Post-Bariatric Body Contouring
However you lose the weight, massive weight loss will produce loose, hanging skin, because the stretching of the skin will have produced a loss of elasticity, preventing the skin from “snapping” back. The only effective way to deal with this problem is surgery, to remove the excess tissue with a body lift. Body lifts are cosmetic surgery procedures intended to shape and tone the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and breasts.
The best candidate for a body lift has maintained a stable weight for a minimum of three months – preferably six months to a year – and should be participating in a healthy exercise and dietary program. Candidates who have had gastric bypass, Lap-Band or other gastric restrictive procedures should wait at least one year after weight loss surgery so that the common health problems associated with obesity have had time to improve. Patients must undergo pre-surgical medical clearance for elective skin removal surgery by their primary care physicians to ensure that these procedures are performed under the most ideal conditions.
Bariatric body contouring and body lift surgeries tend to produce significant scars that are typically very well tolerated due to the dramatic improvement in appearance and ability to get around without the hanging skin interfering. To treat all the areas desired often requires multiple procedures.
The Body Lift Procedures
A lower body lift (belt lipectomy) involves the tummy, the thighs, buttocks and back, while an upper body lift focuses primarily on the breasts, chest and middle back areas. If lower and upper body lifts are combined, the procedure is known as a total body lift. With a total body lift, the surgeries may be broken up because risks tend to increase when multiple surgeries are performed at the same time. Drs. Carlotti at the Carlotti Center for Cosmetic Surgery will develop a clear plan to help you achieve your body contouring goals.
After Body Lift Surgery
Body lifts are major surgical procedures and require significant recovery time. Pain and discomfort are first managed with intravenous or intramuscular medications, and later with oral pain medication.
Drainage tubes are inserted, which will require personal home care for up to two weeks. These tubes can be safely removed when the output of drainage fluid is low. Drs. Carlotti may provide you with a medical compression garment to wear at all times except while bathing. Dressings are generally removed two days after surgery and showering is allowed at that time.
Most people require four to six weeks’ recovery before returning to normal activities, and generally from six to eight weeks before exercising. There cannot be any pressure placed on the treated area. Approximately 75 percent of the swelling dissipates at six weeks and 90 percent at three months.
Scarring from any incision is unavoidable and scars tend to mature at about 6-12 months post-operatively. In rare instances, scar revision procedures may be necessary. In most cases, in a non-surgical fashion, scars can be improved with fractional lasering techniques (Active FX) and/or Intense Pulse Light (IPL) techniques.