Most of the 220,000 people who undergo bariatric (weight-loss) surgery each year are not aware of the cosmetic follow-up procedures they could have to remove excess skin, researchers revealed at last month’s annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Although 75 percent of bariatric patients aren’t familiar with body contouring, many might choose to have it if they were, the researchers said. Body contouring after major weight loss removes excess sagging fat and skin and also improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin, according to the ASPS.
“Bariatric surgery isn’t just a commitment to weight loss. It often requires body contouring surgeries to help the patient’s skin fit their new body,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Jason Spector, ASPS Member Surgeon. “Many massive weight-loss patients suffer large amounts of loose, sagging skin as a result of their rapid weight loss that, if not removed, can cause rashes, wounds, infection and limit comfortable mobility. It is apparent that insufficient counseling at the time of bariatric surgery is obscuring viable body contouring options for these patients.”
If you’re considering undergoing body contouring after significant weight loss, the ASPS emphasizes the importance of making sure your weight is stabilized. According to the ASPS, if you continue to lose weight, sagging pockets will redevelop. Additionally, if you regain the weight rapidly, you will stress the skin, which can cause scars and stretch marks. If your weight loss is a result of surgery, the ASPS recommends having your plastic surgeon work with your physician to determine an appropriate time to begin body contouring.
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