gastric-bypass-3005.gifThe stomach-shrinking surgery performed to treat obesity, may shed of excess fat, but not the skin that covered the fat. After the obesity operation the skin doesn’t contract, leaving it loose. Many patients get chronic infections from skin rubbing against skin, and develop open wounds in the folds of flesh. The solution: plastic surgery to remove the extra skin, a set of procedures known as body contouring. Last year more than 68,000 patients underwent body contouring after bariatric surgery, 77 percent more than five years ago, as per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Body contouring operations are of long duration and even complex than bariatric surgery, involving blood loss and shifts of fluids, and a painful healing period extending over weeks or months. Like major surgery, it also carries risks of infection and problems with anesthesia. Body contouring leaves long, visible scars: hip-to-hip, knee to groin, elbow to armpit. Plastic Surgeons say, "We can work on improving the scars, improving healing, but we can't eliminate the scars." The cost of contouring can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on number of procedures needed.