I'm considering whether to get a tummy tuck or body lift and maybe some skin reduction on thighs if possible. I am currently a 157lb., 6'1", 27-year-old male, and I have lost ~100-110 lbs. over the past two years. I have some excess skin that has not responded to weight loss. It's worst in the abdomen/butt/thighs (mostly on the sides of the body). My major concerns are recovery time and danger of complications from the operation (is a body lift significantly more dangerous than a tummy tuck)? I wouldn't be able to miss more than 2 weeks of work. Thanks.
What is the Typical Recovery from a Lower Body Lift?
Doctor Answers (21)
Consider staging the surgery.
If you stage the surgery (meaning have less surgery at one time and potentially do the additional work later,) then your risk will be less and your recovery will be shorter. I do this routinely for larger scale operations with an excellent safety record. A two week recovery for a complete lower body lift seems short to me with all due respect to the other surgeons who answered here.
John Di Saia MD
Recovery from Body Lift is More Demanding than an Abdominoplasty Alone
The lower body lift tightens the buttocks and back of the thighs, hips and outer thighs, and abdomen and inner thighs by removing a band of tissue circumferentially from the spine in back to the abdomen in front.
This limits bending forward, bending backwards, and bending side to side. Frequently, 6 to 7 drains are placed under the skin to remove serum fluid, which may build up and stretch the skin. Sitting, lying, and transferring from one position to another is limited by the incision placement and the presence of drains.
We advise our patients to set aside 4 to 6 weeks to heal, depending upon how physical a job they do. Drains may take 2 to 4 weeks for removal. Sutures may be removed 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. Wound separations may occur, delaying wound healing (but rarely requiring further surgery).
I think that 2 weeks is far too optimistic a time frame to anticipate being back to work after a body lift. Even an abdominoplasty alone would require more than 2 weeks for healing in a physical job. We would not consider a bodylift to be much more dangerous than an abdominoplasty, but you should realize that the much longer bodylift incison is at higher risk for delayed wound healing issues and for seroma formation.
Deciding whether to go with an abdominoplasty or body lift really depends upon the amount of extra thigh skin and its looseness. This is not easily assessed in the enclosed picture. I would advise that see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience in body contouring for massive weight loss patients (especially body lifts) for an in person consultation to determine which option is best for you.
Tummy tuck body lift
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Body Lift Recovery
If your general health and fitness level are good, it is possible that you will be able to return to work during your second post-operative week, depending on your job description from a body lift. It is recommended that you not lift more than ten pounds for a few weeks. Furthermore, another requirement for returning to work is that you are no longer taking narcotic pain relievers. Whether you would benefit most from a tummy tuck or a body lift would be determined at your consultation with your plastic surgeon.
Dear Engineer 506:
Congratulations on your significant weight loss. You, like many others, have developed excess skin and fat of the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. Since these are the areas you mentioned that are worst, I would suggest a body lift or a 360 body lift. This would address the abdomen, buttocks and thighs with the same surgery. If you undergo a tummy tuck, only your abdomen would be addressed.
The recovery time after a body lift takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks. The surgery is done under general anesthesia and takes approximately 6 to 8 hours. There can always be complications with whatever surgery is done. The risks with a body lift are slightly higher than with a tummy tuck but not significantly. The 360 Body Lift surgeries do take longer and the incision is longer. Therefore, the risks of wound breakdown and wound complications are slightly higher.
Approximately 80% of my patients are able to return to work two weeks after their body lift. I am assuming that your job as an engineer is mostly a desk job and does not entail a significant amount of lifting.
Please visit my website for more pictures on 360 body lifts.
Thank you and good luck.
Web reference: http://timothykatzenmd.com/body/360-body-lift/
Recovery From a Lower Body Lift
Some people would recover from a lower body lift and be able to return to work in two weeks, but for many that would be cutting it too short. Being in good aerobic conditioning and having good nutritional status after weight loss can make recovery easier. Having good personal support and a relatively stress free time period can also enhace recovery. Most people experience fatigue for 4-6 weeks after the surgery even though they nay be able to perform well in a desk job much earlier. It is best to give yourself adequate time to recover to get the full benefit of this life changing surgery.
Web reference: https://www.maryleepetersmd.com
Body lifting recovery
Thank you for your question.
A lower body lift is a large surgery and would require more than 2 weeks off of work (In my opinion). It would be best to visit with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon who has experience with weight loss patients to get the best advice. It is best to schedule surgery when you have time off for proper recovery, otherwise you may cause unwanted post operative complications.
Web reference: http://www.poustiplasticsurgery.com/weightloss.htm
Lower body lift recovery time.
Thank you for your photos. It appears you have a relatively small amount of skin which actually hangs although the skin may be loose in other areas. If you are concerned about the loose/hanging skin of your abdomen, sides and the buttock area then a lower body lift, which lifts and rejuvenates the entire trunk would give you the best result. I routinely do this as a single operation in approximately 4 hours. There is one night in the hospital and recovery is 2 - 4 weeks. Recovery is longer for the lower body lift vs the tummy tuck as the surgery is more extensive, but the overall correction of the trunk is better with the lower body lift. If you work at a desk then returning to work in 2 weeks should be possible. Complication rates are low if proper pre operative and post operative instructions, especially about walking, are followed.
Lower body lift
The surgery to perform a circumferential procedure usually takes me between 4-5 hours. The recovery time for the patient is usually about 1-2 weeks. The drains may stay in as long as 3 weeks and come out in as little as 1 week on average.
Abdominoplasty or Loer BodyLift
The picture you posted only shows your abdomen and based on this photo you look like a great candidate for an abdominoplasty.
For the laxity you mention of your buttocks and thighs a Lower Body Lift would be the procedure of choice.
However, as my colleagues have mentioned, a Lower Body Lift is much more involved and has a longer recovery. If you can not take more than two weeks for recovery I would suggest limiting your surgery to the abdominoplasty. You can have the thighs and buttocks addressed at another time.
Good luck with your surgery.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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