Body Lift Cosmetic Surgery
Following weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, for severe or morbid obesity, the skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. As a result, skin that has been severely stretched now is unsupported:
Upper arms may sag and appear loose and full
Breasts may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
Abdominal area may extend below, around the sides and into the lower back area, resulting in anapron-like overhang
Buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin
The result is a more normal appearance to the body, with smoother contours. Body contouring is often performed in stages. Your surgical plan will be decided depending on your particular condition and goals.
Who is an Ideal Candidate?
Adults of any age whose weight loss has stabilized
Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what body contouring can accomplish
Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness
If you have had weight reduction surgery, the timing of your body contouring will be determined in consultation with a physician.
The Primary Consultation
A consultation with your Aesthetic surgeon is the first step to learn how this surgery can improve your body contours. Your individual case will be evaluated and you will be fully educated about the options available, and the details of the procedure. You will be explained the likely outcomes of the procedure and the risks and potential complications involved. You should honestly share your expectations, fully disclose your health history, current medications, allergies and the use of drugs and smoking.
General Instructions for patients to follow prior to their Body Lift procedure.:
Detailed Body examination and measurements
Pre-Operative Photographs will be taken.
Obtain laboratory testing and a medical evaluation
Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they increase risk of bleeding.
Maintain a stable weight for 6 months prior to the date of surgery
What happens during Body Contouring Surgery?
Body Contouring Surgery is performed in a major hospital setup under General Anaesthetic. Plastic surgery procedures that may be recommended include:
Lower body lift: to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
Breast lift: to correct sagging, flattened breasts
Arm lift: to correct sagging of the upper arms
Thigh lift: to correct sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
All body contouring procedures require incisions to remove excess skin which in many cases, may be extensive. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and your doctor’s surgical judgment. Advanced techniques allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing, but this is not always the case.
A complete lower body lift treats sagging buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and outer thighs in one procedure or in staged procedures. Incision patterns vary, and may include a circumferential incision around the body to remove the "belt" of excess skin and fat.
Sagging skin in the upper arms is treated with an incision from the underarm area extending along the inside or back of the upper arm. Additional incisions on the arms may be necessary anywhere excess skin has formed sagging pockets.
The smoother, tighter contours that result from upper arm contouring are apparent almost immediately, although initially obscured by swelling and bruising.
Reshaping of the thighs is achieved through incisions in the groin that can extend downward to the knee along the inner portion of the thigh. Improving contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip. The final appearance is a smoother and better toned thigh.
Post operative period
After your body contouring procedure is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Initially there will be some swelling numbness soreness, bruising and discomfort in the first few days after the operation. In general, a return to light normal activity is possible as soon as you feel ready and is encouraged to prevent blood clots and other complications. Stitches are generally absorbable and do not need to be removed. All wounds heal in 7-10 days. You will be asked to wear a snug pressure garment around the treated area for 6-8 weeks after the operation.
You will be instructed to look for specific concerns at the surgical site and to follow up with your surgeon at regular intervals. Moderate exercises can be resumed after 6 weeks. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force during the time of healing.
Risks and Potential Complications
Possible risks of body contouring following major weight loss include scarring, bleeding (hematoma), fluid accumulation, wound Infection, poor wound healing and rarely skin necrosis. There maybe persistent numbness along with skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling. Rarely asymmetry or recurrent looseness of skin may occur for which there could be a need for revision surgery. Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications and Anesthesia risks are other potential risks for which due care is taken.
Long Term Results
The results of a body contouring following aggressive weight loss are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as much as a year or more for the final results of all the recommended body contouring procedures to fully develop. Visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.