Addressing the obesity challenge in plastic surgery –the role of liraglutide

K. Staněk1,2, R. Billich3, O. Měšťák1

1 Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital Bulovka and First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

2 Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

3 SANUS Sanatorium, Hradec Kralové, Czech Republic

Dear Editor,
As obesity rates continue to rise globally, health risks and implications for surgical outcomes cannot be overlooked. Obesity increases mortality and morbidity and impairs health-related quality of life. Particularly concerning is that obese
patients undergoing plastic surgery face a significantly higher risk of complications (11.3% absolute risk increase), particularly deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and reoperations [1]. These findings, summarized in a recent
meta-analysis, underline the urgent need for plastic surgeons not only to understand obesity’s impact on surgical outcomes but also to acquaint themselves
with obesity treatment modalities, ranging from behavioural interventions and
pharmacotherapy to bariatric surgery. We strongly believe that plastic surgeons should take every precaution to minimize surgery-associated risks of aesthetic and reconstructive elective procedures, and preferably avoid operating on patients with obesity altogether. As plastic surgeons, we are obligated to explain all risks to patients and offer them a solution, when possible. In the authors’ practice, the pharmacological treatment of obesity prior to surgery has been beneficial in decreasing risks and enhancing cosmetic results.

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