Body Lift Surgery after Weight Loss
Losing a large amount of weight is an incredible achievement. It requires supreme dedication and self-discipline. Unfortunately, one of the undesirable side effects of massive weight loss is its effect on the skin. Especially in cases of bariatric surgery — where the weight loss is rapid — the skin loses its elasticity and cannot adequately contract around the body’s smaller shape.
After weight loss, the loose skin hangs or sags off the body, particularly in the middle of the body around the trunk. Some have described this as looking like an “apron of skin.” Loose skin won’t tighten with diet or exercise. It must be surgically removed. Until it is removed, it will continue to obscure the body’s improved shape.
The removal of loose skin after massive weight loss is part of a procedure known as body lift, available at South Florida Center for Cosmetic Surgery. Thanks to body lift, thousands of our patients now enjoy a more attractive figure.
A Slimmer, Sleeker You
Body lift enables you to enjoy the results of your weight loss efforts! It shifts the attention from loose skin and tissue to your beautiful new physique. Our body lift patients experience a boost in self-confidence, knowing their appearance reflects the hard work they have put into weight loss.
Since our bodies are circular, having a circumference, skin pockets and folds can occur on our backs and sides, as well as the front of the abdomen. Removing this skin and re-contouring the trunk area dramatically reshapes the body for a svelte silhouette.
Outstanding Patient Care
Body lift is a complex procedure, and you want the most gifted team of plastic surgeons in Ft. Lauderdale to perform your operation. The South Florida Center for Cosmetic Surgery plastic surgeons have been in practice for more than 15 years. We are committed to surgical excellence and to delivering a level of care that is world-class. Your safety, satisfaction, comfort and privacy are our top priorities and every effort is made to ensure your surgical experience is positive. When you work with us, you can be assured that you are getting the best price for surgery and a great value.
The benefits of body lift are tremendous, but having surgery is a big decision. It requires careful consideration of many factors. We will give you a comprehensive understanding of the procedure, its benefits and risks and recovery expectations. We will work side-by-side with you to weigh the pros and cons of body lift. Our patients have told us that they appreciate the personalized attention they receive throughout the entire decision-making process and the surgical experience itself.
A More Beautiful Body
Your body lift will be tailored to your specific areas of concern. In general, the operation accomplishes the following:
- Removes folds and pockets of excess skin
- Removes excess body tissue
- Tightens the muscles
If necessary, your body lift can be combined with an additional operation to focus on another area of your body. For example, breast lift surgery improves the shape of flat breasts and restores sagging breasts to a higher position on the chest wall. Arm lift improves the contour of the upper arm. Thigh lift firms the upper, inner thighs. Our recommendations will be tailored to your specific areas of concern.
When you “awaken” after your procedure, you most likely will experience some discomfort in the areas of the incisions and the abdomen when the anesthesia wears off.
You can expect some pain in the incision, but this is alleviated with medication and gradually subsides as you begin to walk and move about.
Your legs may be sore and swollen for the first few days. You will need to start walking the day after your surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots. You will be given a compression garment to wear for approximately four weeks. Normal activities can be resumed after a few days, and you can be fully physically active again in four to six weeks.
If a Breast Reduction or Breast Lift is part of your procedure, it is important to wear your surgical bra (except when showering) for four weeks after your procedure. At the seventh postoperative day, your bandages will be removed. Your surgeons may recommend a particular style of bra be worn for the two to three weeks following the wearing of the surgical bra. Generally, you should go braless only on special occasions. Your stitches will be removed in stages during the second week after your procedure.
It takes up to 6 months after your procedure for your breasts, thighs, buttocks and abdomen to obtain their final shape. At first, they may be somewhat bruised and swollen; but gradually the swelling will decrease and your supportive garments will help shape the body.
You will receive specific instructions to follow during your recovery including rest and sleeping positions, bathing and showering techniques, and exercises. It is imperative that you do not smoke for at least two weeks after your surgery in order to help the healing process.
Swelling of the abdomen is normal following your Body Lift. During the first week, your clothes may fit you more tightly and you may weigh more than before. Your stitches are painlessly removed seven days postoperative. The swelling subsides starting the second week after your Body Lift, but some lower abdominal fullness persists.
You may expect to see about 50% of your total contour improvement at two weeks and about 75% at one month. It usually takes an additional two weeks for the last of the swelling to recede. Occasionally, individuals may see continued improvement up to six months after a Body Lift, but changes beyond three months are usually subtle. You will be happiest with your Body Lift if you understand that it will take several months for the appearance of your ideal new look.
The most common complication is a collection of blood or serum (seromas) under the skin of the abdomen (hematoma) and other sutured areas. A suction drains are placed inside during your procedures and left for at least three days postoperative. Their removal is painless.
