Contouring procedures can help to keep weight off
Researchers find that body contouring after bariatric surgery can help obese patients with long term weight loss
A new study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital has concluded that patients who undergo plastic surgery to re-contour their bodies after bariatric procedures, tend to maintain “significantly greater” weight loss than people who do not have surgery after bariatric procedures.
Dr Donna Tepper is a senior author of the study and a Henry Ford plastic surgeon. She claims that there is a high incidence of patients who regain weight after bariatric surgery.
“Bariatric surgery has a measurably significant positive impact on patient illness and death,” Dr Tepper says. “However, even with the technical and safety advancements we’ve seen in these procedures, their long-term success may still be limited by recidivism.”
The study looked at 94 patients at Henry Ford Hospital who had undergone bariatric surgery from 2003 to 2013. Bariatric surgery covers several types of procedures to help obese people lose weight. These can include removing part of the stomach or using a gastric band to limit what the stomach can hold.
After significant weight loss, some previously obese patients choose to have plastic surgery to reshape their body, including lifts to breasts, face, stomach, upper arms and buttocks. Of the patients monitored in the study, 47 went on to have one or more of these body recotouring procedures.
Each patient’s Body Mass Index (BMI) was recorded by the Henry Ford researchers both before their bariatric surgery and 2.5 years after the procedure, to determine their degrees of obesity.
“Of the patients who underwent contouring surgery, the average decrease in BMI was 18.24 at 2.5 years, compared to a statistically significant 12.45 at 2.5 years for those who did not have further surgery,” Dr. Tepper explains.
“As plastic and reconstructive surgeons, we are encouraged by the idea that improved body image can translate into better long-term maintenance of a healthier weight, and possibly a better quality of life for our patients.”
The study suggests that reshaping procedures following bariatric surgeries may contribute to improving long-term weight loss results. However future studies will look specifically at the different types of contouring procedures and how they can maintain weight loss, as well as following changes in previously obese patients BMI after five years.