Instead of turning to plastic surgery as the final solution to losing weight, many people are going back to their plastic surgeons after losing major pounds.
According to new data released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the number of post–weight loss surgeries soared last year. Patients are turning to cosmetic procedures to take care of the excess skin associated with massive weight loss. “You can’t attribute that to anything other than the fact that there are more massive weight-loss patients out there looking to take care of the problems that they now have after their weight-loss surgery,” says ASPS president and New York plastic surgeon Scot Glasberg, MD. “On one hand, they are thrilled to have lost so much weight, but they are trading one dilemma for another.” Those dilemmas include uncomfortable (and sometimes painful) extra skin on the arms, stomach, breasts and thighs.
So how were plastic surgeons correcting these body issues? Upper arm lifts and thigh lifts went up by 9 percent (their biggest single-year increase in five years). Breast lifts also saw a big gain last year with a 10 percent increase, while tummy tucks surged by 4 percent.
The data also shows that this trend travels the same upward path of weight-loss surgeries, with 179,000 people in the United States undergoing these procedures in 2013, according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (the highest number since 2009). With an average of nearly 500 procedures every day that year, many medical professionals speculate that the number of people getting plastic surgery to continue their body transformation will continue to grow in the future (from the nearly 45,000 in 2014).
“Going forward, we’d like to be a part of the process from the outset, when patients are first starting to consider weight-loss surgery,” says Dr. Glasberg. “A lot of times patients think weight-loss surgery is the answer to their issues, when in reality it may only be one step in the process.”
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