June 9, 2015
A body lift is a surgery that helps to improve the shape and tone of the body by removing excessive skin and fat.
During the recovery period for a body lift procedure, the patient may spend at least two days in a hospital or nursing care facility. During this time, the patient is taught the proper way to take care of drains and maneuver walking and other movements. Once drains are removed, movements become much easier. The patient will typically experience some pain and discomfort during the first few days following the procedure, and the plastic surgeon may provide intravenous or intramuscular medications. The patient later receives oral pain medications, and once he or she is comfortable and the pain is managed, the patient is typically discharged. The plastic surgeon may also prescribe antibiotics and special diet instructions in order to promote the healing process.
The patient will have surgical dressings or bandages covering the incisions once the procedure is completed, and these are typically removed after two days. Temporary drains in the form of small, thin tubes may be placed under the skin in order to drain excess blood and fluid that accumulates as a result of the procedure. The patient should monitor the amount of fluid in the drains daily; the drains typically remain in place for two to three weeks. Once the drainage is at a minimum level, the doctor will remove them. The plastic surgeon may also advise the patient to wear a medical compression garment at all times except while bathing. The purpose of the garment is to control swelling, support the sensitive tissue, and flatten and smooth the skin.
The patient may experience swelling, redness, and bruising on the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. This is normal, and should subside after several weeks. Approximately 75% of swelling disappears after the first six weeks of healing, with 95% of swelling gone by three months following the procedure.
The surgeon will provide the patient with specific instructions including how to take care of the surgical sites and drains as well as the timing of follow-up consultations. The surgeon will also discuss with the patient the recommended timeframe before the patient can resume normal physical activity and/or work. Typically, the patient is advised to refrain from working for two to three weeks following surgery, and to refrain from physical activity for four to six weeks following the procedure. It is recommended that the patient has a trusted friend or loved one stay with him or her during the recovery period to assist with daily activities that the patient will be unable to do, especially during the first few days. Walking is allowed one day after the surgery, but stairs, lifting, and strenuous activities should be avoided for several weeks. The patient is advised to place small children under the care of a trusted caregiver for at least two weeks following the procedure, given the limitations he or she will experience.
It’s important to understand the way the patient is allowed to sleep, including the use of pillows which may be utilized to minimize tension on the incisions, reduce pain, and facilitate healing. Sutures are typically removed by the plastic surgeon during a follow-up appointment roughly two weeks following the surgery. Would separations may occur, which slightly delay healing but rarely require further surgery. The patient should not expect to resume physical exercise for approximately six to eight weeks after the procedure. It is critical to follow the doctor’s orders during the entire recovery period.
Dr. Amjadi MD, DDS, FACS
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
915 Gessner Rd #870
Houston, TX 77024
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