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Plastic Surgery after Weight-loss Surgery

| Date Posted: 6/26/2012 | Author: Mandy McCue

In the term plastic surgery, the word plastic denotes sculpting, and comes from the Greek plastikē, “the art of modeling” of malleable flesh. (Source: Oxford Dictionary) Plastic surgery is used for many medical reasons including skin grafts and reconstructive surgery for correcting functional impairments; but is most commonly seen as a purely cosmetic procedure.

Both medical and cosmetic surgery exists in the realm of bariatric surgery. After completing weight-loss surgery, the body goes through many changes; different ways of processing food and nutrients and a dramatic weight-loss in a short period of time. Depending on the type of weight-loss surgery, a patient can lose 40-75% of their excess body weight. (Source: Wolters Kluwer: Patient Information: Weight-loss Surgery) After a dramatic loss of weight, people are left with some cosmetic effects like hanging excess skin. This happens due to the lack of elasticity in the skin. The most common areas of excess skin are the face, neck, breasts, back, buttocks, abdomen, arms and legs.  Having the hanging skin can cause skin irritation, breakdown (a.k.a. pressure ulcers or bed sores), and skin infections.  There are a few cosmetic surgeries that will help with excess skin depending on the location of the body. Face, breast and arm lifts are common as well as abdominoplasty and panniculectomy.

Both abdominoplasty and panniculectomy are surgeries for removing excess skin around the abdomen. Though they are occasionally used interchangeably, they are different procedures.  Panniculectomy is a body contouring procedure that removes excess skin and fat that hangs down over the gentile area, which is referred to as the pannus.  There is no reconstruction of any part of the body, just skin and fat removal. It can also be used in partner with other abdominal surgeries such as a hysterectomy or a hernia surgery. (Source: Consumers Guide to Bariatric Surgery) Abdominoplasty is also referred to as a tummy tuck. It is also a removal of excess skin and fat around the abdominal area but the surgeons also tighten the abdominal muscles to give a more pleasing look. (Source: Consumers Guide to Bariatric Surgery) Since there is “remodeling” of skin, the abdominoplasty is considered a cosmetic surgery, whereas the panniculectomy is not because it is for strictly medical reasons.

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in partnership with Pinehurst Surgical also offers comprehensive care when it comes to weight loss and weight-loss surgery. To learn more about weight-loss surgery options attend one of our free bi-monthly bariatric surgery seminars on the first Thursday and the third Monday of every month.  Register for this free weight-loss surgery seminar today!  Our comprehensive Bariatric Surgical Program serves patients in the Pinehurst, Sanford, Raeford, Laurinburg, Lumberton, Troy and Rockingham regions of North Carolina and beyond.  Call (800) 213-3284 with questions or for more information. 

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