Study: Body contouring after weight loss improves quality of life

Publish date: Dec 6, 2012   By:  Heather Onorati

Utrecht, Netherlands — 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 with Utrecht University and St. Antonius Hospital in the Netherlands found that patient perception of quality of life after bariatric surgery was significantly better on 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 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 regain, 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 managepatients’ expectations, the authors concluded.

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

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