Massive weight loss, whether due to bariatric surgery, diet, exercise, or childbirth, can lead to sagging skin. Excess fat and skin are unsightly and prevent the patient from fully appreciating the results of his or her weight loss efforts. To achieve a tighter body contour, patients from New Haven come to Dr. Price’s practice for body lift surgery. Be sure to give our office a call at (203) 453-6635 if you are interested in learning more about Body Lift surgery!
Why do I need a body lift?
With significant weight gain, skin around the abdomen is stretched and over time loses its elasticity. When the person loses that excessive weight, the skin can’t conform, or shrink back down, to the new, slimmer body contour. Instead, it droops and sags. Hanging and drooping skin not only causes physical problems, but can also lead to other issues such as rashes and chaffing. Body lift surgery addresses these problems, gives you a better body contour, and provides a big boost to your confidence and self-image.
What results can a body lift achieve?
When a person does the hard work to lose a large amount of weight, either through lifestyle changes or bariatric surgery, they can be thoroughly discouraged because of the loose, hanging skin they see as a result. It’s as if their skin is now many sizes too large for their new slimmer body. A body lift can basically match your skin to your new slimmer contours.
This surgery removes the excess sagging skin and stubborn fat deposits. It can repair overly stretched or separated muscles. Dr. Price’s body lift patients are pleased with their firmer, smoother skin, and their overall new look. Gone is the sagging skin and the rashes it can create. These procedures can give a patient a real boost in confidence, making the work of bariatric surgery or involved weight loss all worth it. Of course, you will have scarring at your incision locations, but these will fade with time. Regardless, most patients are more than willing to have the tradeoff of some scarring to be rid of their loose draping skin.
And these are permanent changes. If you maintain your new healthy weight, incorporate exercise and better nutrition into your life, and stay as active as possible, you’ll enjoy the results of your body lift for the rest of your life.
Am I a good candidate for a body lift?
Good candidates for a body lift include:
- People with sagging skin in one or more areas of the body
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase the risks involved with the procedure
- People with realistic goals who understand what a body lift can and cannot do
- People who want to lead a healthy lifestyle after surgery
- For those actively losing large amounts of weight, the majority of weight loss needs to occur first.
Is a body lift painful?
You will have moderate pain during the first one to two weeks after your body lift. Dr. Price prescribes prescription pain medication, and you’ll use it during this period to manage the pain.
How can I prepare for a lower body lift?
Preparation for this surgery is mostly about preparing for your recovery. When Dr. Price combines a tummy tuck, thigh lift, and buttock lift into a single surgery session, you’ll be happy there’s only a single recovery, but that recovery will be involved. You need to prepare for that.
First, you’ll take the usual steps you would before any major surgery. You’ll stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, blood thinners, and most supplements because they can all lead to increased bleeding. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop at least six weeks prior to and for a few weeks after, as smoking impacts your circulation negatively, which impedes healing. Better yet just stop for good as a part of these major changes you’re making.
Before you can have a lower body lift with Dr. Price, your weight will need to be stable for a few months. If you’ve had bariatric surgery, we will work with your bariatric surgeon to determine weight goals and final weight plateaus. This is important because extra weight loss will only create additional sagging, loose skin down the road.
You’ll need to plan for someone to drive you to your surgery and drive you back home after your night or two in the hospital. And then you’ll need someone to help out for at least two weeks.
If you have young children, plan on having someone take over for at least two weeks. You won’t be able to lift anything much heavier than your TV remote for a few weeks. And that’s about all you’ll want to do. You won’t be able to climb stairs. No chores. No worrying about stuff around the house. You need to take it completely easy, preferably for two full weeks, and then take it slowly from there.
You’ll need to create a really comfortable recovery nest. If you sleep upstairs, this will need to be downstairs. Make this area as comfortable as possible. Stock it with the remote, as many good books as you can find, lots of pillows, and a comforter or two.
Anything you need to do, from filling your pain medication prescription to any household matters, needs to be completed before you head in for your surgery. You should have nothing to do and little to worry or stress about when you return home.
To that end, elicit meals from friends and relatives that can be frozen and used. You can make these beforehand, too, of course, but that’s much less fun! Fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins assist in healing, so the fridge should have plenty of them. Salt increases swelling, so avoid it.
Bottom line? Think of making your recovery as comfortable and as easy as possible. That will guarantee the best final results. This is not the time to push things and rush your recovery.
