What Is Lower Body Lift Surgery?
Weight fluctuating, natural aging or dramatic weight loss often results in sagging skin below the waistline. After you have struggled to achieve your optimum weight or have undergone Bariatric Surgery, you deserve to reap the rewards of your efforts and sacrifices. You may still feel frustrated however, by your appearance, if you have hanging excess skin along your lower abdomen, relaxed abdominal wall muscles and loose and wrinkled skin along your thighs and buttocks.
Otherwise known as Belt Lipectomy, this procedure is often a solution for patients who have undergone Bariatric Surgery as it eliminates loose skin, which is aesthetically displeasing and may also cause psychological and physical restrictions. Lower Body Lift surgery sculpts and tightens the buttocks, back of the thighs, inner and outer thighs, the hips and the abdomen and may precede or follow an Upper Body Lift procedure.
A complete Lower Body Lift has the advantage of treating the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs in one procedure.
This procedure leaves a circumferential scar hidden in the bikini line, whilst dramatically improving areas of sagging skin and/or cellulite below the waistline. The scar extends around the circumference of your torso and is designed to be hidden in your underwear or bikini. The scar is placed low on the stomach, just above the pubic hair area, and extends toward the hip bones. At the hip bone the scar gently curves toward the top of the buttock crease to meet the incision from the other side. Your scar placement is determined by how you wear your clothing and your scar will be easily hidden by clothing.
Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before your operation, during your preoperative consultation.
General anesthesia is commonly used during this procedure. For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood. Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery.
The Lower Body Lift extends the Tummy Tuck incision completely around the lower torso, which allows your surgeon to lift the thighs and tighten the buttocks, as well as to execute the Traditional Tummy Tuck.
The length and the pattern of incisions depend on how much extra skin is removed and where that skin is located. Your plastic surgeon will do his or her best to take your incision preferences into consideration.
You will be positioned on your tummy or side during this part of the procedure:
Your surgeon will create a circumferential incision extending around your torso, through which he or she will remove 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.
Once your back and sides have been addressed, you will be positioned on your back so the surgeon can treat your front side. Then either:
Deep support sutures within the underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours.
Your incisions will be closed in multiple layers over drains to control stretching and swelling.
Sutures, skin adhesives or tapes are used to close the skin incisions.
This procedure normally takes 180 – 240 minutes
Am I a candidate for surgery?
For certain individuals exercise will never get rid of sagging skin. You are a candidate for a Lower Body Lift if:
For optimal results, body contouring should not be done for about two years after the start of any massive-weight-loss program. This time allows your skin to shrink as much as possible and your nutrition to be stabilized and optimized, factors that will aid in your recovery.
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.
Advantages of Surgery:
Disadvantages of Surgery:
Preparation for Surgery
Prior To Your Arrival
Before traveling to Cyprus, as part of your surgery preparation you will complete a detailed specific questionnaire and will submit a recent Chest X-Ray and photographic images of the problem areas which you wish to have treated.
Initial Consultation: Once the images have been received by us, we will schedule a consultation with your chosen surgeon, via Skype or telephone. This will allow you to ask any questions regarding the procedure and will also allow your chosen surgeon to assess your condition and determine your eligibility for your chosen procedure.
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Your chosen surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for surgery and clarify what surgery can do for you. Understanding your goals and medical condition, both alternative and additional treatment options may be considered. You should be prepared to discuss your complete medical history. This will include information about:
Your treatment plan
Depending on the quality of your skin, how much excess there is to remove, and your body shape, your surgeon will determine what options are open to you. If there is a large amount of skin to remove, you may consider having a lower body lift, which would help remove skin around the stomach, buttock, thighs, and hips. If removing the skin will result in a loss of volume to the buttock, a buttock augmentation might be appropriate following a buttock lift.
Based on your goals, physical characteristics, and the surgeon’s training and experience, your surgeon will share recommendations and information with you, at this point including:
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
Ten days prior to your arrival in Cyprus, you will receive all the necessary pre operative instructions, to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for your chosen cosmetic procedure.
Before your departure to come to Cyprus your records will be reviewed thoroughly by our surgeon. This includes Chest X-ray and a complete medical and surgical history.
Getting your house ready before your surgery
It is also important to get your house ready for after you come home from the hospital. At first it will be harder for you to move around, so arrange your furniture and household items ahead of time to make it easier for you during your rehabilitation.
Preparation for the hospital
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you pack and prepare for the hospital and recuperation:
Getting dressed in the morning helps you feel better, so be sure to bring some comfortable clothing to the hospital:
After traveling to Cyprus, a new set of blood tests, E.C.G and chest X-ray will be taken as well as an in person physical examination.
The surgeon and anesthetist will meet with you and go through your medical and surgical plan.
During this consultation, your surgeon will discuss your surgical procedure and answer any further questions. Your plastic surgeon will proceed to examine measure and photograph your face for your medical record.
Day before surgery
Your doctor or nurse will give you more instructions based on the type of prep.
You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before your surgery.
Morning of surgery
Bring all your medicines, if any in their original containers with you to the hospital.
