Plastic Surgery
Beware of malnutrition, if you are going in for body contouring surgery
Nov 16, 2008 - 2:37:40 PM

Washington, Nov 13 - Beware of malnutrition if you are going in for a body contouring procedure following weight loss surgery.

Proper nutrition cuts down surgical complications, accelerates wound healing, improves scar quality and boosts your energy levels,

'Body contouring procedures - are major operations with large incisions in many areas that demand a lot of the body during the healing process,' said Dennis Hurwitz of American Society of Plastic Surgeons -, co-author of a new study on the subject.

'By carefully monitoring nutritional deficiencies pre-operatively and supplementing the patient with the necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins, I have seen a significant decrease in complications and improved postoperative healing.'

The study was performed in two parts; First, medical literature regarding nutrition's effect on healing from the 1940s to the present was reviewed.

The authors then compared healing and wound problems in 75 of their body contouring patients from 2001 to 2005 who did not receive supplementation, with 37 patients from 2006 to present, who participated in a nutritional supplement programme prior to surgery.

The study found that complications and wound problems occurred in 66 percent of the 75 patients who did not receive supplementation before 2006.

In the 37 patients on the nutritional supplement regimen after 2006, major complication rates were reduced to 19 percent, according to an ASPS release.

The study found specifically that improving nutritional deficiencies in massive weight loss patients improved the healing process, wound tension and scar quality, in addition to increasing patients' energy levels.

Because of reduced calorie intake for massive weight loss patients, they are highly susceptible to malnutrition, the study observed.

Nearly 67,000 body contouring procedures after massive weight loss were performed in 2007, said ASPS.

These findings are scheduled for publication in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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