Body Lift is an increasingly requested procedure available to patients who have undergone extensive weight loss. Weight loss may be as a result of diet and exercise alone or as a result of many of the new weight loss surgical procedures that are currently available. The full body lift procedure removes redundant panniculus (skin and subcutaneous fat) from the waistline area in a circumferential fashion. It usually would incorporate an abdominoplasty, lateral thigh and buttock lift resulting in a flatter and tighter body torso. It does result in complete circumferential scar in the belt position.
As indicated in the general article on body contouring surgery, patients will need to undergo a body contouring assessment to ensure that they are appropriate candidates for this type of surgery. At that time we will want to ascertain if weight loss has plateaued and the patient is at satisfactory weight as determined by their body mass index (BMI). If this has occurred they will be in a position to proceed with body lift surgery.
The surgical procedure is performed in hospital under general anaesthesia. Often a preoperative assessment is undertaken by the anaesthetist to ensure you are medically fit for the procedure. The procedure usually takes between 4 and 6 hours and is undertaken in a number of stages, addressing the abdomen, hips and then buttocks. Following the procedure you will need a number of surgical drains to remove excessive fluid to prevent bruising and swelling. An inpatient hospital stay of 3-6 days is usually required to ensure adequate wound healing. Following this you will be placed in a body support garment, which should be worn for up to three months postoperatively to achieve an optimal result. It would be up to four months before you are able to return to full sporting activities. It is important to realize that there are possible complications involved in undertaking this procedure. These include bleeding, bruising, swelling, infection, numbness and poor scarring. Hopefully these complications can be minimized by good postoperative care.
Please look at the outcomes of some patients who have undergone body lift surgery recently. If you would like to discuss this procedure in more detail or to clarify any issues mentioned here please contact our office to arrange a consultation.
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