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Slimming jabs could see rise in unsafe treatment for excess skin, surgeons warn

A rise in the use of slimming jabs could lead to an increase in unsafe treatment for tummy tucks and surgery to remove excess skin, UK surgeons have warned.

Drugs such as semaglutide and liraglutide are approved for use on the NHS for certain groups of people with obesity, and could help people reduce their weight by more than 10%.

Surgeons have warned that people using the jabs may not realise they could be left with excess skin.

“Whilst the newly introduced weight-loss drugs are not likely to produce comparable weight loss to bariatric surgery there is always the possibility that accompanying weight loss, a patient might be left with a degree of deflation and redundant skin,” said Marc Pacifico, the president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

However, access to surgery on the NHS to remove excess skin is limited because the NHS do not fund post-weight loss plastic surgery any more, so it has to be undertaken in the private sector. That costs about £4,500 to £6,000 in the UK, so Mr Pacifico warned patients might seek cheaper procedures abroad..

“I would strongly warn against this as there might not be the safeguards and assurances that the drugs being used are of the same quality and provenance as those being prescribed in the UK,” he said.

He also warned that there are risks associated with having weight-loss plastic surgery abroad, such as the inability to undertake proper research on a surgeon, as well as the risks associated with flying straight after significant surgery – such as blood clots, as well as a lack of accessible follow-up with the surgeon and clinic to treat post-operative wound infections.

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Source: The Independent, 29 March 2023


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