Obesity has become an increasingly important health care problem. It is estimated that almost 20 percent of the adult U.S. population is obese, including approximately 5 percent of the population considered morbidly obese. Recent advances in bariatric surgery have improved the safety and efficacy of weight-loss operations. As a consequence of the above factors, there has been a 150 percent increase in the number of gastric bypass and vertical banding gastroplasty procedures performed over the past 3 years. Post–bariatric surgery care has become an integral part in the care of these patients, with plastic surgeons playing an important role.
The senior author (B.S.) has developed unique variations of the circumferential and near-circumferential abdominoplasty operations to fulfill the needs of these patients. Seventy-five consecutive mid-body lift procedures have been performed over the past 5 years. The basic operation involves circumferential incisions, anterior flap undermining, and simultaneous flap thinning, without resorting to the need for an anterior midline incision.
A dramatic improvement in appearance results from the anterior resection and the lateral thigh and buttock lifts that this procedure affords. More recently, the lower back roll has been removed as well. A cohesive operative sequence that includes optimized patient preparation and positioning, tailoring of flaps for improved contour with avoidance of unnecessary midline scars, a strong superficial fascial system closure, and coordination with the entire operating room team has been developed.
The procedure is associated with a low complication rate, a dramatically shortened operative time, and high patient satisfaction.