Archive for the ‘Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery’ Category

Post-Bariatric Surgery – What Are the Risks?

Monday, October 26th, 2009
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Can “extreme” cosmetic surgery procedures (specifically, the “total makeover” type of surgeries that usually follow extreme weight loss) lead to death or life-threatening injury? It’s a frightening question and one that is on the minds of many patients seeking dramatic change through surgery. While the answer to this question highly depends on the specifics of each patient and each procedure, there are some basic facts that you can keep in mind.

Post-weight-loss patients do need to be aware of a few risks that aren’t a factor for other patients. At the same time, you should know which risks you don’t need to worry about.

  • Combining surgeries doesn’t necessarily add to the surgical risk, even for post-bariatric patients – I’ve personally performed multiple studies to find out whether cosmetic surgery patients have an added risk of complications when they pair other procedures with abdominoplasties (tummy tucks). These studies indicate that certain combined procedures do not have increased risk when compared to individual procedures. While post-bariatric tummy tucks are not quite the same as traditional tummy tucks for Pasadena and other Southern California patients, these studies do indicate that there is no “general rule” that combined surgical procedures will lead to increased risk.
  • The biggest surgical risks might have to do with the weight loss process itself – Post-bariatric surgery patients need to pay very careful attention to the quality of the nutrition they’re getting, especially during healing. After weight loss surgery, patients should be limiting the volume of food they consume. Unfortunately, some patients may not pay adequate attention to whether or not they’re getting enough of the vitamins and minerals that they need to minimize risks like seroma (fluid collection) and tissue necrosis.

Because post-bariatric procedures offer such important benefits for patients’ quality of life and even their health, most patients feel that they are well worth the risks. And, when it comes to risk, the only way to determine the safety of any cosmetic surgery procedure with any level of certainty is to consult a qualified plastic surgeon about your specific case.