Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

3What is a Body Lift?

When an individual undergoes a dramatic weight loss, he or she is frequently left with excess loose skin on their body that can cause chafing and discomfort. A body lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes the excess skin and fat from the body to achieve a smoother contour and appearance. Our board-certified plastic surgeons at Forma Plastic Surgery use the most advanced techniques to help patients reach their surgical goals.

Body Lift Consultation

Individuals interested in a body lift should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During this visit, the plastic surgeon will ask a series of questions regarding the patient’s medical and surgical history, any medications or supplements a patient might be taking, and the motivation for seeking surgical intervention. In addition, the plastic surgeon will perform an evaluation of the areas needing treatment and make individualized recommendations with regard to the patient’s surgical options.

The Body Lift Procedure

A body lift procedure requires general anesthesia and may take approximately four to five hours to complete. It is sometimes an outpatient procedure, and the patient frequently may return home the same day. Some patients wish to stay overnight at a surgery facility depending on the individual’s circumstances. For the procedure, the plastic surgeon will perform a circumferential incision around the body to remove the complete section of excess skin and fat. Next, the remaining tissue is tightened and repositioned. Finally the incisions are closed and dressed.

Body Lift Results and Recovery

After a body lift procedure, the patient is dressed in a compression garment to reduce swelling and to support the patient’s new shape. This garment is worn for several weeks after surgery. Also, after surgery, the patient will have small tubes placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluids; these drains usually will be removed in one to two weeks. Patients will experience bruising and pain, but the plastic surgeon will prescribe medications to help reduce this discomfort. Most patients may return to work in two to four weeks, and many patients can return to their normal exercise routine in about six weeks; the plastic surgeon will determine this on a case-by-case basis as people recover differently. There were be permanent incision lines, but the plastic surgeon will work with patients closely to reduce the appearance of these scars. How visible the marks are depends upon a variety of factors such as incision maturation time, the patient’s genetic makeup, and basic incision care.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and complications associated with the surgery. The plastic surgeon will discuss these with the patient in detail at the consultation and the pre-operative appointment. Results are visible almost immediately after surgery, but it may take as long as one year for the final results to be fully developed. Patients are generally thrilled after the surgery to be able to fit better in their clothes and the results are long lasting.

Arm Lift Surgery

An arm lift, also known as a brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces excess skin and fat of the arm between the shoulder and the elbow. This procedure reshapes the arm to provide a smoother, more toned appearance. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will create an incision along the upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow. If there is excess fat, they may use liposuction as well. The skin is then adjusted, and excess is removed. Finally, the incision is closed, resulting in a more contoured arm shape. The results of arm lift surgery will be long lasting, but it is important for patients to maintain a stable weight and continue with regular exercise to keep the arm shape toned.

Thigh Lift Surgery

A thigh lift can reshape the thighs by reducing the amount of excess skin and fat that individuals sometimes have following massive weight loss or because of age. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon creates an incision on an area of the thigh attempting to avoid visibility. He or she will then use liposuction to remove fat and contour the area. Next, the skin is adjusted and any excess skin will be removed. Finally the incisions are closed, resulting in a firmer, more toned appearing thigh. The results of a thigh lift are visible almost immediately, but it may take several months for the results to be fully evident. Some incision will remain, but usually fade with time. Results are generally long lasting provided that the patient maintains a stable weight and continues to exercise regularly.