You will meet with the anesthesiologist. This doctor will talk to you about general anesthesia. This is a controlled sleep while the surgery is being done so you will not feel any pain or remember the surgery. You will have an IV or intravenous line put in to give you fluid and medicine during your surgery.
Your plastic surgeon shall consult with you once again for the proposed procedure.
Recovery after surgery
When you wake up after your surgery, you will be in the recovery room, where you will continue to be closely monitored. You will stay there until you are awake and your pain is under control. Most patients return to their room after a couple of hours.
Surgical drains have been placed to remove fluid that accumulates within the incisions.
You are wearing a compression garment, which controls swelling, supports the suspended tissues and smoothens and flattens the skin. You will wear the special tight garment to keep your treated area compressed for up to 6 few weeks.
You will also have some swelling after the surgery. In some cases, this swelling will remain for weeks or even months.
The first 48 hours after surgery, you will experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. The swelling is maximal at 48 hours after surgery and mostly disappears within two to three weeks, but there may be slight residual swelling for up to four months. Bruising is normal and typically disappears within seven to ten days.
Hospital discharge and home instructions
The recovery period is slightly longer and more painful in the buttock area, because this body region is used for physical activities such as walking, running, and even standing.
On the first day after surgery, you may be instructed to stay in bed with the compression garment on and to periodically move your hands and feet to maintain good circulation. You will be able to get up and walk after the second postoperative day.
Your diet is slowly increased from ice chips to liquids to solid foods as your intestines start functioning.
Before leaving the hospital, our surgeon and staff will help you adjust to recovery in every way possible. You will receive specific instructions and precautions from your surgeon and nursing staff and they will show you safe techniques of simple activities like getting in and out of bed, bathing, going to the bathroom, managing steps at home and getting in and out of a car.
You will be able to leave the hospital when you are:
Most people are able to go home a day after their surgery; however recovery time after the procedure and the length of your hospital stay depend on your overall health and the type of procedure performed.
Life After Surgery
These guidelines give you an overview of what you may expect as part of your care after you leave the hospital. Be sure to follow your doctor’s discharge instructions if they are different from what is listed here. This will include information about wearing compression garments, taking an antibiotic if prescribed and the level and type of activity that is safe. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
Do not smoke after your Lower Body Lift surgery to prevent coughing and bleeding.
Do not drink alcohol for five days after surgery or while you are taking pain medication.
Pain medication will be prescribed for the pain.
Drains typically remain in place two to three weeks, but may be left longer postoperatively to eliminate fluid buildup and oozing from your incisions.
You must wear a body garment for six to eight weeks.
You should wait a minimum of six weeks before exposure to sun and heat, including sunbathing, because of the possibility of swelling.
You will need to take at least two to three weeks off from work and restrict normal activities for four to six weeks.
Full healing will take several months.
It is fairly common to feel weak and tired immediately after discharge from the hospital. The body needs time to recover from the stress of surgery.
Walking is permitted and encouraged beginning the second day after surgery. At home, start short, daily walks and gradually increase the distance you walk.
Going up and down stairs is permitted. Initially, have someone assist you.
Driving is not permitted for at least 4 weeks after surgery or your first follow-up visit with your surgeon. If you are taking prescription pain medications or narcotics, DO NOT DRIVE.
Sexual intercourse may be resumed for at least 4 weeks after surgery.
Do not go swimming, diving, water skiing, or participate in strenuous athletic activity for at least one month after surgery.
Your bowel habits
You may have different bowel habits after your surgery. Loose stools are common for the first week or two after surgery. If you have watery diarrhea, call your surgeon. This may be a sign of a bowel infection. Severe constipation should be avoided. See the section below on medicines for constipation.
There are generally no dietary restrictions following cosmetic surgery. Avoid foods that cause diarrhea or digestive discomfort. You will eventually be able to resume your regular diet. A dietary supplement or drink can be used.
Your medicines: Take the medicines you were taking before surgery, unless your surgeon has made a change.
Your surgeon will order a prescription pain medicine for you after surgery. As your pain lessens, over the counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used. They can also be used instead of your prescription for mild pain.
Prescription pain medicines can cause constipation. Your doctor may order a stool softener to prevent this. You should be back to your normal bowel routine in about 2 weeks. If the stool softener does not work, take Milk of Magnesia. If you still are not getting relief, call your surgeon.
Call your surgeon right away if you have:
The healing process is gradual and so you should expect to wait at least several months to get an accurate picture of the results of your surgery. The small incisions used for access will fade over a number of months, usually becoming barely visible.
How Long Will the Results Last?
The lift effect achieved from Lower Body Lift surgery is mostly permanent. The contouring achieved by removal of excess skin and fat, the undermining, advancement and the tightening of the skin of the thighs and buttocks is also permanent. Naturally however, there will be some relaxation of the skin early after surgery and the skin and connective tissues will loosen and sag gradually with age.
Follow-up after surgery is extremely important and our surgeons at Salus are committed to providing all the post surgical care you need. For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, whenever you notice any unexpected changes do not hesitate to contact your surgeon. In order to identify and treat any complications as they may arise, close, lifetime follow-up is essential.