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Special Plastic Surgery Needed for Soaring Number of Formerly Obese Patients After Gastric By-Pass S

Massive Amounts of Sagging Skin Require Special Cosmetic Operations  

New York City, NY (June 20, 2006)  —  The number of surgical body-contouring procedures performed on post-bariatric surgery patients after significant weight loss is soaring (up 22 percent from 2004 to 2005 alone) according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.   An article in the June, 2006, issue of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery by the leading practitioner of these techniques describes in detail how improved mid-body lift techniques trim away the massive amounts of excess skin in the post-bariatric surgery population.  

"The radical weight loss following gastric by-pass leads to improved blood pressure, and in many patients improves or eliminates diabetes symptoms," said Berish Strauch, MD, chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, and author of the paper. 

"Nevertheless, patients are left with a massive sagging of the entire body that leads to severe medical and cosmetic deformities," said Dr. Strauch, who now finds that 80 percent of his surgical practice involves post-bariatric surgery patients.  "It is truly gratifying to be able to give these patients the body they have dreamed of having."

"A traditional abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is insufficient for these patients, who after this kind of extreme weight loss require a special operation called a circumferential adbominoplasty, a type of complicated, mid-body lift, which we have modified," said Dr. Strauch.

"We trim excess skin from the stomach, thighs and buttocks in one operation, rotating the patient carefully on the operating table during the surgery," Dr. Strauch said.  "At a later date, we perform plastic surgery on other areas of the body.  This staged approach improves the patients' quality of life, has wonderful esthetic results and has proven to be safe and effective."

Dr. Strauch describes 75 mid-body lift operations in the article.  He has performed more than 300 of these new procedures in the past five years.  

Circumferential abdominoplasty is more extensive than a standard tummy tuck, and involves additional operating room time, more blood loss and increased recovery time, the article says. After recovery, typically three months later, further body contouring procedures are considered such as brachioplasty (trimming underarm 'wings') as well as breast, thigh, face, neck and back lifts.  Each of these procedures requires special techniques for formerly obese patients, said Dr. Strauch.

He notes a remarkably low incidence of complications.  Only one patient has experienced deep vein clotting, and there have not been any cases of pulmonary emboli or seroma problems.