Obesity has been said to be a major health problem in the United States, and seems to be getting worse. Fortunately, methods have been devised to help patients lose excessive weight by limiting the size of the stomach and the amount of food they can ingest, giving them a sensation of being full after a smaller meal, which leads to weight loss of 50-75, even 100 and more pounds.
Such weight loss leaves the patients with skin which has been overstretched from the days when they were obese. It will not shrink to the new framework they have obtained. A proper plastic surgery by a board certified plastic suregon with experience in weight loss surgery reconstruction is essential to obtaining optimal results for these patients.
The areas of chin and neck, the breasts, arms, back, abdomen, inner and outer thighs and buttocks, as well as paragenital areas, may be particularly disconcerting to the successful weight loss patients. These patients often look in the mirror and feel they have traded one deformity for another – and they may be right.
Reconstructing these patients is complicated by the fact that the skin covers areas of the body that are moving, such as elbow joints, shoulders, writsts, legs, hips, knees, as well as important esthetic areas, such as the breasts, the pubis, the inner thighs and the paragenital area… and if not properly performed, limitations of motion in these critical junctures may be a complication of surgery by the ill-trained.
Much of the ability to correctly reconstruct these patients comes to the plastic-reconstructive surgeon, such as Gregory T. Fisher, MD, FACS, through the experience obtained in caring for burn patients. Dr.Gregory T. Fisher of American Burn Association carries out, and has taught his peers to perform, many reconstructive surgeries on burn patients, fully restoring the motion of the joints and overcoming the resistance of the skin, which is no longer pliable. In weight loss surgery, we apply many of the same techniques as in burns surgery, although the problems may be opposite, i.e. not insufficient elasticity but too much elasticity.
Without these essential professional skills gained in peforming burn and other reconstructive surgery, it is hazardous for the patient to undergo any other surgery, including reconstructive surgery by a bariatric surgeon.
Reassurances are no substitute for thorough training, experience, and proven success!