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Body Contouring Helps Patients Maintain Lower BMI, Says Study

February 28, 2015 | Uncategorized

Are you curious how bariatric patients maintain their weight loss for years after surgery? Eating the right foods and exercising regularly is crucial. However, Dr. Tali Freidman, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, has another interesting suggestion.

Last year, Dr. Freidman and her research team found that bariatric patients who have body contouring plastic surgery are more likely to maintain a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than patients that do not have plastic surgery.

Here, the Texas Laparoscopic Consultants team looks at Dr. Freidman’s findings in more detail.

What the Study Found

Dr. Freidman’s team looked at a group of patients that underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) between 1997 and 2007. The patients were between the ages of 18 and 50 years old. Some of the patients had body contouring to remove excess loose skin after weight loss surgery; others did not.

The research team looked at the BMI totals of both groups of patients. They found that the body contouring patients had lower long-term BMI totals, and lower increases in BMI overall, than the group that did not have body contouring.

“In a follow-up period of up to 15 years, the mean endpoint BMI of patients who underwent {body contouring plastic surgery} was 24.6 vs. 31 in those that did not,” said Dr. Freidman. “This considerable difference may suggest that a LAGB procedure, together with {body contouring}, presents a safer yet effective option for specific high risk patients looking for a long-term massive weight loss.”

Why Body Contouring May Affect BMI

With the right diet and exercise changes, individuals that undergo gastric banding (and other surgical weight loss treatments) can expect to lose a significant portion of their excess weight. In fact, 50 percent of our gastric banding patients lose a substantial amount of their excess weight, and 20 percent lose all of their excess weight.

However, one of the side effects of significant weight loss is that the skin can become loose and wrinkly-looking. Loose skin can prevent a patient from fully enjoying his or her new shape. It can also cause unpleasant irritation and infection.

Diet and exercise won’t have any effect on loose skin — the only solution is plastic surgery. Body contouring surgery will remove the loose skin, tighten the remaining skin around the body’s curves and improve the body’s overall shape. For many weight loss patients, body contouring is the final step of their transformation.

Body contouring can help bariatric patients see and feel the results of weight loss surgery on a daily basis, which in turn can serve as motivation to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. This may suggest why the LAGB patients that had body contouring had lower BMIs. For the other group, the excess loose skin may have obscured their weight loss results and made it harder to continue to eat right and exercise regularly.

The bottom line: Whether you need body contouring after bariatric surgery is up to you. It is a personal choice that you must make with the counsel of your medical team. Regardless of your choice, our team is happy to provide resources and support as you navigate life after weight loss surgery. We are committed to seeing you succeed and live a happier, healthier life.

Want More Information?

For more information about maintaining weight loss after bariatric surgery, please contact the TLC team.

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