New York: Patients who have plastic surgery to re-shape their bodies after bariatric procedures are able to maintain significantly greater weight loss than those who do not have surgery, a study indicated.
Bariatric surgery includes a variety of procedures performed on people who are obese.
"We are encouraged by the idea that improved body image can translate into better, long-term maintenance of a healthier weight and a better quality of life for our patients," said Donna Tepper, plastic surgeon at the Henry Ford Hospital in the US.
The study followed 94 patients who underwent bariatric surgery at Henry Ford from 2003 to 2013.
Of those, 47 subsequently had body re-contouring procedures.
Some previously obese patients opt for plastic surgery - such as face or breast lift, lifts of sagging upper arms, thighs or buttocks - to remove in-elastic excess skin and tissue after substantial weight loss to re-shape or re-contour their bodies.
The researchers recorded each patient's Body Mass Index (BMI) both before their bariatric surgery and 2.5 years after the procedure.
"Of the patients who underwent contouring surgery, the average decrease in BMI was 18.24 at 2.5 years compared to a statistically significant 12.45 at 2.5 years for those who did not have further surgery," Tepper explained.
There is a high incidence of patients who regain weight after bariatric surgery.
"While new findings suggest that aesthetic procedures following bariatric surgeries may contribute to improving their long-term results, future studies will look at changes in BMI after five years as well as how different types of contouring procedures may maintain weight loss," Tepper noted.
The results were presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Chicago Saturday.