Body Contouring Surgery Helps Bariatric Surgery Patients Keep Weight Off Interview with:
Donna Tepper, M.D.
Henry Ford Hospital

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Tepper: We looked at 94 patients who underwent bariatric surgery at Henry Ford from 2003 through 2013. Of those, 47 subsequently had body recontouring procedures, such as body lift, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), arm lift, thigh lift, face lift.  We recorded the patients’ body mass index prior to bariatric surgery, and then again at 6 months, 1, 2.5, 4, and 5 years.  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.  This is statistically significant.  This 3 point change in BMI is an 18-21 pound difference depending on patient height.  Furthermore, the BMI in the body contouring group continues to be lower at 4 and 5 years from bariatric surgery compared to the bariatric surgery alone group.

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Dr. Tepper: Body contouring surgery helps post bariatric surgery maintain a lower BMI beginning 2.5 years out from surgery and trends in that direction ofr 4-5 years.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Tepper: Bariatric surgery does not guarantee long term weight loss.  Beginning at 24 months from bariatric surgery some patients begin to regain weight such that at 4-5 years later they may reach near pre surgery weights. There are many factors that contribute to this potential weight gain.  This study supports that post bariatric body contouring surgery such as body lift, tummy tuck, arm or thigh lift help patients maintain a lower BMI post bariatric surgery

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Tepper: Future research will be directed towards better defining which post bariatric body contouring procedure or if combined procedures have greater effect of maintained weight loss as well as how do we identify and maximize motivation for the best results.


Body contouring after bariatric surgery helps obese patients keep the weight off

Annual conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons i2014