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Plastic Surgeons Warn of Malnutrition in Body Contouring Patients
Date:11/13/2008

ASPS Study Suggests Nutritional Supplements Prior to Surgery

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Identifying malnutrition before surgery in massive weight loss patients seeking body contouring will significantly decrease surgical complications, accelerate wound healing, improve scar quality and boost patient energy levels, according to a study in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(R), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Optimizing nutrition with the addition of supplements, such as powder drinks and multi-vitamin tablets formulated for massive weight loss patients, is vital to successful body contouring surgery, the study reveals.

"Body contouring procedures for massive weight loss patients are major operations with large incisions in many areas that demand a lot of the body during the healing process," said ASPS Member Surgeon and study co-author Dennis Hurwitz, MD. "By carefully monitoring nutritional deficiencies preoperatively and supplementing the patient with the necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins, I have seen a significant decrease in complications and improved postoperative healing. In my practice, I won't do body contouring procedures on this patient population without a preoperative regimen of nutritional supplements."

The study was performed in two parts; First, medical literature regarding nutrition's effect on healing from the 1940s to the present was reviewed. The authors then compared healing and wound problems in 75 of their massive weight loss body contouring patients from 2001 to 2005 who did not receive supplementation, with 37 patients from 2006 to present, who participated in a uniquely designed nutritional supplement program prior to surgery. The study also noted the role of each nutrient in wound healing and immune response.

The study found that complications and wound problems occurred in 66 percent of the
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SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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