Most recent update: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 17:23

Bariatric News - Cookies & privacy policy

You are here

Body contouring

Large weight loss presents contouring surgery risk

Post-bariatric patients had the highest rate of complications

Patients who lost more than 100lbs and those who lost weight through bariatric surgery had the highest risk of complications from later surgical procedures to reshape their bodies, a study from UT Southwestern Medical Center has reported.

“This is one of the first large-scale studies comparing outcomes in patients losing significant amounts of weight via surgical and nonsurgical means,” said Dr Jeffrey Kenkel, Professor and Acting Chairman of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern, and senior author of the study. “Major weight loss was a significant risk factor for wound complications in body contouring surgery.”

Dr Jeffrey Kenkel

The study, published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, compared surgical complication outcomes for 450 patients who underwent body contouring to remove excess sagging fat and skin to improve body shape.

Of the 450 study participants, 124 lost 50lbs or more before their surgery. Patients included men and women in all age groups who completed body contouring procedures including body lifts, tummy tucks, thighplasty, arm lifts, breast lifts, breast reduction, and liposuction.

The researchers conducted statistical analyses to identify risk factors and to determine the probability of patients experiencing healing issues or complications after their surgery.

Patients with weight loss of more than 100lbs were found to be at higher risk for complications, regardless of weight loss method. Furthermore, post-bariatric patients had the highest rate of complications; gastric bypass patients were at greater risk than patients who lost weight through diet and exercise, whereas patients who underwent gastric sleeve or the Lap-Band procedures had the lowest risk of complications among surgical weightloss patients.

“In addition to identifying massive weight loss patients as a vulnerable population, these types of studies are important to help surgeons improve patient care. The data that we have collected is valuable in managing known risks and designing pre- and post-surgical treatment,” said Kenkel.

With these considerations in mind, the researchers then investigated the physiological factors that make massive weight loss patients susceptible to complications, such as infection, delayed healing, ruptures, and reddening of the skin.

“It is imperative that patients account for their dietary deficiencies and prepare their bodies for surgery,” said Kenkel. “Nutrition plays an important role in skin healing, collagen production, and the generation of new blood vessels, all of which are important during recovery. Surgeons should monitor these patients carefully and make sure their vitamin and protein supplements are complete. Daily protein supplements are vital for achieving complication rates that are in line with non-bariatric candidates. We can also enhance recovery by tailoring pre-operative care to the patient’s weight loss amount and method. As our understanding of these risks advances, we are able to provide the growing number of body contouring patients the best possible circumstances for a safe recovery.”

Want more stories like this? Subscribe to Bariatric News!

Bariatric News
Keep up to date! Get the latest news in your inbox.