Massive weight loss is a huge achievement, however it’s not always the end of the journey for the patient. Quite often they are left with loose, hanging skin that can not only affect the patient’s confidence and self-esteem but their physical comfort and agility. Dr Jeremy Hunt, Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Sydney has a special interest in surgery after massive weight loss and talks to us about the Lower Body Lift after massive weight loss.
A lower body lift is able to remove any extra skin from around the tummy and hip area. Dr Hunt says a lower body lift can help the patient achieve the quality of life the patient deserves after all their hard work to lose the weight. “It helps to unburden the patient from the excess skin both physically and psychologically. The patient can become trapped under their excess skin, and the goal becomes to unlock the person from within. Having excess skin can stop the patient from playing sports, wearing certain clothing, going to the beach and wearing bathers, and so many more things.
A lower body lift is a life transforming procedure. However, it is a complex procedure and it is important to choose an experienced surgeon.”
A lower body lift usually involves an incision starting from the lower abdomen and extending around the waist to the lower back, and back around to meet at the front again. Excess skin and fat are cut off, abdominal muscles tightened if necessary, and the skin lifted and pulled back together and sutured back together. A lower body lift can not only remove excess skin from the abdominal and lower back areas but can also help to lift sagging skin on the buttocks and to some extent the upper thighs.
What’s involved in the recovery from a lower body lift procedure?
Dr Hunt says a lower body lift involves a stay in hospital for 5 – 7 nights following the surgery. “When you come home we want you to be comfortable. We want you to be able to move and get around the house. However, you’ll still want to stay in the house for another 2 – 3 days after returning home. You will have to limit your movement for the first week or two after surgery, and be careful not to over-exert yourself. At about 3 weeks after the surgery, you should be able to make a return to work.”
The scar for a lower body lift should be placed below the level of a pair of bikini briefs and should fade with time. Dr Hunt says, “It should be easily hidden under your underwear or a swimsuit.”
Can a lower body lift be combined with other excess skin removal procedures?
Dr Hunt says he often combines procedures, especially for those patients who have several areas requiring skin removal after massive weight loss. “A lower body lift can be combined with additional surgeries such as an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), upper arm and/or breast lift, or in the case of a male patient, gynaecomastia (chest surgery). If large weight loss has left you with a lot of areas of loose skin, this may be your best option for a ‘top to toe’ makeover.” However, keep in mind that different surgeons are more comfortable with combining procedures into one surgery than others, and it also depends on the patient, their capacity for downtime and their individual circumstances. This is definitely something to be discussed between a patient and a surgeon to identify what is right for you.
If you’d like more information on this procedure or any other procedure you can visit Dr Hunt’s website, or if you’d like to arrange a consultation with Dr Hunt you can phone his clinic on 02 9327 1733.