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The Impact of Abdominoplasty After Massive Weight Loss: A Qualitative Study

Stuerz, Kristina PhD*; Piza, Hildegunde MD; Kinzl, Johann F. MD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3182503b11
Reconstructive Surgery
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A sharp increase in bariatric surgery has resulted in a spike in the population of patients seeking plastic surgery after massive weight loss. This study was undertaken to determine how patients experience plastic surgical removal of an overlap flap and how they benefit from the surgery. A content analysis of interviews with 10 patients who underwent abdominoplasty was carried out approximately 12 months after the procedure. All interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed using inductive reasoning. The data were then organized into categories that reflected emerging themes. All patients reported benefits in areas such as mental health, quality of life, or body image. Plastic surgery after weight loss improves psychosocial well-being. These results will influence the indication for a reconstructive operation in future and underline the need for reconstructive surgery in a multidisciplinary care program after weight loss surgery in morbidly obese patients.

From the *Division of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, †Department of Plastic Surgery, and ‡Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria.

Received October 28, 2011, and accepted for publication, after revision, February 13, 2012.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Kristina Stuerz, PhD, Innsbruck Medical University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Division of Clinical Psychology, Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria. E-mail: Kristina.Stuerz@uki.at.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins