Today I came across an interesting article on plastic surgery for weight loss surgery patients. I’d like to summarize the main points of the article, as I frequently get asked questions about this topic!
This article represents a review of the literature from 2000 to 2011. The title of the article is “Nutritional Management Related to Plastic Surgery Amont Bariatric Patients: A Meta-Analysis” published in the August 2012 issue of Bariatric Times.
Here are the important points:
– Optimal timing for plastic surgery post bariatric surgery: Patient should have completed phase of rapid weight loss and have stabilized for a period of at least 4 months.
– Body weight prior to plastic surgery: Patient should ideally have achieved 60-70% excess body weight loss prior to surgery. Less weight loss can lead to development of additional excess skin that would need to be addressed down the road, and more weight loss may mean a protein-deficient state which might interfere with healing.
– Nutritional support for patients undergoing plastic surgery:
protein: After major surgery, your protein needs go up by around 25%, so most patients should be consuming around 80-100gm daily
arginine: Arginine is an amino acid that merits special consideration in reference to plastic surgery as it enhances healing by improving the immune system, increasing the synthesis and deposition of collagen, and enables production of nitric oxide
iron: It is important not to be deficient in iron going into plastic surgery as this will lead to anemia and decreased oxygen deliver to the tissue.
vitamin C: Vitamin C increases iron absorption and also plays an important part in wound healing.
Hope this helps!
Trace Curry MD