TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Cheryl Iturbide is a mom of three who lost more than 100 pounds. After her massive weight loss, she opted for body contouring surgery. The East Texan is part of the rising number of middle-age Americans turning to plastic surgery.
Iturbide says that she can wear a bikini for the first time in 20 years thanks to her body contouring surgery. She says her weight had spiraled out of control.
"I had three kids and I've just you know got big and bigger and bigger and was just miserable," said Iturbide. "I had always exercised and tried to eat right. I knew how but I guess I just couldn't control myself."
Approaching 40, she decided it was time for a change. At 250 pounds, she opted for a lap band procedure.
"It sounds crazy, but you just wake up one day and you're like, 'This is it. I've had it. I'm not doing this anymore. There's got to be a way to help me,'" Iturbide shared.
The surgery led to a weight loss of more than 100 pounds, and loose, saggy skin around her stomach.
"Once the skin has stretched out from being over weight and being pregnant, there is no exercise you can do to get rid of the loose skin there," explained Iturbide.
"So it seems like the inside of a person will shrink but the skin stays there," said Dr. James Motlagh, with Tyler Plastic Surgery. "The purpose is to get rid of that skin - to put you back to where you were before you had the massive weight gain."
Dr. Motlagh performed Iturbide's body contouring surgery. It is an pretty invasive procedure that removes excess fat, tissue and skin.
"It took them years to gain all that weight and within six hours we can put them back to where they used to be," explained Motlagh. "But that requires radical surgery. That requires a lot of skin removal."
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, body contouring commonly known as a tummy tuck can be pricey, costing around $5,000. But, Dr. Motlagh says it is worth the cost.
"You get what you pay for," said Motlagh. "It does something that no amount of exercise will do. Exercise will never tighten up skin, never."
For patients like Iturbide, the surgery did more than reduce her waistline.
"I just feel good, when I walk past people, when I go to the store, I feel good and it is a confidence booster to myself," she said.
Dr. Motlagh says the recovery time can be lengthy. Iturbide said she was back to work full-time three weeks after her surgery.
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