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Massive Weight Loss Surgery Fuels Demand For Plastic Surgery

Posted in Body Procedures

The number of bariatric, or weight loss, surgeries performed in the United States has been increasing over the past several years.  As people lose weight from these surgeries, they are often left with excessive amounts of sagging skin, especially in the lower abdomen and around the waistline, the thighs, under the arms, and in the breasts.  This excess skin can not only be unsightly but in many cases can be painful.  The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has reported that the rising demand for bariatric surgery is having a ripple effect on plastic surgery.

New data recently released indicates that in 2014, procedures specifically designed to address the excess skin seen with massive weight loss showed their fastest growth rate in four years.  These procedures include tummy tucks, total body lifts, thigh lifts, upper arm lifts, and breast lifts.  Plastic surgeons use body sculpting procedures and methods to remove the excess and sagging skin, creating a more contoured, defined look to the body.

There is a correlation between bariatric surgery and body contouring procedures, and that trend is expected to continue.  Many plastic surgeons have seen that post-massive weight loss patients are the number one area of growth in their practices.  In 2013, 179,000 Americans underwent weight loss surgery, averaging nearly 500 procedures every day.  The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reports that this figure is the highest since 2009.  Both thigh lifts and upper arm lifts rose none percent in 2014, the biggest increase in five years.  Tummy tucks rose four percent and breast lift surgery increased by ten percent, also the largest single-year gain since 2009.

In 2014, nearly 45,000 patients who experienced massive weight loss also chose to undergo plastic surgery to reshape their bodies. These numbers represent the biggest single-year increase in nearly half a decade, although it still only represents a fraction of patients who may benefit from body contouring procedures.  Many times, patients undergoing bariatric surgery are not even aware that plastic surgery is an option for them after they lose weight.  Many are surprised at the amount of excess skin they have after they have lost weight.  It may be beneficial for plastic surgeons to meet with patients prior to their weight loss surgery, so that patients can not only have some expectation of what their bodies will look like after weight loss, but also to develop a game plan for any body contouring procedures after their weight loss.

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