McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member J. Peter Rubin, MD (pictured), director of the Life After Weight Loss program, a clinical center at the University of Pittsburgh dedicated to the comprehensive care of patients after surgical or medical weight loss treatments, is a recognized national leader in the field of body contouring. Dr. Rubin and his program staff have pioneered surgical techniques in support of the many patients who experienced bariatric surgery and must later deal with remaining folds of skin and tissue after extreme weight loss.
Dr. Rubin is known as the father of the "bra lift," a surgical procedure that uses the patient's own tissue to create an internal brassiere that better supports the new shape of the breast. Additionally, tissue from the side of the chest is used to both increase breast size and eliminate extra skin alongside it.
“We definitely have innovated new techniques, but we're concerned with the care of the entire program. It's one thing to do the surgery, but you have to ask, 'Is it time for surgery? ... Is this the right procedure that we're doing?' Remember, this is a really new field," Dr. Rubin said.
Life After Weight Loss is a unique program that combines body contouring surgery with lifestyle and nutritional counseling in a supportive environment. There are many factors that contribute to both long-term weight loss success and favorable outcomes in plastic surgery. Dr. Rubin and his trained staff work with patients to help evaluate and optimize these factors. Staff members include researchers, medical weight management specialists, psychological and behavioral specialists, and a nutritionist. The program also includes visiting fellows, who stay for a year.
“There were approximately 200,000 gastric bypasses and gastric bindings in the United States last year," Dr. Rubin said. "Now we're starting to address the skin problems. Plastic surgery after weight loss is the fastest growing area of plastic surgery. U.S. plastic surgeons did 65,000 of them last year. It's wonderful to be a part of this process and have such a positive impact on people's lives.”
A true artist, Dr. Rubin is credited with innovating new procedures to achieve outstanding results in his body contouring work. He is lead author of the body contouring medical textbook for plastic surgeons, Aesthetic Surgery After Massive Weight Loss (Elsevier Medical Publishing, 2006). He is highly respected in his field, and holds leadership positions in the national plastic surgery societies.
As an accomplished medical researcher, Dr. Rubin’s keen understanding of scientific methods helps him deliver superior care to his patients. He has published extensively in the scientific literature, and has received numerous academic awards. His groundbreaking work in the field of adipose biology holds the promise of leading to new clinical treatments for fat tissue. His work is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Also, Dr. Rubin is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, recognizing the most promising scientists in the nation.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 (08/27/08)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2 (08/27/08)
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Life After Weight Loss Program
Bio: J. Peter Rubin, MD