Dr. Joseph M. Perlman Advanced Plastic Surgery Centre

Body contouring surgery following bariatric surgery may help patients to sustain a long-term improvement in perceived quality of life, a recent study has found.

Researchers at Utrecht University and St. Antonius Hospital in the Netherlands found that patient perception of quality of life after bariatric surgery was significantly better in six of seven domains than it was before surgery.

The investigators measured quality of life in 33 post-bariatric surgery patients at four and seven years after body contouring surgery — a mean of 11 years after bariatric surgery — and retrospectively before body contouring. It is the first study analyzing long-term perceptions of quality of life in a relatively large population of post-bariatric surgery patients, the authors wrote.

The researchers observed a small deterioration in quality of life between the four and seven-year follow-up. The decline could be due to patients acclimating to the appearance of their improved skin resection, the reality of corrective surgery being less than what they expected, and weight regains, according to the study authors.

Reconstructive surgery is a valuable component in a multidisciplinary approach to treating morbid obesity; however, surgeons should be sure to offer realistic and extensive preoperative information about both the possibilities and limits to body contouring surgery to better manage patients’ expectations, the authors concluded.

Dr. Joseph Perlman, a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Spring, Texas has treated many patients with skin redundancy after massive weight loss. “Although many patients have undergone surgical procedures, i.e. gastric banding, gastric sleeve, or gastric bypass, my best results are in patients who have lost weight with diet and exercise. In patients post-gastric bypass surgery, it’s very important to make sure that they are healthy from a nutritional standpoint. Some of these patients are anemic or have lost the ability to absorb certain nutrients, because of the bypass. It’s essential to have recent lab work on these patients and to speak with their treating physician.”

Dr. Perlman performs lower body lifts which is a combination of a tummy tuck with buttocks and lateral thigh lifts as well as medial thigh lifts, breast augmentation/lifts, and reduction in skin laxity in the upper arm (Brachioplasty).

The study was published in the November 2012 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery