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Weight-loss surgery is not a one-shot deal

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PHILADELPHIA, Oct 11, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. doctors say people who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight often experience an extreme loss in skin elasticity that requires body contouring.

Members of a task force organized by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons told a Philadelphia convention of the group that these body contouring procedures greatly differ from contouring procedures performed on normal weight patients, an ASPS spokesman said Monday.

"When a person loses a large amount of weight in a short period of time, particularly after bariatric surgery, the person has large amounts of extra skin," said Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel. "Bariatric surgery isn't just a commitment to weight loss. It often requires an additional two years of body contouring surgeries to help the patient's skin fit his or her new body."

The popularity of gastric bypass surgery, a kind of bariatric surgery, has skyrocketed to treat morbid obesity, leading to an influx of post-bariatric patients looking for body contouring plastic surgery.

In fact, more than 52,000 body contouring procedures were performed for massive weight loss patients in 2003, according to ASPS, which expects body contouring procedures for post-bariatric patients to increase at least 36 percent in 2004.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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