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The scarring sometimes can be quite extensive because they are long scars. The more access they have, the more scars they’re going to get because you want to get as much as you can. And unfortunately in patients that have lost a lot of weight, their elastic tissues and their collagen fibers have been stretched out. So what happens is that, if you don't pull them really tight at surgery, within six months they are going to be looser again. Basically I try to pull them as tight as I can. If you pull them as tight as you can, you've got to remove more skin, and if you remove more skin you're going to have wider scars or longer scars.

But in most cases I think people don't really concentrate that much on the scars, they concentrate more on the results. Certain areas though like in the arms especially, the scars may not be that good. But you can always do something about them. Normally I'd wait a year, and at that time we can always do laser surgery. Pulsed light [SP] laser takes the redness away and also sometimes a fraction of CO2 laser may actually make the scar a little less general.

The worst thing that can happen is would be a pulmonary embolism. Basically that happen infrequently but it does happen, so I'm very judicious about getting them up the next day, out of the bed, walking around. And in most cases, I mentioned, these patients are very, very motivated. In most cases their medical problems have gone away, they don't have the diabetes anymore, they don't have a heart disease, they don't have the hypertension. And they are on vitamins and they are very motivated.

So I think those type of patients do really well, probably almost better than someone else does. And in most cases within several days they should be almost even driving a car, depending on what they have obviously, and within two weeks they should be at full recovery. In other words being able to do whatever they want. It may not be total recovery because the scar takes a long time for it to heal. The swelling is still there but as far as activity is concerned except for, let's say, with tummy tucking you’re not going to be doing sit ups anymore, you won’t need to probably hopefully but other things you can go about your business pretty well, pretty easily.

Surgery After Weight Loss: How Will Scars Look After a Body Lift?

Dr. Edward Domanskis, the current president of the American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons, explains how a patient can expect their scars to look on different parts of their body following a body lift procedure.