After Weight Loss Surgery, ThighLifts Come With Minor Complications

Jeffrey A. Gusenoff, MD Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery Co-Director, Life After Weight Loss Program Co-Director, BodyChangers Director, Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Fellowship UPMC Department of Plastic SurgeryMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jeffrey A. Gusenoff, MD

Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery
Co-Director, Life After Weight Loss Program
Co-Director, BodyChangers
Director, Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Fellowship
UPMC Department of Plastic Surgery

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Gusenoff: With the rise in massive weight loss patients from bariatric surgery or diet and exercise, more patients are choosing to have a thighplasty to remove excess skin of the inner thigh. Many techniques exist for treating this, but there aren’t many studies that look into the safety of these procedures in massive weight loss patients. What we found is that  many patients have scars that go all the way down the thigh with a fairly high complication rate of almost 70%.

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

Dr. Gusenoff: Although complication rates are high, our study is extremely inclusive of small wound healing issues, which many studies don’t even include as a “complication” but part of the course for an operation like this. Most of the complications in our study are small problems like suture spitting or small open areas that heal well with dressings. Major complications like blood clots or bleeding are very rare. Therefore, this high complication rate shouldn’t scare doctors or patients from this procedure, but educate them that small healing issues in the thigh are common.

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

Dr. Gusenoff: Identifying ways to reduce complications is important. That may come in the creation of better suture material, new techniques to avoid wound issues in the groin where it is moist and there are lots of bacteria, or new technologies to tighten skin without scars in areas of high motion.

Citation:

Gusenoff, Jeffrey A. M.D.; Coon, Devin M.D.; Nayar, Harry M.D., M.B.E.; Kling, Russell E. B.A.; Rubin, J. Peter M.D. Medial Thigh Lift in the Massive Weight Loss Population: Outcomes and Complications. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, December 2014 DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000772

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