Body lift is an operation designed to tighten the skin of the middle third of the body. At the front of the body (abdomen), the excess skin is lowered. At the back of the body (buttocks) and on the sides (outer thighs), the skin is raised. This results in a scar on the belt.
The objective is to remove excess skin. When there is also excess fat, it is removed at the same time with a dramatic decrease in overall body volume.
**The body lift therefore works effectively on:
• the belly, pubis and upper thighs
• the buttocks
• the hips and saddlebags
This procedure can be better visualized by imagining that a strip of skin 20-25 cm high is removed all around the body and located at the waist level. The resulting circular scar may seem significant. But in fact the experience proves that if it is well positioned and if the improvement of the silhouette is spectacular it is very well accepted.
Duration of hospital stay
4 to 6 days.
The body lift is a heavy operation.
Average length of stay
General anesthesia is mandatory."
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In so-called "aesthetic" cases, for which it is only a correction of excess skin, the consultation will respect the classic criteria of the cosmetic surgery consultation and will allow a good analysis of the motivations. But in addition, the patient will be well informed that this is a more tiring operation than the average.
In the case of surgery in the context of obesity, preoperative consultations should include:
• Other adjuvant means. Before coming to plastic surgery, they must be analyzed and it is not necessary to hesitate to solicit colleagues from other specialties: nutritionist, endrocrinologist, behavioural psychiatrist, bariatric surgeon (digestive) if the body mass index (BMI) is higher than 40, sports coach… Plastic surgery is certainly radical but it is only one of the solutions to the problem of remodeling the silhouette.
• The evolution of the patient's weight. It is logical to perform the operation when the weight has been stable for several months.
• The psychological side. A rapid and dramatic change in body shape can have a strong psychological impact. The surgeon must therefore ensure that there is no excessive fragility at this level. If in any doubt, he or she will be assisted by a psychologist or psychiatrist who will give a feasibility diagnosis.
• The good state of physical health and the absence of deficiency because the body lift is a long (4 to 6 hours) and tiring procedure. All this is controlled by the anesthesiologist who sees the patient in consultation long enough in advance to have time to prepare the procedure and request a complete preoperative check-up.
The expected result can be simulated from the photographs by computer morphing, but remains below the expected result.
The scar, which is quite long, is the only residual mark of the operation. It must be explained in detail, in particular its shape and especially its future position, which may vary according to the patient's desire to adapt to her preferred type of clothing. Currently, the choice is most often made for a low position allowing the wearing of low waist pants. But you can perfectly choose a high position to adapt to the indented "Brazilian" style swimsuits. The width of the final scar varies from "fine" to "slightly distended" (healing hazards).
No medication containing aspirin should be taken within 10 days of the procedure. A skin preparation is usually prescribed the day before and the morning of the procedure.
Type of anesthesia: General anesthesia is mandatory because the surfaces operated on and the duration of the procedure exceed the possibilities of local or regional anesthesia.
Hospitalization conditions: 4 to 6 days of hospitalization is required.
Each surgeon adopts procedures that are specific to him/her and that he/she adapts to each case to selectively correct the defects present and obtain the best results. This makes it difficult to systematize the intervention. However, common basic principles can be retained:
Preoperative markings: These are essential for the correct positioning and symmetry of the scar and are performed before any premedication so that the patient can stand upright.
Installation: the operation consists of 2 phases of approximately equal duration. In principle it starts in the ventral position and ends in the dorsal position.
Liposuction: The procedure often begins with liposuction of the saddlebags and hips to remove volume and mobilize even more excess skin.
Dorsal phase: the excess skin is then removed from the lower back above the buttocks and laterally to tighten the outer surface of the thighs. If the buttocks are flat, the surgeon can use excess fat from the hips which, when lowered, will be used to reshape and increase the buttock volume. No drainage is necessary because lymphatic vessels are few in number in the area and detachments are limited and padded.
Patient reversal: This is a very codified step that is carried out with great caution. After turning, the patient is again prepared (rigorous antiseptic protocol) for the second phase of the operation.
Ventral phase** (it is identical to a classic abdominal plastic surgery): it allows the abdomen to be stretched downwards, the pubis and the front of the thighs upwards. It begins with liposuction to mobilize tissues while minimizing detachments. The surgeon joins the posterior incision, which will then be in continuity with the anterior incision. No drainage is necessary either because the many lymphatic vessels are respected by dissection, limited and padded detachments.
Recovery is a little longer than for any other operation due to the duration of the intervention, the surfaces operated on and the quantities removed. Swelling and bruising appear quickly and can be quite intense as well as fatigue and pain.
If fatigue is too severe, a blood transfusion may be indicated. As for pain, it is managed by anaesthetists and is greatly reduced by powerful products. Wearing a compression sleeve is essential for one month to limit swelling. The risk of phlebitis complicated by pulmonary embolism is very low thanks to anticoagulant injections and early mornings. The scar should not be exposed to the sun or UV rays for 3 months.
The result is immediately visible because the re-tensioning of the skin is always spectacular. After a few weeks the swelling starts to disappear and the result is even more impressive. With regard to the scar, it should be noted that, although it generally fades well over time, it cannot disappear completely; it should not be forgotten that, if it is the surgeon who performs the sutures, the scar is the responsibility of the patient.
Beyond the aesthetic improvement that is often appreciable, the body lift generally provides the patient with a very clear improvement in comfort. In addition, this functional improvement and psychological well-being helps the patient to adjust their weight balance.
The purpose of this surgery is to improve, not to achieve perfection. If your wishes are realistic, the result should give you great satisfaction. In any case, this is an important and delicate surgery for which the quality of the indication and the rigour of the surgical procedure do not in any way protect against a certain number of imperfections or even complications.
By choosing a qualified and competent Plastic Surgeon trained in this type of operation, you limit these risks as much as possible, but do not completely eliminate them. Fortunately, real complications are rare following a body lift performed according to the rules. In practice, the vast majority of interventions go smoothly and patients are fully satisfied with their results.
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