As anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight can tell you, losing the weight is only the first step in the battle. Patients who lose considerable amounts of weight and their goals are faced with another daunting challenge: lots of excess skin. This skin can hang off the body, since the skin has lost its elasticity and is unable to shrink back to its original configuration. And the best solution to that excess skin problem is for the patient to undergo what is commonly referred to as a “body lift.”
What Is A Body Lift?
A body lift is a surgical procedure which removes large amount of excess skin from the body. That can include skin removal from the arms, the legs and thighs, the upper body, waistline and lower body.
Who Is Best Suited For A Body Lift?
Aside from the obvious health considerations, there are a number of guidelines in place to help determine which patients are best suited emotionally and physically for the procedure. It is a major procedure and shouldn’t be undertaken lightly.
The first consideration is how long the weight has been off and stabilized at its current level. Generally speaking, medical guidelines advise the patient should have had a stable weight for at least six months, without notable fluctuations. Fluctuating weights in the period before and after the body lift can slow recovery time and increase the likelihood of problems with the patient’s ultimate appearance goals.
Smoking and drinking are also problematic for patients preparing for a body lift. It’s recommended that patients don’t smoke for at least a month before the surgery, because smoking can slow the recovery time and can lead to blood clots in rare situations. While drinking itself isn’t an issue, excessive drinking can result in bleeding issues and increased swelling after the procedure. So patients should be honest with their doctor about their current level of alcohol consumption.
Can A Body Lift Be Performed During A Single Surgery?
The short answer is yes, a body lift is often done as a single surgery instead of multiple ones. There are pluses and minuses to each option and the decision on which one is best really depends on the health of the patient and the best judgment of the surgeon performing the body lift.
One advantage of doing the body lift in a single surgery is that it is one procedure and one recovery. Non-smokers are better candidates for a single surgery and it is generally a choice that works best for patients who have solid all-around health. The single surgery is also generally limited to six hours or so, which might rule out patients who need extensive surgery to complete the body lift.
Multiple surgeries can be necessary if there is a fear of blood clots or a history of infections. They can also be prescribed if the patient’s health is problematic or there is a fear of emotional issues connected to the recovery. A single surgery is the norm for many patients, but splitting the body lift into multiple surgeries is not an unusual decision.
What Is The Average Recovery Time After A Body Lift?
This really varies depending on the patient and the difficulty of the body lift. The typical body lift removes many pounds of excess skin and fat, with the result being a lot of incisions. These incisions can be red and very uncomfortable, so it is recommended that patients take off 2-3 weeks of work as a minimum. In most cases, about 75% of the swelling and redness will be gone after six weeks, with about 90% of it gone at the three-month point.
Life After A Body Lift
One of the most important factors in a successful recovery from a body lift is setting realistic expectations. The board-certified surgeon will discuss at length with the patient before the surgery about what they should expect. A body lift can be life-changing, but everyone’s body responds differently and it’s important for patients to understand both the positives and negatives of any surgical procedure. That knowledge will ensure the patient is happy with the results. Sometimes a patient who is struggling with their expectations can find themselves battling a post-surgical depression. But an experienced surgeon is able to head off these post-surgical issues with steady doctor-patient communication.
If you’re trying to determine if it’s the right time to have body lift surgery, contact one of the board-certified plastic surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Miami. All of the doctors are Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and its patients are this facility’s number one priority. They’ll help you understand expectations and any questions associated with body lift surgery. They’ve performed thousands of procedures and are ready to use that vast experience to help change your life for the better. You can learn more about them at www.psimiami.com.