Next to the wildly popular breast-augmentation/breast-reduction procedures, bariatric surgery has gained a foothold as the fastest-growing aesthetic surgery procedure by far in the last few years. The media has gone gaga over the perceived "minor miracles" of these weight-reduction techniques ("Cure for cancer!" "Cure for the morbidly obese!" etc.).
It is a practical reality for plastic surgeons to embrace the "bariatric cause" in an era of tightened pocketbooks and a reduction in consumer spending on elective surgeries.
That said, it is heartening to see a few practitioners take up the pen and write articles such as the one that appeared in August's PRS journal, titled, "Nutritional Deficiency of Post-Bariatric Surgery Body Contouring Patients: What Every Plastic Surgeon Should Know."
As you might have guessed, this piece takes aim at the need for proper nutrition for post-bariatric surgery patients.
Medical News Today produced the following summary in its July 24, 2008 news blast:
With the increasing popularity of bariatric operations, there has been a subsequent increase in body contouring following weight loss. This study highlights an important detail plastic surgeons need to assess in these potential patients: their nutritional health or lack of it. This study reports on the widespread evidence of nutritional deficiency in these patients that can lead to problems with wound healing and immune response optimization. The authors detail the various nutritional deficiencies commonly found in post-bariatric patients, noting that plastic surgeons may want to recommend optimal nutrition through supplements.
Suture for a Living reproduces a good portion of the article, adding relevant commentary and making a strong case for surgeons thoroughly investigating a patient's vitamin "profile." Other good commentary on bariatric concerns pop up in SurgeonsBlog and the Weight Loss Blog.