Body Lift After Significant Weight Loss
Congratulations on your weight loss! If you have made it to this step, it means you have begun the transformation of your body. Although you have lost a significant amount of weight, and you have done wonders for your overall health, you may still not be feeling great about your body because of the excess or hanging skin. There are several procedures designed to remove this extra skin so you can start enjoying your new body.
After massive weight loss, almost all patients are left with loose, sagging skin on the face, neck, arms, chest, abdomen, hips, and thighs. If the amount of extra skin is moderate or less, a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, or breast lift will be the perfect solution. However, more significant excess skin that hangs around the chest or waist requires an upper or lower body lift to provide an aesthetic body shape.
An upper body lift uses an incision hidden beneath the bra line to remove extra skin in the armpits and back, and achieves a firm and toned mid-section. A lower body lift combines a standard tummy tuck with an outer thigh and butt lift, such that the incision is carried circumferentially around the waist below the underwear line. Because Dr. Song strives to create the tightest, most attractive body shape, he recommends that the lower body lift be done in two surgeries so that results may be more pleasing and permanent.
Dr. Song recognizes that every surgery for massive weight loss patients is as individual as the person seeking transformation, and will work with you to develop a surgical plan that addresses your specific concerns. Besides body lift procedures, many weight loss patients seek Dr. Song’s expertise in face and neck lift, breast lift, and arm surgeries.
Dr. Song recommends that patients seek plastic surgical body contouring only after all weight loss is completed, and has been stable for approximately six months. This will allow you to have the greatest result. Surgeries after massive weight loss are much more involved than the same procedure on a non-weight loss patient, and for this reason, Dr. Song will ensure that your body is ready to handle the stress in the critical early healing period. Most patients are also required to obtain medical clearance from their primary care physician, and routine lab work to check for anemia or nutritional deficiencies.
Depending on the complexity of the surgical plan, surgery may be an outpatient or inpatient procedure, and is always done under general anesthesia. Temporary surgical drains are always used.
Body lift procedures require a great amount of healing, and Dr. Song and his office will follow you closely after surgery to ensure an optimal recovery.
All patients are placed in a tight-fitting compression garment immediately after surgery, which you can expect to wear continuously (except while bathing) for six weeks. Drains are typically removed within the first week. While the drains are in place, you are allowed to shower as usual, but are asked to refrain from taking baths or being submerged in water.
The most important part of your post-operative instruction is that you are out of bed and walking the same day of surgery. Ambulating immediately after surgery is the most effective method to reduce the risk of blood clot in the deep veins of the leg (DVT), a potential complication of this surgery. Some patients who are high risk for DVT will be given a prescription for a blood thinner to be used after surgery. Swelling and bruising are expected, and although you will notice a dramatic change in your body almost instantaneously, the final result will be around six months after surgery.
Most patients return to work two to three weeks after surgery, and may resume light exercise at three weeks. At six weeks after surgery, you are able to resume any activity or exercise.
To find out more about the plastic surgery services we offer, call our office at 949-701-4454. You can also get in touch with us by filling out our online request form.