Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

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Body lift improves the shape after significant weight loss.Excess sagging fat and skin are removed and the procedure can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface. Body lift may include these areas: Abdominal area – locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area Buttocks that may be low, flat or shaped unevenly Groin that may sag into inner thigh Thigh – the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or the thigh’s circumference

Aging, sun damage, pregnancy, significant fluctuations in weight, and genetic factors may contribute to poor tissue elasticity that can result in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks and thighs. Body lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and body lift techniques may be recommended. PROCEDURE

Body lift procedures are surgical procedures and they require extensive incisions. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits. Surgery is performed under general anaesthesia.Circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat and repositions and tightens tissues. Combination of liposuction and surgical body lifts may be necessary to achieve an improved contour. Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, or clips close the skin incisions. Dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is complete. Small, thin tubes will be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. The day of surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time. After several days, you will be able to move about more comfortably. Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, however, since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding. You may be instructed to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your surgical sites following surgery, medications to take to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, how to care for your drains, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon. Surgical drains will be removed within 7-10 days, at which time your dressings will also be changed. You will be instructed to wear a supportive garment for 6 weeks. All sutures are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. You may notice that you feel less sensation in operated areas. This is usually temporary. It may, however, take weeks, months or even more than a year before sensation returns to normal. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment. The results of body lift surgery are visible almost immediately. However, it may take two years or more for the final results of the body lift procedures to fully develop. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary. Incisions will initially be red or pink in color. They will remain this way for many months following surgery. The scars take 12-18 months to mature. During this time, you can improve the appearance of the scars by following a scar management protocol provided by Dr. Grubnik. Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent. After body lift surgery, it is often possible to return to work within 4-6 weeks, depending on your job. It is recommended to refrain from driving for 2 weeks after surgery. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities after six weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but such feelings are normal. Severe pain should be reported to Dr. Grubnik. Any sexual activity should be avoided for a minimum of 2 weeks, and your plastic surgeon may advise you to wait longer. It is recommended to avoid exercise for six weeks.

Complications

The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of body lift surgery are acceptable. Your plastic surgeon will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
Possible body lift surgery risks include:

Anesthesia risks
Bleeding (that may require blood transfusion)
Infection
Poor wound healing
Fluid accumulation (blood – hematoma or serum – seroma)
Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
Pain, which may persist
Recurrent looseness of skin
Persistent swelling in the legs
Asymmetries
Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
Pulmonary embolus
Possible need for revision surgery
Skin loss
Unfavorable scarring
Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation and require removal

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