Bariatric surgery can be a lifesaving procedure for severely obese people. But even when done for health reasons, the incidence of regaining weight remains high — unless the patient also undergoes cosmetic surgery, a new study has found.
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The Henry Ford Health System in Detroit followed 94 patients who had undergone bariatric surgery, which includes various procedures that restrict how much food the stomach can hold, at its facilities between 2003 and 2013.
Of those patients, 47 opted to also undergo body recontouring, which removes excess skin and tissue from the face, breasts, stomach, upper arms, thighs or buttocks, following their surgery.
These patients were able to maintain “significantly greater” weight loss, with an average decrease in Body Mass Index of 18.24 over two-and-a-half years, compared to 12.45 for those who did not have further surgery, lead author Dr. Donna Tepper said in a statement.
“We are encouraged by the idea that improved body image can translate into better long-term maintenance of a healthier weight,” she said.