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Body Contouring Improves Long-Term Weight Control

Weight loss patient, feet and scalesPatients who undergo surgery to remove excess skin are less likely to regain weight after a gastric bypass, reports a new study

Many patients who have a gastric bypass regain much of their weight in the following years, putting them back at an increased risk of obesity-related health problems. According to a new study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), patients who follow their bariatric procedure with body contouring are more likely to keep the weight off.

Body contouring usually consists of an Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck, often with other procedures to remove excess fat and skin from the breasts, legs and upper arms.

Because of the improvement in long-term weight control, bariatric surgery is more likely to be considered as an effective means of reducing health risks related to obesity if followed by Body Contouring, according to the study by Dr. Ali Modarressi and colleagues of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Body contouring should be considered an essential part of bariatric (weight loss) surgery, the study said.

Long-term weight outcomes compared

The study compared long-term weight outcomes for two groups of patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery. In 98 patients, gastric bypass was followed by body contouring. A matched group of 102 patients with similar characteristics underwent a gastric bypass alone.

The patients lost an average of nearly 100 pounds within 2 years of their gastric bypass. Subsequently, patients who underwent body contouring regained an average of just over 1 pound per year, compared to 4 pounds per year for patients who had gastric bypass only.

Seven years after their gastric bypass, patients who underwent body contouring achieved an average weight of 176 pounds, while those with bariatric surgery alone weighed an average of 220 pounds. The average weight before gastric bypass was 275 pounds in both groups.

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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