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When patients lose a lot of weight, either through diet and exercise, or surgically with bariatric surgery (gastric reduction) the result will be an excess of skin in many areas of the body such as arms, back, abdomen, thighs, etc. Plastic surgery can improve these patients through what is called post-bariatric surgery. These are techniques specific to different areas of the body. When the abdomen has excess skin, and the buttocks have dropped, we perform a surgery called body lift. This will get rid of the excess skin around the waist area, fixing the abdomen and elevating the buttocks.
Its goal is to return the body to a more normal appearance after loss of skin elasticity due to extreme weight loss or age-related changes.
General anesthesia, combined with local anesthesia.
Incisions and technique:
This technique is usually performed together, the lifting of the back and the abdominoplasty. However, in patients who have already done the abdomen, or patients that do not have a problem there it can be performed only in the back region. For a full body lift, however, the incion with be the traditional abdominoplasty incision, over the pubic area and along the inguinal line until the hips. That incision will be joined with the back incision that goes around the waist until the inter-gluteal fold. The excess skin and fat is measured and removed. The sutures will be applied in three different levels, to support the tissues in the new place.
3 to 5 hours
Usually a hospital stay of 2 or 3 days. The patient has to feel well and be walking normally to be released from hospital.
Back to work 2 to3 weeks. Exercise and sun bathing 4 weeks, or until the bruises disappear completely. Swelling will take 6 months to be eliminated completely. The scars will be mature in 12 to 18 months.
Duration of Results
Ageing will not stop. Normally five to ten years, but it can be permanent if the patient changes the life style and maintain the weight through diet and exercise.
There may be temporary pain and tenderness, swelling, a change in nipple sensation and possibly bruising for two to three weeks.
There are always scars following this procedure. Every effort will be made to make them as inconspicuous as possible. That there may be swelling in the legs and/or arms, which can persist for several weeks and, in rare cases, longer following the procedure. There may be discoloration of the skin (black and blue) for several weeks. There may be scattered areas of numbness over the legs and/or arms following surgery, which may persist for an indefinite period of time. At times fluid or blood may accumulate in the operative sites which may require aspiration or drainage.
Sometimes a second procedure is necessary to improve scars and the result. Other risks are bleeding, infection, tissue damage, nerve injury.