Surgery on the inner thigh and trunk to address both redundant tissues as well as the contours of the trunk and thigh is referred to as a body lift. Most commonly, this procedure is considered as part of surgical aftercare following massive weight reduction. Redraping of the loose skin and removal of excess tissues will help to improve the shape and contours of the trunk as well as the thighs.
During your initial consultation we will review all your past medical and surgical history. This includes your regular medications, smoking history and any allergic reactions. Any previous weight-reduction surgery, including bariatric surgery, and the stability of your weight over the last 12 months will also be noted. Special attention will be paid to your nutritional state because wound healing problems often occur secondary to a metabolic state induced by weight-reduction surgery. Incidence of sugar intolerance and diabetes is also high in this patient group and may further undermine wound healing. Any history of high blood pressure, thyroid problems or bleeding abnormalities will be recorded. Preoperative photographs are taken as part of your confidential medical records.
Dr Farhadieh will ask you to point out exactly what areas concern you and what would be the ideal outcome from your perspective. He will discuss the surgical options with you at length, explaining the benefits, as well as possible risks. Prior to surgery, any blood-thinning medications should be ceased where possible. If you are a smoker you will need to stop for 3–6 weeks prior to surgery and for at least 3–6 weeks after surgery. Body lifts are carried out under general anaesthetic and in a hospital setting. You should expect several days in hospital after the operation.
Our anaesthetist will discuss the anaesthetic process with you. On the day of surgery you will have your thighs, back and abdomen marked prior to surgery. Based on your individual requirements, the amount of redundant and excess tissues will be marked. The incisions are designed to be as well hidden as possible from view. If they need to extend along the length of the thigh, for a greater lift and tissue resection, they are placed away from the direct line of vision. They will usually heal and fade over time.
The operation takes 4–6 hours and local anaesthetic is infiltrated into the surgical sites to reduce postoperative pain. After surgery you will be taken to recovery and thereafter to the wards. Compression garments will be applied to support your thighs and trunk. These also help to reduce postoperative swelling and bruising. You will be encouraged to stand and walk as soon as possible; this is an important part of the postoperative care. Any surgical drains and catheter are removed a day or two after surgery. Occasionally one drain remains in place until 5–7 days postoperatively.
Supportive garments are worn for at least 6 weeks. After discharge you will be invited to attend a follow-up appointment in our clinic and thereafter at regular intervals. Major complications following body lift surgery are infrequent, but anyone considering undertaking surgery should seek advice from their surgeon regarding the benefits and risks of the procedure. We will discuss these in detail with you during your consultation.
The trust and relationship between surgeon and patient is a vital element of this process. We are committed to being there for you for every step of your journey. During the preoperative or postoperative period we are always available to see you and offer help, advice and assistance.
‘Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.’
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days will I need to be in hospital for?
Usually you will stay in hospital for 2–4 days. You will often be discharged with at least one remaining drain, which will come out usually by day 5–7 postoperatively.
Is the surgery painful?
There is some discomfort associated with surgery. Most patients report a ‘tightness’, rather than pain, due to the excellent pain control regime we utilise, which includes local anaesthetic for the immediate postoperative period as well as powerful analgesics.
Will I have liposculpture and liposuction as part of the procedure as well?
Depending on the extent of the procedure, liposculpture and liposuction may be required for optimal aesthetic outcome.
When will I be able to resume normal activity?
Within 2 weeks you will be back at work and able to resume most normal activities. Exercises that put strain on your core abdominal muscles should not be resumed for at least 8 and preferably for 12 weeks.
Where will the scars be placed?
Body lift surgery incisions are positioned to hide the scars, strategically camouflaging them from most common view lines. Body lift surgery scars have a slightly higher risk of wound rupture and breakdown than standard scars. When these occur, they are often small areas that heal by themselves and leave minimal long-term scars.
What will my follow up include?
Dr Farhadieh believes that the relationship between doctor and patient is sacred and privileged. Our practice is based on compassion, honesty, transparency and, above all, patient welfare. We pride ourselves on making sure that you feel supported at all times. We will be available during all stages of your journey and will schedule short-, medium- and long-term follow-up appointments as part of our overall practice.