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Study Recommends Special Facelift Strategies for Massive Weight Loss Patients

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FaceliftIt is a fact that people undergoing bariatric surgery to treat obesity are left with surplus, sagging skin in almost all areas of the body, including the face. Body contouring and liposuction help resolve the issue by removing or tightening sagging skin in the upper and lower body, and improving contour. However, post-bariatric surgery, it is face and neck sagging issues that affect patients the most as they are clearly visible, and unlike other areas, cannot be hidden under clothes. News Medical reports on a recent study by researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas which puts forward a novel facelift surgery techniques to address ‘deflation and skin laxity’ in massive weight loss patients.

Facial Cosmetic Issues after Bariatric Surgery

The study, published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, defines massive weight loss patients as those who have lost 100 lbs or more. A large amount of redundant skin and soft tissue are a major concern for such patients. When it comes to the face, excess skin results in cosmetic issues such as a droopy face and turkey neck. As these areas cannot be camouflaged with clothing, the researchers found that facial cosmetic issues affected patients the most.

From the database of 1,100 facelift patients, the researchers studied 22 patients who underwent facelift surgery after major weight loss. The mean age of the 15 women and seven men was 53 years. Average weight loss was about 145 pounds. Most of them had loss of volume in the midface and around the mouth and all had excess skin in the cheeks (jowls) and neck.

The researchers propose a new facelift surgery approach to resolve the issues, especially increased skin laxity and facial deflation, which the patients faced. Also, after massive weight loss, the skin resembled aging skin, with loss of underlying fat and decreased skin thickness. It was noted that massive weight loss patients also needed

  • A larger volume of fat augmentation
  • Increased tightening of the cheek and neck skin
  • More extensive elevation of the underlying muscle and other facial tissues

Along with procedures to address these issues, most patients also had eyelid surgery, forehead lift procedures, forehead left, or facial resurfacing, at the same time.

The researchers reported significant improvement in facial fullness and shape with this new approach, with no major complications. Like the other facelift patients, the results for those in the study group could be maintained over two years’ follow-up. The researchers also stressed the importance of a customized approach to addresses the specific issues of each patient. They concluded that a combination of all these strategies was the key to helping patients achieve their aesthetic goals.

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