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Tummy Tuck Improves Life Quality in Overweight Patients, Study Finds

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American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
September 26, 2019

A Tummy Tuck yields high patient satisfaction and improved quality of life in patients who are overweight or obese. This is despite a substantial risk of complications, reports a study in the October 2019 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The study reported that despite the risks, an overwhelming majority of overweight/obese patients were happy with the results of their Tummy Tuck, or Abdominoplasty. Of 46 patients studied over a 12-year period, 94% said they were satisfied with the results of their Abdominoplasty or Panniculectomy (a procedure used to eliminate excess abdominal fat and skin).

"A real quality of life improvement can be obtained by offering body contouring even in the face of obesity, with the caveat that the risk of minor postoperative complications is high," said the study by Dennis C. Hammond, MD, and colleagues of Partners in Plastic Surgery of West Michigan in Grand Rapids.

Body contouring studied in patients with higher BMIs

Each patient in the study had a BMI of 25 or higher, with an average BMI of 32. A BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 is the cutoff point for obesity.

Although complications were seen by nearly half of the patients, most were minor and readily manageable. About 39% had minor complications requiring office procedures or antibiotics. Major complications requiring a return to the operating room were experienced by about 9%, mainly due to wound healing problems and fluid collections.

In the study, 94% of patients were satisfied with their results, 97% said they would have the procedure again and 97% said the procedure had improved their quality of life. Almost half of the patients reported that they lost additional weight after surgery.

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