body contouring after weight lossAfter losing weight following bariatric surgery, a majority of patients — 75% of females and 68% of males — reported a desire for body contouring surgery, according to a new study.

Body contouring procedures after weight loss are often a last and necessary step in a patient’s weight loss surgery journey.

Medically-assisted weight loss often results in loose and hanging skin on the upper arms, breasts, abdomen and thighs. Because of this, one or more body contouring procedures — such as a tummy tuck, breast lift, body lift, arm lift or liposuction — may be desired.

The Austrian study, published in Obesity Surgery journal, examined patients’ expectations of body contouring after massive weight loss. A questionnaire on body image, quality of life and expectations of body contouring surgery was answered by 252 patients who had gastric bypass surgery between 2003 and 2009.

While 90% of women and 88% of men surveyed said their appearance after weight loss was “satisfactory, good, or very good,” 96% reported having surplus skin that caused itching. Some also said they had problems playing sports and finding clothing that fit well.

A majority of men and women surveyed expressed a desire for body contouring, and the top three expectations of the surgery were:

  • Improved appearance
  • Improved self–confidence
  • Improved quality of life

Both men and women ranked the abdominal area as most in need of contouring, followed by the breasts, thighs, upper arms and buttocks.

The researchers concluded that the success of using weight loss surgery to treat obese patients can’t be judged on weight loss alone. “Patients’ expectations for body contouring surgery are very precise and high,” so it is important that patients are given realistic expectations from their cosmetic surgeon before surgery, according to the authors.

For more information, view the full text of the study.