Body Lift Surgery Procedure


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You will be taken into the hospital and allocated a bed where you can settle in. You will often have a number of people come to speak to you to check that you are still happy with everything. Nurses will want to check your blood pressure, urine and monitor your heart rate to check that you are still suitable for surgery and you will often be asked to fill in and sign a consent form to say that you understand the potential risks of body lift surgery. They will then prepare you for your general anaesthetic. You may also be injected with heparin (which is an anti-blood clotting drug) and/or asked to wear compression socks. These reduce the risk of blood clots in your lower legs during the surgery.

The surgeon will visit you to have a final chat and to draw the incision marks on your body. You will be able to see exactly where they intend to cut so that you can begin to visualise what areas of skin will be removed during the procedure. Again, the surgeon will expect you to interact during this process to check that you understand what they are intending to do and to make sure that you agree with the areas of skin that will be removed.

The surgery itself

You will be taken into the operating theatre and given a general anaesthetic by a trained anaesthetist. This will usually be given through a canula (a tube that has been inserted into your arm with a needle) and will make you feel extremely sleepy. Going under anaesthetic is not painful and simply feels like you are falling into a deep sleep. The anaesthetist will be the one who monitors your vital signs throughout the procedure and they will make sure that you are settled in the anaesthetic before the surgeon begins making incisions.

Once everyone is satisfied that you are asleep and stable, the surgeon will begin to make their incisions to remove your excess skin. This is often done in stages. To begin with you will be lying on one side and the surgeon will remove skin from your back, hips, buttocks and thigh. You will then be rolled over on the table so that the surgeon can remove the skin from the other side of your back, hips, buttocks and thighs. For the final stage you will be lying on your back so that a tummy tuck procedure can be carried out by the surgeon. If you have other areas of sagging skin (such as under your arms or your breasts) then these will also be cut out at this point.

The tummy tuck

During the tummy tuck the surgeon will first cut around your belly button. They will then cut along the bottom of your abdomen (just below the position that your underwear usually sits) and at the top of the position of your excess skin. This makes a lemon shaped cut on your abdomen and the skin (and some of the excess fat) located between these two cuts will be removed. The surgeon will stitch up any stretched muscles and your abdomen will be closed back up with your belly button sewn into its new position.

Body lift surgery stitching

Most surgeons will use biodegradable stitches that will dissolve as your wounds heal. This prevents the need for the stitches to be removed (which can be painful). It might also mean that you have more of your stitches located underneath your skin, so you might be able to see a much smaller amount of stitching than you were perhaps expecting.

Coming out of anaesthetic

Once all of your wounds have been stitched up the anaesthetist will begin to bring you round from the anaesthetic. Your vitals will be monitored throughout this process to ensure your safety as you come around. Usually you will remain asleep for a while after you have come out of the anaesthetic, so you will probably wake up back in your original hospital bed (and not on the operating table).


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