Our Surgeons Publish New Article on Tummy Tuck after Weight Loss Surgery
July 17, 2015
It’s been a big month for Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad. The publication of their latest article on abdominoplasty after weight loss surgery marks their third peer reviewed journal article to be published in one month.
Their latest research focuses on the recovery period of patients who undergo body contouring after weight loss surgery. More and more, patients are choosing bariatric surgery in order to help achieve significant weight loss as a safe and effective means to improve their overall health. After losing a substantial amount of weight, many patients are left with excessive loose skin. As a result, the demand for body contouring procedures that can address both functional and aesthetic concerns is on the rise. Unfortunately, high wound healing complication rates continue to be a significant problem for these patients. One theory as to why these complications persist in this type of patient is that chronic malnourishment could be a significant contributing factor.
Working from this theory, Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad performed a study to determine the effect of protein supplements on these patients. They hypothesized that, by taking protein supplements for a period of weeks before body contouring surgery, patients who had previously undergone a weight loss surgery would experience fewer wound healing complications after abdominoplasty. They performed a retrospective review on 23 post-bariatric surgery patients undergoing abdominoplasty who received protein nutritional supplementation and compared their results with a group of 23 patients who did not receive the protein supplement protocol. The patient demographics and procedure characteristics between these two different groups were similar. The results of the review were quite telling.
Overall wound healing complication rates were significantly lower in the group who received the protein supplement. So low, in fact, that the protein supplemented group had a would healing complication rate of 0% while the non-supplemented group demonstrated a wound healing complication rate of 21.8%. This conclusively demonstrated that the use of protein supplements by these patients is a very simple treatment option that significantly reduces this specific type of complication.
The Plastic Surgery Clinic has one of the largest experiences in the world with post-bariatric surgery patients because of our association with laparoscopic gastric banding (or lap band surgery), which is also performed at the clinic. As Dr. Lista explains, “one of the problems with tummy tuck after this kind of surgery is the higher complication rate associated with infections. We have discovered a way to significantly decrease this risk by asking the patients to take supplemental dietary protein before and after surgery. The results are an impressive and significant reduction in the infection rate—down to zero.”