Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss Boosts Long-Term Quality Of Life

Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss Boosts Long-Term Quality Of Life

Body contouring after bariatric surgery improves quality of life up to 7 years out, according to a new study in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Researchers led byEva S.J. van der Beek, MD, of University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, evaluated quality-of-life assessments in 33 patients who underwent body contouring after bariatric surgery. Procedures included abdominoplasty and breast surgery. Patients repeatedly completed a standard questionnaire evaluating obesity’s impact on quality of life for an average of 7 years.

The results showed “mostly moderate to large, sustained improvement” in quality of life in the years after body contouring. Scores improved in six out of seven quality-of-life domains, including:

  • Physical functioning and appearance
  • Mental well-being
  • Social acceptance
  • Intimacy
  • Social network

In general, quality-of-life scores were lower for patients who regained weight after their body-contouring surgery, the study showed.

Overall, 55% of patients were very satisfied with their results. All but one patient said they would undergo body contouring again, and considered it “an inevitable step to improve daily quality of life.” About one-fourth of patients had further body-contouring surgery, and another 30% said they would do so if their insurance covered it.

There is an ongoing debate if body-contouring surgery is an optional or essential step after massive weight loss in the treatment of morbid obesity, study authors write. The new study “suggests the importance of including reconstructive surgery as a component in the multidisciplinary approach in the surgical treatment of morbid obesity.”

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