What Happens After a Body Lift?

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Immediately after your surgery you will feel extremely tired and probably a little sore. Some people have described the feeling as “battered” which is a reasonable description considering the fact that such a large area of your body will have been manipulated. The healing process can be quite uncomfortable and can cause you a lot of pain so most surgeons will prescribe you painkillers to reduce this discomfort.

Hospital stay

You will need to stay in the hospital for around 1-3 nights depending on the area of skin that you had removed. Be aware that the planned length of stay may be extended if you have complications or if the surgeons wish to monitor you for longer (it is rarely reduced). This hospital stay will allow you to recover from the effects of the general anaesthetic. The hospital staff will monitor your vitals to ensure that you suffer no ill effects from the general anaesthetic and they will be able to check that your wounds begin to heal as expected. Take this time to relax and allow your body to get some well needed rest. Body lift surgery is an extremely invasive procedure and you body will need some time to readjust to its new skin distribution. 

Expect to have a few tubes running into and out of your body. This is normal. Commonly you will have a drip in your arm delivering fluids, but this will be removed when you are able to drink yourself. You may also find that you have a catheter that is taking urine from your body into a bag. This can feel quite strange but it means that you will not need to get up to use the toilet! You may also have another bag collecting fluids from your tummy tuck wound. The tubes coming out of your wounds may look quite scary but this is a standard way of ensuring that fluid does not collect in your abdomen. They will be removed as soon as the surgical team are satisfied that your healing has started (usually after a couple of days).  

You might be wearing clothing that is designed to support your abdomen and your wounds. At first you will find it quite difficult to straighten up and you may find it more comfortable to keep your knees bent (to reduce the stretch felt around your abdomen). Try to minimise any fast movement that could risk tearing your wounds. In addition, your nurse might encourage you to carryout deep breathing exercises in order to reduce your risk of a chest infection.

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