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Survey of Bariatric Patients Suggests Lack of Awareness About Body Contouring

Americans had more than 220,000 bariatric surgery procedures last year. According to a new study to be presented at ASPS this weekend, 75 percent of them aren’t aware of their options in cosmetic surgery.

body contouring after weight loss nycPlastic surgeons know that people who experience massive weight loss are typically left with a large amount of loose skin, which leads to problems. “Many massive weight loss patients suffer large amounts of loose, sagging skin as a result of their rapid weight loss that, if not removed, can cause rashes, wounds, infection, and limit comfortable mobility,” says Jason Spector M.D., lead study author.

Just 25 Percent Discussed Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Dr. Spector studied 284 patients who had bariatric sugery. He found that only 25 percent had discussed body contouring procedures before or after the operation. Only 14 percent were actually referred to a plastic surgeon for consultation about body contouring. If they had known about their options, almost 40 percent of the patients may have undergone a procedure, the study says.

This lack of awareness can be attributed to “insufficient counseling at the time of bariatric surgery” according to the authors.

Even when they are aware of plastic surgery options, insurance coverage frequently becomes an issue. Even though bariatric surgery such as the Lap Band can be covered by health insurance, post bariatric body contouring will not; it’s still considered elective and cosmetic – despite the fact that it helps to address rashes, infection and significant discomfort caused by loose folds of skin.

The study, titled, “Body Contouring Following Bariatric Surgery: How Much is Being Done,” is scheduled to be presented tomorrow in Denver at 2:45 p.m., during Plastic Surgery 11 THE Meeting.

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