Avoid Complications After Your Body Lift Surgery

The body lift procedure can help prospective patients find a way to recontour the body after a dramatic weight loss. Often after a large amount of weight has been lost, men and women are left with excess sagging skin, loosened muscles, and even some small pockets of fat that get left behind. Body lift surgery is designed to target specific trouble spots to help the patient regain a slimmer, sleeker look, one they have earned by shedding so many extra pounds. While the body lift can certainly deliver big benefits to the right patient, it is also a very involved surgery that should not be taken lightly. There are many potential complications that patients must be aware of in order to minimize their risks as much as possible.

What Does a Body Lift Include?

Patients turn to the body lift procedure for an effective way to remove excess skin and fat from targeted spots on the lower body. Body lift surgery typically begins with the placement of incisions along the abdomen and lower body to allow surgical access to what needs to be corrected. To perform a complete body lift, your plastic surgeon will place incisions in an apron shape across the abdomen. The skin will then be lifted and laid across the area again in a firmer, tauter position before the excess is trimmed away. While small amounts of fatty cells may be removed through this process, liposuction techniques can be applied to complete the body contouring process.

In some cases, the body lift procedure may also include tightening and repositioning the underlying tissues and muscles to improve the support of the abdomen and lower body. When the skin is laid over this strengthened supportive tissue, your lower body will be greatly improved in appearance and your results may last much longer. When necessary, the navel will be relocated to a more natural position.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Body Lift?

If you’ve been considering a body lift surgery, you’ll first need to meet with your plastic surgeon for a consultation. During this meeting, you’ll answer many questions about your medical history, current medications, past surgeries, lifestyle habits, and much more. Because the body lift surgery is so involved, you’ll need to be in good overall health to tolerate the surgical process and recovery. You should also have a need to remove a significant amount of sagging and inelastic skin hanging around your abdomen, waist, buttocks, hips, and thighs. While most body lift patients have recently undergone a gastric bypass surgery or other dramatic weight loss program, loose skin around the lower body can also result from the aging process, pregnancies and childbirth (especially Caesarean deliveries).

In addition to the need for surgery and a clean bill of health, prospective body lift patients should also be nonsmokers who live healthy lifestyles that can support the maintenance of a healthy weight. Former weight loss patients should have kept the weight off for around one year before they will be considered ideal candidates for a body lift or other body contouring surgery. Finally, patients should also have a realistic expectation for their results and a good understanding of the procedure itself.

What Common Risks Are Associated With a Body Lift?

Now that you’ve learned the basics about the body lift procedure, it’s likely easy to see why a board certified and highly skilled plastic surgeon is required to perform it. The body lift procedure, like other plastic surgeries, can pose some rare risks to patients. Post-surgical side effects should include some bruising, swelling, and moderate pain, but additional symptoms can result if proper care isn’t taken to prevent them.

Some of the most commonly reported complications include the accumulation of excess fluids at the treatment area, temporary or permanent numbness and tingling, infection, excessive bleeding, and blood clots. Before your surgery, your plastic surgeon will discuss these complications with you, as well as your individual risk factors and what measures can help you prevent problems. Follow your plastic surgeon’s advice carefully before and after surgery to minimize your risks.

What Measures Can Minimize My Surgical Risks?

Body lift surgery is an extensive procedure, so your plastic surgeon will encourage you to be diligent and thorough about your aftercare for your own health and safety. Follow these tips to protect yourself from unwanted side effects:

  • Give your plastic surgeon a thorough list of your past medical conditions, procedures, medications, and other pertinent information. By telling your surgeon upfront, you can help him or her make safer and more effective decisions about your procedure and aftercare.
  • Talk about every medication, vitamin, and herbal supplement you are currently taking. Many of these can interact with your pain medications and/or anesthetics used during your procedure. A serious reaction could delay your healing process, create further complications, or have serious consequences.
  • Clearly explain your desired contouring changes to your plastic surgeon to avoid any miscommunications that could lead to an unsatisfactory result.
  • If you are a smoker, quit now. Smoking can increase your risk for poor healing as a result of restricted blood vessels and slow blood flow to the treatment area. You’ll need to stop smoking at least six weeks prior to your body lift surgery.
  • Keep your weight stable for at least one year before seeking a body lift procedure. Fluctuating weights can create unpredictable results and potential surgical problems. Your weight should also remain stable throughout the consultation and surgical planning process, as well as your recovery period.
  • Carefully select a plastic surgeon who is board certified and experienced in the body lift procedure. His knowledge and expertise can protect you against surgical mistakes and poor practices that could increase many risks, including poor results and infections.

Choose Your Plastic Surgeon Wisely

Find out more about how body lift surgery can benefit you today. To discuss your eligibility for this procedure, meet with a plastic surgeon who is experienced to get your very best results. Frederick G. Weniger, M.D., F.A.C.S. provides his patients with years of experience and knowledge during one-on-one consultations. Dr. Weniger is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He believes good information lies at the heart of success in all of his surgeries and interactions with his patients.

To schedule a consultation for any aesthetic service or other procedures, contact the office of Weniger Plastic Surgery today at (843) 757-0123. They are located at 350 Fording Island Road, Suite 200, in Bluffton, South Carolina.