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Physician Touts Study That Shows Plastic Surgery Helps Keep Weight Off

A recent study shows bariatric surgery patients who later got body contouring surgery were more likely to maintain their weight. Dr. Yale S. Popowich, a plastic surgeon in Portland who has helped such patients transform, says the findings add up.

Portland, Oregon (October 2013) — Dr. Yale S. Popowich (www.yalepopowichmd.com), a plastic surgeon based in Portland, agrees with the findings of a recent study, which shows bariatric surgery patients who subsequently undergo body contouring surgery are more likely to maintain their weight loss long term than patients who didn't have a body contouring procedure.

Dr. Popowich, who performs body contouring procedures such as liposuction at his Portland practice, says his professional experiences mirror the results of the study.

"In many cases, bariatric surgery causes rapid, substantial weight loss," Dr. Popowich says. "As a result, some patients, particularly older patients or people with poor skin elasticity, are left with an abundance of loose, hanging skin. The presence of this extra skin can make it difficult for them to appreciate their final results. Body contouring surgery is often the last step of a lengthy transformative process."

The study, which was published in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, followed 200 patients who had all undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Ninety-eight of the studied patients had body contouring surgery, while the remaining 102 patients underwent gastric bypass alone. 7 years after surgery, the patients who had undergone both gastric bypass and body contouring surgeries presented a 3.6% mean weight gain, while the group that had undergone only gastric bypass surgery experienced a mean weight gain of 10.8%.

The findings emphasize the importance of body contouring for weight loss patients.

"When patients who have lost 50 or 100 pounds can't see their results because of leftover skin, they're less motivated to maintain their good habits and keep the weight off," Dr. Popowich says. "I believe that a customized body contouring procedure should be a mandatory component of bariatric surgery."

The doctor behind the study, Dr. Ali Modarressi of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, agrees. He claims that the results of the study provide more than enough evidence for making body contouring procedures eligible for insurance coverage. Dr. Popowich says his experience has been that cost can be a major inhibitor for patients in need of body contouring surgeries such as tummy tuck at his Portland practice.

"If patients are still left with excess skin after gastric bypass, then the weight loss surgery has only accomplished part of its goal," he says. "Anything that encourages a patient to maintain long-term weight loss is a major investment in that person's future health and well-being."

If you are interested in learning about body contouring options after weight-loss surgery, please request a consultation online or call our office at (503) 292-9200.

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