High perceived costs are preventing many weight loss surgery (WLS) patients from pursuing body contouring surgery, according to a study in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
In the study, 58 bariatric surgery patients who had an average age 46 years, lost about 40% of their previous body weight about 2 years after bariatric surgery. More than 90% of patients developed excess skin folds after bariatric surgery, but just 10 underwent body contouring surgery—a rate of 17%.
Ninety-five percent of patients who didn’t undergo additional body contouring procedures said they would like to have the procedure, and 88% cited the price tag as the main barrier. About 10% of patients said they wanted to lose more weight before considering body contouring procedures.
Although cost was the major barrier, there was no difference in income, employment rate, and other socioeconomic factors among patients who didn’t undergo body contouring surgery. Younger patients were somewhat more likely to have the procedure, the study showed.
Body Contouring Benefits include Less Anxiety, Depression
That said, the study showed some significant mental health benefits, including lower scores for anxiety and depression among patients who underwent body contouring following massive weight loss.
On a quality-of-life questionnaire, those patients who had body contouring surgery also had more favorable scores for physical health, compared to their counterparts who did not. Despite the reductions in anxiety and depression, scores for mental health aspects of quality of life were not significantly different for the body contouring surgery group.