New data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) revealed that US weight loss surgeries have spurred the number other procedures such as tummy tucks, breast lifts and upper arm lifts over the last four years.
In 2013, 179,000 Americans underwent weight loss surgery, averaging nearly 500 procedures every day. Reports from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reveal that it's the most since 2009 and the third highest number on record. From then on, there has also been an across the board increase of plastic surgeries related to weight loss.
ASPS President Scot Glasberg, MD thinks that there is a correlation between the two types of procedures and this trend is expected to continue. According to him, post-massive weight loss patients are the number one growth area that he has seen in his practice, and he is also sure that's the case in many doctor's offices across the country.
"You can't attribute that to anything other than the fact that there are more massive weight loss patients out there looking to take care of the problems that they now have after their weight loss surgery. On the one hand they are thrilled to have lost so much weight, but they are trading one dilemma for another."
"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. 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."
Those who experience massive weight loss are often left with excessive amounts of sagging skin, particularly in the thighs, under the arms, around the abdomen and in the breasts. The excess skin can not only be unsightly and uncomfortable, in many cases it can be painful. with these, previously obese patients opt to have a plastic surgery to remove inelastic excess skin and tissue after substantial weight loss and to reshape or recontour their bodies.
In 2014, nearly 45,000 patients who experienced massive weight loss also opted to undergo plastic surgery to reshape their bodies. While those numbers represent the biggest single-year increase in nearly a half decade, it's still only a fraction of patients who may benefit from it.
Henry Ford Hospital researchers report that aesthetic procedures following bariatric surgeries may contribute to improving their long-term results. The researchers recorded patients' Body Mass Index both before the bariatric surgery and 2.5 years after the procedure. Out of the patients who had a contouring surgery, the average decrease in BMI was 18.24 at 2.5 years. This is in comparison to statistically significant decrease in BMI of only 12.45 at 2.5 years for those who did not have further surgery.
Dr. Jason Lichten, MD, of Lancaster, Ohio says that "If plastic surgeons can get involved with patients earlier, we can not only give them a more realistic idea of what to expect from a physical standpoint, but we can help them devise a plan for any follow up procedures after their weight loss.