No matter how much exercise one does, or how healthy the diet, it is possible for aging to eventually take toll on the body. Excess skin and tissue can begin to sag and stretch around the waistline, thighs, lower back, and buttocks. Aside from the normal aging process, other triggers that can result in a laxity of tissues include sun damage, pregnancy, and extreme weight loss. The only way to regain a tight, curvaceous figure will be through a surgical intervention.
The body lift procedure is designed to remove the excess fat and loose skin along the midsection and buttocks. The surgeon will not only tighten the tissues, Dr. Kreithen will sculpt the abdomen and provide improved contour to the hips and buttocks. The appearance will be improved and skin tone rejuvenated; a natural looking form will be created.
An ideal candidate for this procedure will be either a man or woman, in generally good health, and preferably a nonsmoker. If they are unhappy with the appearance of the stomach, buttocks, lower back, and thighs, and are at a stable weight, the individual may make an excellent candidate. This surgery can provide patients with long lasting results, as long as they are committed to a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. It is also normal for the skin to once again lose elasticity as the patient ages.
Body Lift Procedure:
Dr. Kreithen performs this procedure. Patients will be under general anesthesia, and the procedure can take somewhere between four and six hours to complete.
To begin, a circumferential incision is made, completely around the body, following around the lower abdomen and above the buttocks. A lower body lift is reserved for patients looking to tighten the lower abdomen, groin, waist, thighs, and buttocks. This type of procedure commonly utilizes an incision that is located under the bikini line. Once the appropriate incision is made, excess skin and fatty tissue are excised from the abdomen, lower back, and hips. Remaining tissue will be pulled taut, providing a tight, sculpted figure. The incisions are then sutured. Once the procedure is complete, a dressing is placed over the incisions, and a support garment is put on the patient. Temporary drain tubes will be placed along the abdomen.
The body lift procedure may be combined with other rejuvenating procedures such as liposuction (to contour the body), a buttock lift (to provide proportion along the buttocks and lower back), or a breast augmentation (bringing the chest to an ideal size).
Body Lift Recovery:
Patients should expect the recovery period from this procedure to take about two weeks. A compression garment will need to be worn during the recovery process; this will keep swelling to a minimum and facilitate healing. Drainage tubes will be placed after surgery; used to remove excess fluid and blood. Tubes are generally removed in five to ten days.
Initially patients will experience mild to moderate discomfort. To keep pain to a minimum, the surgeon will prescribe appropriate medications. An antibiotic is often provided as well, to minimize the chance for infection. Most patients will feel well enough to return to work or school within two weeks from their procedure. Strenuous activities should be postponed for four to six weeks.
Scarring can be expected from the procedure. These run around the lower abdomen and above the buttocks. Over time, though, these will fade significantly. While complications from a body lift are rare, these may include bleeding, infection, scarring, and delayed wound healing.
The body lift procedure requires an expertly trained surgeon, in order to achieve the desired results. Dr. Joshua Kreithen has been providing patients safe, efficient, and natural-looking results for many years. Contact our office at (866) 218-4810 for more information on this procedure; schedule your one-on-one consultation to find out which procedure is right for your individual needs.
The combined effects of aging, gravity, childbirth, fluctuations in weight, and a loss of skin elasticity all contribute to loss of tone in the abdomen, buttocks and thighs as we age. A lower body lift in Sarasota can markedly improve the appearance of your abdomen, buttocks and outer thighs. Dr. Kreithen’s approach is to individualize treatment to your specific circumstances and goals. His personalized method ensures that you have an adequate understanding of the issues involved and are able to make a fully informed decision. This will help you achieve the appearance you desire with the best procedure for you, thus creating a mutually rewarding experience.
The best candidates for a lower body lift are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful for Sarasota / Bradenton plastic surgery patients who have lost a significant amount of weight through diet and exercise or through a gastric bypass procedure. Often, these individuals are left with an excessive amount of loose skin and fat around the lower abdomen, hips and buttocks. The surgery is also helpful for individuals who desire better contouring of their lower abdomen, outer hips and buttocks.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Patients who have undergone a gastric bypass should wait at least six months after their weight has stabilized. Poor healing of the skin is most likely to affect smokers, so smokers must quit at least one month prior to surgery and refrain from smoking at least one month after the surgery. If you are planning a future pregnancy or anticipate a significant loss of weight in the future, it is probably best to postpone your lower body lift until after these events have occurred to optimize your results.
Procedure: Flatten abdomen and flanks by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles of abdominal wall. Lifts thighs and buttocks.
Length: 6 to 8 hours.
In/Outpatient: Inpatient, usually requires 3 to 5 days hospital stay.
Side Effects: Temporary pain. Swelling, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, bruising, tiredness for several weeks or months.
Risks: Blood clots. Fluid collections. Infection. Bleeding under the skin flap. Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Need for a second operation.
Recovery: Back to work: 2 to 4 weeks. More strenuous activity: 6 weeks or more. Fading and flattening of scars: 3 months to 2 years.
All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk
Hundreds of lower body lifts are performed successfully each year. When done by a qualified plastic surgeon who is trained in body contouring, the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics, but will prolong your hospital stay. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible.
