Magazine article USA TODAY

Body Contouring after Massive Weight Loss. (Plastic Surgery)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Body Contouring after Massive Weight Loss. (Plastic Surgery)

Article excerpt

With the growing popularity of gastric bypass surgery to treat morbid obesity, body contouring after massive weight loss has become a focus of the plastic surgery community. An updated and innovative method that adjusts treatment according to body type is creating improved results and enhancing the shape of patients' bodies, according to a study by American Society of Plastic Surgeons member Dennis Hurwitz.

After massive weight loss in a short period of time, skin does not retain its shape, leaving the patient with excess, baggy skin, he explains. Moreover, patients lose different amounts of body fat before the weight loss plateaus, leaving them either thin, moderate, or still heavy. Although previous body-contouring techniques worked well on smaller patients who had gastric bypass surgery, larger individuals often had visible scars above and below the underwear region after surgery, as well as skin that did not conform well to the body.

Building on techniques from colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) and other specialists in body contouring, Hurwitz found that effectively mapping incisions before surgery and using a combination of new and current cutting and shaping techniques led to the most-successful surgeries for moderate to larger body shapes. "All the patients who participated in the study are extremely pleased with the end result. …

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