Body Contouring After Weight Loss on the Rise, According to New Data
Dr. Eric Mariotti, a board-certified plastic surgeon near Walnut Creek, says this nationwide trend matches what he's seen at his plastic surgery practice.
Concord, California (July 2015) — More patients who have undergone weight-loss surgery are completing their personal transformations with body contouring procedures, according to Dr. Eric Mariotti (www.drmariotti.com), a board-certified plastic surgeon near Walnut Creek who has seen this trend firsthand.
"It makes sense that the growing popularity of weight-loss surgery is coinciding with more patients seeking plastic surgery to remove excess skin afterward," Dr. Mariotti says. "I expect that trend to continue throughout 2015 and later."
There's no disputing that the rise in body contouring is linked to increased numbers of patients undergoing weight-loss procedures. The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery says the number of Americans getting weight-loss surgery in 2013 was the most since 2009 and the third-highest number on record.
In 2014, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says, the number of procedures specifically associated with massive weight loss grew at the fastest rate in 4 years. These procedures included thigh lifts, breast lifts, upper arm lifts, and tummy tuck surgery.
Dr. Mariotti says his Walnut Creek, CA-area practice saw an increase in these procedures, too. According to the ASPS, upper arm lifts and thigh lifts were up 9% in 2014 compared with the previous year, breast lifts increased 10%, and tummy tucks saw a 4% rise. Dr. Mariotti says those numbers seem to match what he has seen.
It's common for bariatric surgery patients to become disappointed — even depressed — by the appearance of excess sagging skin after weight loss, Dr. Mariotti says. Many expect that shedding weight will make them feel great again, he says, but then they are surprised that their bodies still aren't as they would prefer.
Many patients have excess skin draping over the waist or hanging from the upper arms and thighs. Being physically active also remains challenging when extra skin causes irritation or pain. A study released last year concluded that patients who undergo plastic surgery to remove excess skin benefit psychologically, as well as physically.
Advanced plastic surgery techniques, the Walnut Creek specialist says, enable experienced surgeons to remove excess skin while minimizing complications and reducing visible scars, vastly improving quality of life for these patients.
Despite the popularity and documented health benefits of these body contouring procedures, health insurance doesn't usually cover them unless the patient can prove a documented medical issue, which is very difficult, Dr. Mariotti says.
"Bariatric surgery should be looked at as just the first step in a process of self-improvement," he says. "It's time to recognize the significant mental and physical health benefits of plastic surgery in these cases. I see it all the time in my practice. I'm glad more people around the country are making the investment and experiencing the benefits, but I wish it was that much easier for them."
Men and women throughout the East Bay area surrounding Concord, CA can request a consultation online to meet with Dr. Mariotti or call his office at (925) 685-4533 to schedule an appointment.