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Lower Body Lift, Post-Weight Loss Body Tightening

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Lower Body Lift, Post-Weight Loss Body Tightening
July 20
10:16 2016

Experiencing dramatic weight loss can be exciting, but while fat is lost, excess skin is not, and an individual may be left with unwanted saggy skin around the thighs, hips, stomach and buttocks. Getting rid of the sag can complete the transformation, improving self-confidence and allowing you to enjoy the body you’ve wanted.

A lower body lift is a surgical procedure that can do the trick. It involves the removal and tightening of the extra skin. Dr. Tim Sproule, a plastic surgeon at Evolution Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Rejuvenation Centre in Toronto, found that 80 to 90 per cent of his lower body lift patients are those who have experienced significant weight loss.

“Most of the hard work has already been done by the time they see me, whether they’ve had some kind of bypass operation done or they’ve somehow been able to lose the weight with a diet and exercise program alone,” said Dr. Sproule.

Before the procedure, the surgeon will mark the parts of the body where incisions will be made, which will depend on where skin needs to be tightened. For Dr. Sproule, careful marking is one of the most important steps.

“The marking is challenging because the skin’s folds are so redundant, you can sometimes make miscalculations that can end up translating into quite significant discrepancies,” he said.

The front and back of the lower body area is then cleaned and prepared for surgery, which is performed under general anaesthetic. Once sedated, a back lift is performed initially while the patient lays face down on the operating table. Incisions are made, and the excess skin and fat are removed. The tissue and skin are then tightened and stitched up. Then the patient is flipped over and the front is lifted. The entire procedure takes about two to three hours.

Frequently, liposuction can be performed alongside a lower body lift to get rid of excess fat. However, Dr. Sproule emphasizes to patients that this is a big operation and usually limits operating time to four hours to reduce the likelihood of excessive bleeding and complications. Once the procedure is done, the patient stays in the office for four to six hours before returning home.

Lower Body Lift, Post-Weight Loss Body Tightening

Lower Body Lift, Post-Weight Loss Body Tightening

Primary healing, before the patient can return to work, takes around one to two weeks. However, it will take three to six months to completely return back to normal. Dr. Sproule encourages patients to begin moving around right away after surgery and participate in light activity such as walking. It will take two to three weeks before moderate exercise can be performed, and six to eight weeks before someone can begin performing in aggressive exercise. According to Dr. Sproule, most people have minimal pain during downtime, but painkillers can be prescribed if necessary. Dr. Sproule mentioned that two weeks after surgery, patients will notice about 60 to 70 per cent of their final result.

A scar in the shape of a “w” is left both in the front and the back. The scar is quite big and long, explained Dr. Sproule, but because of its location, it can easily be hidden with clothing and even a bikini. Despite the scarring, patients are still very happy because of the physical transformation they experienced, said Dr. Sproule.

While a lower body lift can completely change a person’s life in a positive way, there are potential risks. During the surgery, a patient may experience excessive bleeding, which will require a blood transfusion. Some of the nerves in the upper thigh can be damaged during surgery, as well a patient can experience an infection afterwards. According to Dr. Sproule, minor wound breakdowns can occur, which involve a delay in healing.

Lower Body Lift, Post-Weight Loss Body Tightening

Lower Body Lift, Post-Weight Loss Body Tightening

“I usually advise that 40 per cent of my patients will have a minor wound problem. If it’s such a large incision and you’re closing it under some tension, because you want to remove as much skin as you can; as a result of that minor wound, problems are common,” said Dr. Sproule.

In addition to the above risks, there are two serious complications that can potentially occur, including a deep venous thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism. According to Mayo Clinic, deep venous thrombosis is a blood clot that is formed in the body (usually in the leg), which can occur from not moving for a long time after surgery. It can then break loose and travel to the lungs. This can then cause a pulmonary embolism, which according to Mayo Clinic, is the blockage of blood flow in one or more pulmonary arteries and can be life threatening. Dr. Sproule explained that while this is not likely to happen to a patient and different interventions are done to reduce the likelihood of it occurring, patients still need to accept it as a potential risk.

Anyone that experiences poor healing is not a good candidate due to the invasiveness of the procedure and the significant scar that is left over. Also anyone that is a heavy smoker or has poor lungs is not meant for this surgery, since according to Mayo Clinic, this can cause a decrease in blood flow in the skin and slow down healing. Most importantly, Dr. Sproule noted that this type of surgery is meant to contour the body, and cannot be considered a weight loss surgery.

For someone who has already experienced tremendous weight loss and wants to take the final step in getting the body they’ve wanted, according to Dr. Sproule, a lower body lift can create a very remarkable change in a person’s appearance.

“The skin and the fat cells that have been removed, they’re gone for good. There’s a significant permanent effect,” said Dr. Sproule. “But you have to work hard at overcoming the tendency to not gain so much weight again.”

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