What Are the Top 3 Things a Body Lift Surgeon Should Advise?

What will they tell patients besides details of the procedure, complications and the after care associated with a body lift?

Doctor Answers 3

Bodylift circumferential body lift 360bodylift plastic surgery after weight loss

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By far the most important thing is to determine if your plastic surgeon is experienced in body lifts in weight loss patients.  Massive weight loss patients are not the same as other plastic surgery patients. Weight loss patients often have nutritional defiencies and low iron levels.  These can significantly impact wound healing.  Your plastic surgeon needs to understand these issues.  in addition, it is essential to see your surgeon's before and after body lift pictures.   Make sure these patients are weight loss patients.  Try to find pictures of patients who look like you.  I would also try to find a board certified plastic surgeon who has performed at least 200 body lifts.  You do not want to be someone's guinea pig no matter what the cost is. 

After a circumferential or 360 body lift, the most important thing I can advise patients is that it is essential to eat about 75 to 100 grams of protein.  After a big surgery like the body lift, you need this amount of protein to heal and maintain your body's normal metabolism.

As a body lift surgeon, the third most important thing a patient should do after a body lift is to allow your body to heal.  For my patients after a body lift, this means 2-3 "walks" in the house each day.  The "walks" should be about 10 to 20 yards.  More walking can actually damage the incision and cause wound breakdown.  To minimize clots after surgery, most of my body lift patients receive a blood thinner. Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Body Lift Advice?

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Thank you for the  insightful question.  

I am not able to “boil it down” to top 3 things. However some advice that I try to convey to every patient undergoing major surgery (with a major physical and psychological recovery period) may be helpful:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this helps.

Body Lift Details

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A body lift is a big operation and there is no way to only list 3 things about which you should be aware.  There are a number of potential problems with body lifts that should be discussed with you.  You should obtain a consultation with a BC plastic surgeon and should also talk with someone who has already had the procedure performed.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

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.