What is a Body Lift?
A body lift is a procedure that addresses loose skin on both the front and the back of the body. Most patients after bariatric surgery and massive weight loss reach their desired weight but are left with significant loose skin on their abdomen, buttocks and outer thighs. This procedure includes a tummy tuck with incisions extended all the way around the body to redrape the skin of the buttocks and outer thighs.
How Long Will Surgery Be?
A body lift performed without any other procedures takes about 6 hours. It is often combined with a medial thigh lift as the medial thighs are not otherwise recontoured with this operation.
What Kind of Anesthesia Will I Have?
General anesthesia is used for a body lift because it is safe and very well controlled. West Magnolia Surgery Center, on site at West Magnolia Plastic Surgery, is fully accredited by the AAAHC. Local anesthesia in injected into the incisions once the patient is under anesthesia for enhanced postoperative comfort.
What is Body Lift Recovery Like?
Surgery is performed as an outpatient. If a patient needs additional care at home because of drains or other concerns, nurses are available for hire to stay with you in your home. If a patient has any medical reason to not proceed as an outpatient, surgery can be performed at the surgery center and the patient observed overnight. Most patients report a general soreness of the upper abdomen, likened to the feeling after doing a lot of sit-ups. Patients have incisions and drains to care for after a body lift. Starting from the preoperative appointment, instructions for care are reviewed. For prophylaxis of potential blood clots in the legs related to the abdominoplasty portion of the procedure, patients are sent home with a pair of sequential compression devices (SCDs); these are worn whenever the patient is resting, sitting and through the night until ambulation and activity is relatively normal…generally around a week or so. Incision and drain care is a twice daily routine and all patients are in a compression garment for a total of 8 weeks. Pain is controlled with a series of medications and most patients are off prescriptions medications by the end of the second week.
What are the risks?
The risks of lower body lift include bleeding, infection, failure to heal and loss of blood supply to the skin flap-the risks related to a tummy tuck, for the most part. The most significant risk of an abdominoplasty is a pulmonary embolism which is a blood clot from the deep veins of the legs that can release to the lungs. There are several precautions before, during and after surgery to prevent just this. Some patients who may be at a higher risk of blood clot formation are given a series of injections after surgery as an added precaution.
How do I prepare for surgery?
A preoperative appointment is scheduled approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery. At this time, all consents and recommendations, instructions for before and after surgery are reviewed. A long list of medications to avoid is reviewed and prescriptions are given for postoperative management. The day before surgery, all patients are called to review final questions, confirm nothing has occurred since the patient was seen at preop that might require rescheduling of the procedure and to finalize arrival time at the facility. All patients are given ample information at the preoperative appointment regarding a time line of what to expect in the recovery process and when.