Blood clots are the most serious complication after a Body Lift. Your surgeon will determine the best course of action for movement and activity of the legs after surgery. Movement and walking will facilitate blood flow and help prevent clots from forming.
Infection and incision healing problems, including loss of skin and excessive scarring, occurs less frequently. As with any surgical procedure, small nerves to the skin are interrupted during a Body Lift. Portions of your abdomen, chest, back, legs and buttocks may feel numb or have less feeling. Sensibility returns over several months but some diminished feeling may last indefinitely.
Following complete Abdominoplasty, you can expect a horizontal scar low on the abdomen and a circular scar within the belly button (umbilicus). Scars on the breasts may include around the areola, down to the breast crease and across the crease from side to side. Some Body Lift procedures require a circumfluous scar along the top of the thigh (like an underwear elastic). In some individuals, a different type or location of scar may be necessary because of particular body variations. If this is so in your case, your surgeon will inform you at the time of your consultation. Your scars will be red or pink for six months and gradually fade thereafter. The scars are rarely troublesome. Nevertheless, you should know that all scars are permanent and their height, width, and final color are not totally predictable.
Like any surgical procedure, other serious or even life threatening complications are possible. It is important to enter into your procedure aware not only of the benefits, but also of the possible complications. Talk to your surgeon about every question and concern you may have.
Below you will find a list of frequent questions about a Body Lift. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please write to us, be sure to include the procedure name and your question!
- How is this procedure done?
- How do I prepare for this procedure?
- How long does the procedure take?
- What form of anesthesia is used?
- Can I return home the same day?
- How long before I can return to normal activity?
How is this procedure done?
A complete body lift is performed for those requiring maximum correction. A body lift may include abdominoplasty, breast reduction/breast lift, outer thigh lift, Brazilian butt lift and removal of skin and fat from the back and hips. In addition, residual fatty tissue deposits may be removed through liposuction. Because each body lift procedure is unique, the amount and placement of incisions vary according to the strategy agreed on by you and your cosmetic surgeon. Excess skin and tissue is removed. In the abdominal area, any hernias or weaknesses are repaired and the abdominal musculature is tightened with stitches. The belly button (umbilicus) is left in the same position on the abdominal wall but is brought out through a new skin opening. Depending upon the condition and size of your breasts, there are various surgical options that are available. Breast tissue excision, when necessary, can be performed surgically. In most cases, a peri-areolar scar as well as a vertical and horizontal scar is necessary in order to achieve the ideal breast contour. For an outer/buttock thigh lift, a circumfluous incision is made around the top of the thigh. Excess skin and tissue is removed. The remaining skin is sculpted to the thigh and sutured.
Your surgeon will determine the appropriate procedure at the time of your preoperative consultation.
How do I prepare for this procedure?
During your initial preoperative visit with your surgeon, be prepared to give a complete medical history including all your medications, allergies and previous surgeries. You will undergo a thorough physical examination and blood tests. If you are at or over age 40, an electrocardiogram will be required. Photographs are important aids in planning and performing your Body Lift. They become a permanent part of your patient record and are taken before and several months after your procedure.
During your consultation, you will be given specific directions to help you prepare for your procedure. Instructions generally include cautions about taking certain medication and drinking alcohol, the shaving process and use of antibacterial soap. You must not eat or drink anything eight hours before your procedure. If you take daily medication, ask your surgeon if it is safe to take before your procedure. If you have any sores on your body, if you have a cold, sore throat or allergic condition, inform your surgeon so you may be examined prior to your procedure.
If you smoke, the likelihood of healing problems and other complications increases. Smokers must stop smoking completely at least two weeks prior to and two weeks after surgery. “Cutting down” is not enough. Complete cessation of smoking is mandatory. You must also stop taking aspirin or diet pills at least 2 weeks prior to surgery.
How long does the procedure take?
Operating time is generally 3 to 5 hours depending on the scope of your specific situation.
What form of anesthesia is used?
General anesthesia is used for all surgical procedures and is performed by a Professional M.D. Anesthesiologist.
Can I return home the same day?
It will be necessary that you have someone to pick you up after the procedure, take you home, and stay with you for at least 24 hours.
All Patients must schedule check-up appointments for the following times:
- 1 day
- 1 week
- 2 weeks
- 1 month
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 1 year
How long before I can return to normal activity?
You will need to start walking the day after your surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots. You will be given compression garments to wear for approximately three weeks. Normal activities can be resumed after a few days, and you can be fully physically active again in four to six weeks. It is very important to shield your scars from the sun as they may permanently darken if they are exposed to the sun. If you have a question regarding activity, be sure to check with your surgeon.
To learn more about body lift and other body contouring procedures, contact our team to schedule an informational consultation with our plastic surgeons. Call us at (954) 565-7575 or toll-free at (800) 274-LIPO.