There will be a circumferential scar around your waist that will be hidden by your undergarments or a bikini. There is a possibility of having delayed healing of this scar or even an open wound that may take several weeks to heal. The scar may be unattractive for several months. Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation. Additionally, there is a possibility of a post-operative blood clot or persistent fluid collection in the wound that may need intervention. Smokers must stop at least one month prior to and after the operation, as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr. Kreithen’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.
Planning Your Surgery
During your initial consultation, Dr. Kreithen will inquire about your medical history, prior procedures, medications, allergies, and your motivations for seeking plastic surgery. It is very important that you be thorough when providing your medical history, as this information helps to prevent complications during your care. When asked about medications, be sure to include any vitamin or herbal preparations, as these can affect your blood pressure and clotting ability. Honesty regarding your use of tobacco and alcohol is also very important, as these may have a profound impact on your recovery period and your ability to heal following your procedure.
After reviewing your medical history, Dr. Kreithen will discuss your concerns, priorities and motivations for pursuing plastic surgery, as well as your fears. After examining you, Dr. Kreithen will be able to offer advice and options to help you achieve the appearance you desire. He will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different options you have before you.
At the completion of your consultation, you will meet with our patient coordinator. You will be given an estimate of the cost of your procedure, and have the option to schedule your procedure if you so choose. You are also encouraged to bring your spouse, significant other, family member, or a friend to your consultation. Dr. Kreithen realizes the importance of your decision, and will be happy to meet with you a second time to discuss the surgery.
Preparing for Your Surgery
Dr. Kreithen will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins, herbals and medications.
If you smoke, plan to quit at least one month before your surgery and not to resume for at least one month after your surgery. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed.
You should bring your bathing suit the day of surgery to help Dr. Kreithen design the incisions so that the scar will be hidden in public.
You should plan to spend three to five days in the hospital after the surgery. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery stay, and for someone to help you out for a week or two after you leave the hospital to help with daily activities and wound care.
Where Your Surgery Will be Performed
A lower body lift will most likely be performed at our new state-of-the-art Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery Medical Center operating room. An inpatient stay will be required after the surgery.
Types of Anesthesia
A lower body lift is always performed under general anesthesia. You’ll be asleep through the entire operation. Sometimes an epidural is beneficial in helping with post-operative pain.
Lower body lift surgery usually takes five to seven hours to perform. After you are properly anesthetized, Dr. Kreithen will make the incisions necessary for removal of excess skin and fat. This incision resembles a tummy tuck incision across the lower abdomen but also extends all the way around the waist and actually meets in the middle of the back over the lower spine/upper pelvic region.
After the incision has been made, Dr. Kreithen gently elevates the skin and fat off of the underlying muscles of the abdominal wall. If needed, these muscles are tightened using sutures. Some patients have hernias in the abdominal wall, and these may also be repaired during a lower body lift.
After the muscles have been tightened, Dr. Kreithen will remove excess skin and fat and redrapes the skin over the underlying muscles. Four drains are typically placed beneath the incision. These slender, rubber tubes assist in draining any fluid that may accumulate beneath the incision and delay your healing.
The incisions are carefully closed to minimize your scar. Dr. Kreithen uses a technique in which all of the sutures are placed beneath the skin and are absorbed by your body. Not having to undergo suture removal has improved patient comfort and satisfaction.
A sterile dressing is applied to the incisions, and an abdominal binder is placed around your waist. This binder helps support your incision during healing, decreases postoperative swelling, and helps decrease any bruising that may occur.
After Your Surgery
Lower body lift surgery is performed in the hospital with an inpatient stay required. Most patients spend three to five days in the hospital. During your stay, you may have a PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia) Pump to administer pain medicine to yourself intravenously. Sometimes an epidural placed before surgery is beneficial in helping with post-operative pain. You will also receive intravenous antibiotics and an anti-nausea medication for the duration of your stay.
Getting Back to Normal
After discharge from the hospital, you will be prescribed antibiotics and pain medication. Most patients find that they are able to transition to Tylenol after three or five days. You will need to take care of your drainage tubes and record the output three times a day. You may shower once all of the drainage tubes are removed. It is not safe to drive a car within 24 hours of taking pain medication, as your reflexes and alertness may be altered.
You should plan to wear the abdominal binder for up to three weeks following surgery. Dr. Kreithen will remove the drainage tubes when the drainage is appropriately low enough to allow drain removal, usually in the first three weeks.
It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from a lower body lift will be much faster. Some people return to work after three to four weeks, while others take up to six weeks to rest and recuperate.
Exercise will help you heal better, particularly walking. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably, approximately six weeks after the surgery. You may lift up to ten pounds in each hand during the initial six week period.
Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they’ll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.
Your New Look
A lower body lift produces excellent results for patients with excess skin and fat of the lower abdomen, hips, thighs and buttocks. In most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
If you’re realistic in your expectations and prepared for the consequences of a permanent scar and a lengthy recovery period, a lower body lift may be just the answer for you.
As a talented post-bariatric plastic surgery specialist, Dr. Kreithen offers a number of procedures that can be performed as stand-alone treatments or combined into comprehensive surgical plans. Some of the post-weight-loss procedures Dr. Kreithen often recommends and performs include body lift, arm lift and thigh lift in Sarasota. In addition, Dr. Kreithen offers several sophisticated treatments for the abdominal area. In fact, he is renowned as a highly accomplished tummy tuck and liposuction Sarasota surgeon.