A study published in the November issue of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that patients who undergo body contouring procedures after bariatric surgery experience a significantly improved quality of life.

“Bariatric surgery for morbid obesity results in massive weight loss and improvement of health and quality of life,” write the study’s authors, but “a downside of the major weight loss is the excess of overstretched skin, which may influence the patient’s quality of life by causing functional and aesthetic problems.” More than two-thirds of bariatric surgery patients, in fact, cite loose skin as a negative consequence of the procedure.

With this information in mind, the study’s authors set out to explore whether or not body contouring could effectively resolve the issue of excess skin for bariatric surgery patients—and they found that even after a seven-year period had passed, the majority of the patients they surveyed experienced significant, and ongoing, quality-of-life improvement after their contouring surgery.

It’s always gratifying to see cosmetic surgery implemented in ways such as this. Aesthetic concerns are not always taken into consideration when it comes to life-improving procedures like bariatric surgery—but as this study makes clear, addressing the core issue (in this case, obesity), is not always enough. Sometimes it takes plastic surgery to maximize a procedure’s positive impact on the quality of life of patients!