The lower body lift is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, thighs and buttocks. This procedure is most often performed after weight loss, especially in patients who have had bariatric surgery. The lower body lift elevates the thighs and buttocks into a more normal and aesthetically pleasing position. A lower body lift is best for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and notice that they have extra skin throughout the lower half of their body, as well as sagging of their buttocks and thighs. Image Plastic Surgery is a popular choice for people who desire body contouring.
Bariatric Surgery Information
Surgery for weight loss, also called bariatric surgery, has become extremely important over the past several years since more patients in New Jersey are opting for body contouring than ever before. Patients who have lost large amounts of weight have special needs. While many of the basic principles of plastic surgery apply to bariatric surgery patients, special procedures have been designed for their care, and special precautions need to be taken for their safety. Dr. Martin Moskovitz has been involved in plastic surgery with weight loss patients for many years and has performed body lifts and other body contouring procedures with great success.
Body Lift Pre-Operative Care
The pre-operative care is similar to that of an abdominoplasty. Routine tests are needed and photographs are taken to assess progress.
Patients are asked to donate their own blood four weeks prior to surgery so that it is available for transfusion after the surgery. The extent of the surgery is significantly greater than a standard abdominoplasty, so it is wise to have the blood available if needed. Many patients are anemic due to nutritional issues secondary to the weight loss surgery and cannot donate blood. The surgery can still be performed safely and patients are asked to increase their iron intake as much as possible.
Patients should not smoke within three weeks of the operation. Of course, smoking is never a good idea and patients should quit smoking early and permanently.
No aspirin, ibuprofen, or similar drugs should be taken within two weeks of surgery. These medications can cause serious excess bleeding during and after the operation. If you have any questions about drugs you are taking, including over-the-counter preparations and natural herbs, please call us at (201) 225-1101.
An office visit is scheduled the day before the surgery for final markings. Please shower before this visit and wear your favorite bikini bottom or underwear to the office so that the incisions and scars can be properly placed.
A liquid diet is required the day before surgery and additional mild laxatives may be given. Preventing bowel movements during surgery or constipation after surgery will help ensure a better result and a more comfortable post-operative period. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight of the night before your surgery. This includes coffee and juice in the morning. Oral medications can be taken with a sip of water.
Body Lift Operation
You should be at the hospital at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled surgical start time. Bring all paperwork from the office with you, as this will save time on the day of surgery.
Dr. Martin Moskovitz will see you pre-operatively and then bring you to the operating room for surgery. During the surgery an incision will be made completely around your lower body. Excess skin and fat will be removed. This will lift your buttocks and thighs. Liposuction will be performed to several areas to remove even more fat and a full abdominoplasty is also usually performed to flatten the stomach. The incisions will be closed with multiple layers of stitches. A deep layer of permanent stitches will be used to close the layers beneath the skin while absorbable stitches will close the skin itself. Other operations may be performed at the same time, if safe. These operations may include an inner thigh lift or a brachioplasty (arm tightening). Other operations that are more involved -- such as a breast lift, upper back skin removal, or facelift -- are usually done at a separate time. The body lift is a large operation and it is not safe to perform too much surgery at one time.
Body Lift Post-Operative Care
Post-operatively you will have multiple drains to prevent an accumulation of blood (hematoma) or fluid (seroma). Most drains will be removed between the third and seventh days, though some will remain in place for 2 weeks. Most patients stay in the hospital for 1-3 nights, mostly for pain control and nursing care. This means you will go home with several drains. They are easy to take care of and the nurses will teach you all you need to know. While you are in bed at the hospital, you will have special stockings to help prevent blood clots and when you go home you should get up and move frequently, though not strenuously.
When you get out of bed you must walk carefully and avoid straining your incisions on your front or on your back. In a few days you will quickly gain the ability to stretch and be able to stand normally.
Use deep breathing exercises and cough as needed.
You will be on a liquid diet at first and then quickly advance to regular food.
Since this is an abdominoplasty plus, there is post-operative pain, but the pain quickly resolves and the results are excellent. In the hospital you will have a pain pump and at home you will have oral pain medication.
It is important to maintain a resting attitude for six weeks after surgery. While it is rare to tear the skin stitches, it is possible to loosen the underlying permanent abdominal, thigh, and buttock stitches and thereby lessen the operation's effectiveness. It is important to avoid all heavy lifting or exercise during the first 6 weeks after surgery while your underlying tissues are healing and forming new collagen scar fibers.
Your scars will start to fade about 4 months after surgery and by one year they should be a fine line hidden by your underwear and bikini. Some patients do not scar as well and may be required to apply a silicone sheet bandage to help compress and lessen the scar. In the end, the results should be very satisfactory.