sinus infection linked to a root canal but a cosmetic surgeon recommended she go under the knife. She is pictured after surgery, which removed skin that was 3ft wide and 1ft high from her abdomen, thighs and buttocks

Despite having the surgery to remove her loose skin, Mrs Reed insists vanity played no part in her decision and she was actually proud of her ‘battle wounds’.

‘I knew going into this I would have loose skin,’ she said.

‘I saw my skin as a battle wound, I knew my body didn’t deserve to carry around the weight of all the excess skin.

‘I would have preferred to have ten times extra skin than be 485lb and on my death bed, there’s so much more I can do now.

‘I could fit in a airplane seat, go for walks and so many things, my skin never held me back before.

‘People shouldn’t be afraid of having loose skin, but instead worry about not living their best life.’

But looking at her abs was a moving moment for Mrs Reed, who still has some loose skin on her legs and arms.

‘Seeing my stomach was emotional, I have never had a flat tummy in my entire life,’ she said.

‘I always had rolls, stretch marks and never had a perfect body, so while this decision wasn’t for vanity reasons it’s amazing to see the hard work over the past three years.’

Pictured wearing one of her dresses from when she was obese, Mrs Reed says there is so much more she can do now from kayaking, hiking and even just fitting in aeroplane seats. She always knew she would have excess skin but says it is 'ten times better than being on my death bed'

Pictured wearing one of her dresses from when she was obese, Mrs Reed says there is so much more she can do now from kayaking, hiking and even just fitting in aeroplane seats. She always knew she would have excess skin but says it is ‘ten times better than being on my death bed’

The married couple motivated each other in the gym and are now more in love than ever

The married couple motivated each other in the gym and are now more in love than ever

Mrs Reed started her weight loss journey three years ago, along with Danny who weighed 280lb (127kg) at the time.

The pair hoped losing weight would boost their chances of starting a family and even used chants of ‘baby Reed’ to motivate themselves. 

At their heaviest, they got through 8,000 calories a day between them.

Mrs Reed was always the heavier of the two and even had a BMI of 78.3 – the healthy range is between 18.5 and 24.9.

After losing 392lb (177.8kg) between them, Mrs Reed is now a lean 182lb (82.5kg) and her husband 185lb (83.9kg).

To celebrate their weight loss, the couple embarked on a bucket list of challenges including visiting theme parks, travelling, kayaking and hiking. 

Cosmetic surgeon Dr Joseph Michaels (pictured left with Mrs Reed and Danny) performed the operation to remove her skin, saying it was a 'privilege' to be involved and that he hopes this will be the start of a 'new chapter in her life' by relieving the 'pull on her skeleton'

Cosmetic surgeon Dr Joseph Michaels (pictured left with Mrs Reed and Danny) performed the operation to remove her skin, saying it was a ‘privilege’ to be involved and that he hopes this will be the start of a ‘new chapter in her life’ by relieving the ‘pull on her skeleton’

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR BODY MASS INDEX – AND WHAT IT MEANS

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height. 

Standard Formula:

  • BMI = (weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches)) x 703

Metric Formula:

  • BMI = (weight in kilograms / (height in meters x height in meters))

Measurements:

  • Under 18.5: Underweight
  • 18.5 – 24.9: Healthy
  • 25 – 29.9: Overweight
  • 30 or greater: Obese 

Dr Joseph Michaels, who operated on Mrs Reed, said it was a ‘privilege’ to be part of her surgery and he hopes this will start a ‘new chapter in her life.’ 

‘Excess skin can constantly pull on her skeleton and can cause pain in the back, neck and other areas,’ he said. 

‘It’s not just the sheer strain but the way it pulls the body and the problems that can cause.

‘The skin can be an issue in terms of their hygiene and daily activities, fortunately Lexi is very mobile, but was being caused chronic pain.

‘The surgery will not only help her contour but aids to relieve her body of a lot of excess skin.’

The skin Dr Michaels’ removed was more than 3ft wide and 1.5ft high.

He also took some excess fat out of her abdomen and legs via liposuction, which he transferred to her buttocks. 

‘We don’t want patients to look like a pancake on their buttock, we want good shape and good curves,’ the board-certified plastic surgeon said.

‘I’m very pleased with how the surgery came out and happy that she is reporting improvements with her muscular skeletal pain. 

‘It’s really important for patients to know you can’t exercise your skin and for a lot of patients the skin is not only a physical burden but a psychological one too.

‘It can really prevent patients from realising the true extent of their weight loss accomplishments but once the skin is removed the physical and emotional improvement is very dramatic.

‘It’s a privilege for me to help patients on this last part of their journeys.’ 


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