How long does body lift surgery take?
These are not by the book surgeries with Dr. Price. He customizes every body lift to the specific needs of the patient. But regardless of the individual differences, these are involved surgical sessions. They can take anywhere from 4 to 7 hours. For the most involved body lift procedures, patients will usually spend at least one to two days in the hospital afterwards.
What happens during a body lift?
Body lift surgery is a common procedure that improves the body’s appearance following massive weight loss. The results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight.
During body lift surgery, an incision is made along the abdomen. Excess, sagging skin is then removed. The abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, arms, and hips can also be lifted during the same procedure. Liposuction is typically done to remove any pockets of fat. Since the buttocks usually flatten after massive weight loss, buttock augmentation may also be done.
Many body lift surgeries can be performed with intravenous sedation, a method that gives the patient total comfort. Intravenous sedation also removes the need for hospitalization and general anesthesia. In such cases, Dr. Price will perform your body lift surgery in his private, fully licensed operating room. Some patients, however, may still require conventional anesthesia and hospital care.
What should I expect for my recovery?
A body lift with Dr. Price is a major surgical procedure. Patients typically will spend one to two nights in the hospital following surgery. Drains are placed beneath the skin to remove excess blood and serum and usually remain in place for one to two weeks. A compression garment will need to be worn to provide support, reduce swelling, and help the body adjust to its new slimmer contour. Any lifting and strenuous activity will need to be avoided for about four to six weeks. Full results can take up to one year to show themselves, as the body continues to adapt.
When planning for your recovery, you’ll need to plan to be fully immobile for the first few days. You won’t be able to lift anything more than a bag of sugar. Climbing stairs will be out of the question for a couple weeks at least. It’s best to create a recovery nest somewhere downstairs if you have a two-story home. You’ll need help around the house for at least two weeks.
We’ll discuss all of this in detail, but these are involved recoveries and you need to expect that. The good news? It’s only a single recovery for multiple surgeries, and you’ll love the result when you are fully recovered.
What are the risks involved with a body lift?
These are comprehensive surgeries with Dr. Price. There are some risks involved. There are the risks inherent with all surgeries: excessive bleeding, poor incision healing, infection, and reaction to anesthesia. As for this specific combination of surgeries, some of the possible risks can be avoided by adhering to Dr. Price’s recovery instructions completely.
Specific to body lift surgery, these are the risks:
- Fat necrosis — Body lift surgery can disrupt the fat cells deep within your skin and tissue, cutting off their blood supply and destroying them. These cells can become stiff or irregularly shaped and may need additional surgery to remove them.
- Skin necrosis — Similar to fat necrosis, the skin cells at your surgical sites may become deformed and discolored if they are cut off from the proper nutrients. This will show itself in skin blistering, peeling, or turning black. Skin necrosis is more prevalent in smokers.
- Deep vein thrombosis — Large blood clots can form in your legs, and they can travel to other areas of your body such as your heart, brain, or your lungs. Proper movement and care during your recovery minimizes the potential for thrombosis.
- Rectus diastasis — When muscle, fat, tissue, and skin in the midsection area are modified in a body lift, this can weaken the abdominal muscles, and they may sag or separate. This can usually be prevented with exercise, but in extreme cases, additional surgery could be necessary.
- Uneven incision healing — In some cases, the lengthy incisions involved with body lift surgery can heal unevenly. This is typically caused by placing too much strain on an incision by rushing recovery. Patience is important during your recovery.
What will my scarring be like after a lower body lift?
Any time an incision is made in human skin, a scar forms. This is simply the healing process where the body builds new supplies of collagen and sends this to the wounds. That said, lower body lifts with Dr. Price create some lengthy incisions and subsequent scarring. These will look quite angry and red in the early part of your recovery, but don’t worry; that is normal. Dr. Price works hard to place your incisions where they can be hidden under clothing. If you try and limit the pressure placed on your incisions they will become less and less noticeable, fading as much as possible in about one year. After your surgery, we will discuss various products that you can apply to your incision scars to help them heal as inconspicuously as possible.
Schedule a Body Lift Consult in New Haven!
To learn more about Body Lift surgery or to determine whether you are a candidate, reach out to Dr. Gary J. Price for a personalized consult! Call (203) 453-6635 or fill out the form in our contact page. Dr. Price and his team serve Guilford, New Haven, and the surrounding areas.