Body Lift – Belt Plasty

Introduction:

Dramatic weight loss, weight fluctuation or natural aging frequently results in sagging skin in areas below the waistline. Lower-body-lift surgery tightens and sculpts the buttocks, back of the thighs, outer thighs, inner thighs, hips and abdomen.

Considerations:

Pros
– Loose skin will be removed and your contour sculpted, so you can see the results of your weight loss.
– You will experience the improved self-esteem that comes from looking better.
– You will get rid of overhanging skin that may cause painful chafing, rashes and infections.

Cons
– This is a demanding surgical procedure with a lengthy recovery.
– You will probably need one to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care at home.
– You will have a scar that will be hidden in the bikini line.

Am I a good candidate Body Lift – Belt Plasty?

– You have undergone bariatric surgery or significant weight loss through dieting.
– Pregnancy and/or aging have left you with loose skin and cellulite below the waistline.
– You have loose skin on your hips, the sides and fronts of your thighs, your inner thighs and your abdomen.
– You have significant skin laxity, excess skin, ptosis (sagginess) of the buttocks and abdominal wall laxity.
– The layers of fat below your loose skin are relatively thin.
– You are willing to accept a thin circumferential scar around your waist.
– You do not smoke. Smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
– Your weight has been stable for at least a year, with no further weight loss expected.

– You are in overall good health without chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. People in poor health are not good candidates for body contouring procedures. You must obtain clearance for plastic surgery from your primary care physician or from doctors treating you for medical conditions.
– You have a healthy diet. Problems such as protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.
– You have mental stamina. Surgical contouring procedures require patience and endurance.

If you are in good general health and have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

About Your Procedure:

How is a lower body lift procedure performed?
A complete lower body lift has the advantage of treating the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs in one procedure. Basically, the lower body lift extends the tummy tuck incision completely around the lower torso, which allows your surgeon to lift or resuspend the thighs and tighten the buttocks as well as to execute the traditional tummy tuck.
– Your surgeon will create a circumferential incision extending around your torso, through which he or she will remove an apron of excess skin and fat below the incision and reposition and tighten your tissues.
– The remaining skin in your buttocks and thighs will be pulled upward and your skin and underlying tissues will be suspended and tightened. You will be positioned on your tummy or side during this part of the procedure.
– Once your back and sides have been addressed, you will be positioned on your back so the surgeon can treat your front side.
– At this point, two options are available, which will be discussed with you preoperatively. One option is to combine the lower body lift with abdominal contouring, otherwise known as a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). The other option is to combine the lower body lift with an inner thigh lift, if your abdomen does not require contouring or if you have already had an abdominoplasty.
– Your incisions will be closed in multiple layers over drains to control stretching and swelling. Deep support sutures within the underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours. Sutures, skin adhesives or tapes are used to close the skin incisions.

What will my lower body lift incisions and scars be like?

Your scar placement is determined by how you wear your clothing and your scar will be easily hidden by clothing.

Preparing For Your Procedure:

In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
– Stop smoking for at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
– Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory medications, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
– Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery and good outcomes.
– You should be at a stable, dependable weight before you undergo a lower body lift. It is a good idea for your plastic surgeon to consult with your bariatric surgeon (if you have undergone this procedure) before surgery to determine whether you have achieved your final weight plateau.

Aftercare And Recovery

Immediately after your lower body lift
Generally, you can expect to be bandaged and wearing compression garments, and you may have some surgical drains. You will likely spend at least two days in the hospital or another setting in which you are receiving skilled nursing care. During this time you will learn how to take care of your drains and feel comfortable walking and moving. Once you are comfortable with oral pain medications, you will be discharged.

– When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or long-lasting, contact your physician. You will also have some redness and swelling after the surgery. In some cases, the swelling will remain for weeks or even months. Contact your physician to determine whether your pain, redness and swelling is normal or a sign of a problem.
– Make sure you continue to have lots of help at home. You’ll be tempted to try to help around the house quickly, but you won’t feel like yourself for at least two weeks, and you still shouldn’t do anything strenuous, including lifting, for four to six weeks. If you have small children, you must put someone else totally in charge of their care for at least two weeks.
– Ask your surgeon how to sleep, including the use of pillows, to minimize the tension on your incisions, reduce pain and facilitate a thinner scar.
– Swelling, which is commonly seen after body lift surgery, is controlled by compression garments, which reduce swelling, support the suspended tissues and smooth and flatten the skin.
– Drains, which also control swelling, are placed to remove fluid that accumulates within the incisions. Your doctor will ask you to measure the amount of fluid in your drains daily. Once the output falls low enough, your drains will be removed in your doctor’s office. Drains typically remain in place two to three weeks, but may be left longer.
– You will be encouraged to walk the day after surgery.

Recovery time frame after a lower body lift

Follow all postsurgical instructions, including guidelines about bandages, drains, taking an antibiotic, if prescribed and the level of activity that is safe.
– Weekly follow-up visits aid in your recovery by allowing for adjustments based on your progress.
– Your activity will be determined by the progress of your incision healing. Once the drains are removed, movement is easier.
– Discomfort will dissipate over a week or two after the surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication for you to take after you return home. You will need to wear the compression garment for a few weeks after the surgery and your plastic surgeon may recommend that you follow a special diet.
– Sutures are typically removed about two weeks after surgery and this too is done in your plastic surgeon’s office.
– Full healing of the circumferential incisions may take four weeks or even longer.
– Wound separations may occur, delaying wound healing (but rarely requiring further surgery).
– You will need to take at least two to three weeks off from work and restrict normal activities for four to six weeks. You will have some discomfort. This is expected and typically is easily controlled with pain medications.
– You will have to wait approximately six to eight weeks before you can resume exercise.
– The bruising will begin to disappear in a few weeks, and the swelling should subside within a few months. Although the scars will be permanent, they will fade in about twelve months and can be hidden by clothing.

How Long Will My Results Last?

The lift effect from lower-body-lift surgery is permanent, for the most part. The contouring achieved by removal of excess skin and fat is permanent. The undermining, advancement, and tightening of the skin of the thighs and buttocks is also permanent


Limitations And Risks:

All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
– Adverse reaction to anesthesia
– Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
– Infection and bleeding
– Changes in sensation
– Scarring
– Allergic reactions
– Damage to underlying structures
– Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures