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Contouring helps to prevent post-op weight regain

These findings suggest that aesthetic procedures following bariatric surgeries may contribute to improving their long-term results

Bariatric patients who have plastic surgery to reshape their bodies after surgery are able to maintain "significantly greater" weight loss than those who do not have surgery, according to a study by Henry Ford Hospital researchers presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Chicago.

"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," said Dr Donna Tepper, a Henry Ford plastic surgeon and senior author of the study. "Bariatric surgery has a measurably significant positive impact on patient illness and death. However, even with the technical and safety advancements we've seen in these procedures, their long-term success may still be limited by recidivism. There is a high incidence of patients who regain weight after the surgery."

The study followed 94 patients who underwent bariatric surgery at Henry Ford from 2003 through 2013. Of those, 47 subsequently had body recontouring procedures.

Some previously obese patients opt for plastic surgery, such as face or breast lift, tummy tuck or lifts remove inelastic excess skin and tissue after substantial weight loss and to reshape or recontour their bodies.

The Henry Ford researchers recorded each patient's BMI both before their bariatric surgery and 2.5 years after the procedure.

"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," she added.

While these findings suggest that aesthetic procedures following bariatric surgeries may contribute to improving their long-term results, Tepper said that future studies will look at changes in BMI after five years, as well as how different types of contouring procedures may maintain weight loss.

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