Body Lift Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- When is the right time after gastric bypass or massive weight loss to undergo a body lift?
- How can I expect my arms to look over time?
1. Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
You are considered a good candidate for a body lift procedure if you:
- Have significant soft tissue looseness in one or more areas of your body after massive weight loss.
- You are not a smoker.
- You have realistic expectations.
- You will be dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle after your surgery.
- You are in good physical condition.
- You have good general health.
2. Where and how will you perform my procedure?
The time required for a body lift surgery depends on the type and extent of the surgery being performed and in general, 3-7 hours is typical. In some cases, it may be necessary to split up the surgery into two different sessions.
First, medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr. Hsu will recommend the best choice for you. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as Dr. Hsu's best judgment.
Depending on your specific conditions, incisions may be more limited. Then, underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped with internal sutures. Finally, the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your body. Your incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, or stitches that will be removed within 1-2 weeks following your body lift.
3. What surgical technique is recommended for me?
These decisions will be based on the requirements of your specific procedure and in consideration of your preference and Dr. Hsu's best judgment. Dr. Hsu and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.
4. How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
Your recovery time depends on many factors including the type of body lift you had and your individual healing capabilities. Most people resume a normal, light routine, in 2-3 weeks with limitations. The key to a successful outcome is to be patient and allow your body to heal properly.
It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by Dr. Hsu. This will include information about wearing compression garments, taking an antibiotic, and the level of activity that is safe. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
The first few days after surgery, you should rest quietly. Elevate the affected body part if possible. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications. You will most likely wear a post-surgical garment; if it is too tight, notify us right away. The first 48 hours after surgery, you will experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. The swelling is maximal at 48 hours after surgery and mostly disappears within two to three weeks, but there may be slight residual swelling for up to four months. Bruising is normal and typically disappears within seven to ten days and sutures are usually removed seven to ten days after.
Avoid straining, bending over and lifting during the early post-operative period. In many cases, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within ten days or less. Discomfort after a body lift is generally limited to soreness rather than pain. Pain medications are prescribed to lessen any discomfort during the first few days. Patients usually return to work within a few days following a body lift procedure. It is important to ambulate (walk) as soon as possible after liposuction to discourage swelling and prevent blood clots in the legs. However, avoid strenuous exercise for at least six weeks because it can trigger unnecessary fluid retention in the treated areas. You should wait a minimum of six weeks before exposure to sun and heat, including sunbathing, because of the possibility of swelling. You will wear a compression garment over the treated areas for four to six weeks to control swelling and promote skin contraction.
5. When is the right time after gastric bypass or massive weight loss to undergo a body lift?
Dr. Hsu typically likes to wait after the one year mark for scar tissues to heal and usually by this time most patients should be within a few pounds of their final stable weight.
6. How can I expect my body to look over time?
The results after a body lift are long lasting, but the processes of gravity and aging are continuous, allowing some laxity in your skin. With proper diet and exercise, the results of a body lift can be permanent, as good skin quality maintains your body lift results.