Weight Loss Surgeries Increase Plastic Surgery Procedures
Weight loss (bariatric) surgery is a booming business today, and doctors now say that’s leading to an increase in certain plastic surgery procedures. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released its annual report on what’s hot in cosmetic procedures. The report found that in 2014, procedures associated with massive weight loss, tummy tucks, thigh lifts, upper arm lifts and breast lifts, grew at their fastest rate in four years. Surgeons suggest that such growth is a direct result of the increase in weight loss surgeries.
“We think there is a correlation between the two types of procedures, and we expect that trend to continue,” ASPS President Scot Glasberg, M.D., a private-practice plastic surgeon based in New York City, said in a press release. “Post-massive weight loss patients are the number one growth area I have seen in my practice, and I’m sure that’s the case in many doctor’s offices across the country.
Nearly 179,000 obese Americans underwent weight loss surgery in 2013. However, once the goal of shedding the pounds has been accomplished, many were not totally satisfied with their now thinner bodies because large amounts of excess skin fails to shrink back to its previous size. That’s where plastic surgery or body contouring procedures come into play.
The number of lower body lifts, which tighten and sculpt the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen, increased by 7%, the most of all body contouring procedures. Tummy tucks and thigh lifts increased 5% since 2013, while upper arm lifts rose by 3%. About a quarter of all weight-loss surgery patients went on to have some type of cosmetic surgery, according to the report. The plastic surgeons’ group says many others might benefit from it.
These procedures were all up specifically after massive weight loss. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, there were almost 180,000 weight loss surgeries in the U.S. in 2013. It’s important for bariatric surgery patients to have initial consultations including discussions about how weight loss surgery “is not a one and done deal,” Glasberg said.
“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,” Glasberg said. “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.” Currently, insurance covers most bariatric surgeries but covers less than half of post-weight loss body contouring procedures, Glasberg said.
“Bariatric surgery has become much more common over the past decade,” said Dr. Justin B. Dimick, chief of minimally invasive surgery at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who was not involved in collecting the new data. “As these patients lose weight they may have excess ‘loose’ skin and need plastic surgery procedures to remove it a year or two later,” Dimick told Reuters Health by email. Roughly one in five people who have weight loss surgery will need body contouring as well, he said.
He recommends waiting until weight loss is complete before assessing whether a patient is a good candidate for skin removal procedures, and then only performing one at a time. “Each operation has unique risks, so these add up when you do multiple procedures at the same time,” Dimick said.
Patients pursuing weight loss surgery and body contouring should make sure they see a board certified plastic surgeon at an accredited facility, he said.
If you are seeking more information on facial and body reconstruction and plastic surgery you should make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr Aguiar. At Aguiar Plastic Surgery, we offer state-of-the art, safe, and effective cosmetic procedures, plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, and Med Spa services in Tampa, Florida. We can discuss your concerns and give you an honest consultation that is designed and tailored to create an appearance on the outside that will reflect how you feel on the inside.
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