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Body Contouring Shown to Benefit Bariatric Patients

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Tummy tuck, other procedures improve health for people who have lost a large amount of weight

A new study has found that people who lost weight after bariatric surgery, such as a gastric bypass, showed mental and physical health benefits after having body contouring to remove excess skin folds. In addition to reducing obesity-related health risks, bariatric surgery has been shown to lead to improvements in quality of life and psychological status. Body contouring surgery can effectively address the excess, sagging skin folds that develop after bariatric surgery in most patients.

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

More than 90% of bariatric patients develop excess skin folds

The study included 58 patients, with an average age 46 years, who underwent bariatric surgery for severe obesity. An average of about 2 years after bariatric surgery, the patients had lost about 40% of their previous body weight. More than 90% developed excess skin folds.

Patients who underwent body contouring surgery showed some significant mental health benefits, including lower scores for anxiety and depression. These patients also had more favorable scores for physical health on a quality of life questionnaire. Despite the reductions in anxiety and depression, scores for mental health aspects of quality of life were not significantly different for the body contouring patients.

Studies show health benefits, improved weight control with body contouring

The study by psychiatrist Dr. Raed Hawa and colleagues of the University of Toronto recently appeared in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Their findings add to recent evidence that Body Contouring surgery has demonstrable mental and physical health benefits.

Recent studies in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery have reported that body contouring leads to lasting improvements in quality of life and improves long-term weight control in patients with excess skin folds after bariatric surgery.

Majority of bariatric patients would like to have body contouring

The new study shows that although most patients want to have body contouring after bariatric surgery, most don’t do so because of perceived high costs. Only 10 patients who participated in the study underwent body contouring surgery to remove excess skin folds, a rate of 17%. Of the patients who did not have body contouring, 95% said they would like to.

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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