Preparing for Body Lift Surgery

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You will need to be realistic about the effects of body lift surgery. It is not a quick fix for losing weight and in fact the effects of the procedure will be minimised if you still have a high BMI. Many surgeons will have a threshold percentage (%) body fat above which they may ask you to loose more weight before they even consider you for body lift surgery. This may seem like an inconvenience (especially when you are keen to have the procedure as soon as possible), but the less fat you have around your abdomen before having a body lift, the flatter abdomen you will have at the end of the procedure. It is suggested that the best candidates for body lift surgery have stomachs that do not protrude above the height of their ribs when they lay on their back. If you have concerns about your current weight, it is advisable to voice it to your surgeon as they may suggest waiting for a few further months to enhance your final result. They may also be able to recommended alternative procedures and treatments to carry out in the mean time.

If you are currently unwell then you should give yourself time to recover from your present illness before having body lift surgery. This is because you will need to be in good health and not have any medical problems that could increase the risk caused by the general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will be able to discuss any concerns that you have with regard to your past medical history and any current medical problems that you have. 

During your final consultation you will discuss how best to prepare for the surgery including what best to include in your diet and what types of exercises you could and should be doing. Your surgeon will advise you about any extra vitamins or supplements that you may be taking (or should be taking) and any medications or tablets that you need to avoid. Your surgeon will probably suggest that you don’t take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication a week or two before your surgery (as these medications could increase your risk of post-operative bleeding). However, different surgeons will have different policies and it will also depend on your personal risk of these complications.

Prepare your friends and family before you have body lift surgery

It is a good idea to tell your friends and family that you are going to have body lift surgery. You are going to look very different once your procedure is finished so they will know that you have been ‘under the knife’.

You may have been discussing this option with them for a while or they may be quite shocked that you are preparing to have such an extreme procedure. They may also wish to know about the risks as well as the expected results. It would be particularly useful if you had someone who was willing to act as your recovery buddy because it would be good to have a support structure in place for when you come out of the hospital and during your recovery period. Talk your recovery buddy (or buddies) through your expected recovery process and how your plan to prepare yourself for your recovery process.

Prepare for recovery after your body lift surgery

During your initial recovery period you will have to refrain from carrying out physically demanding tasks so it would be wise to prepare your house (or place of recovery) in order to minimise the amount of work that you need to do immediately after your body lift. This could include vacuuming the house, taking out the bins, doing your laundry and putting clean bedding on your bed. You may find that you feel the cold more after your surgery, so it is advisable to put extra blankets on your bed and keep a blanket on the back of your favourite chair/sofa ready for your return from hospital. Having lots of extra pillows and cushions close by will also help you to stay comfortable as you recover at home.

You will want to wear loose fitting or comfortable clothes whilst your wounds heal, so make sure that these are all clean and in a readily accessible location. Everything that you intend on using during recover (such as crockery, cutlery, TV remote and food) should be stored in easy to reach places to reduce the amount of stretching that you need to do before your wounds are completely healed. The body lift surgery will make you feel quite “woozy” so you need to ensure that you reduce the risks of tripping and falling during your recovery period. Non-slip shoes (or slippers) and lots of table lamps should help in this matter. However you should also ensure that it is possible to shut all your curtains so that you can get some sleep during day-light hours as well as during the night. Your body will need plenty of rest to assist with the healing process.

Make sure that you have plenty of (healthy) food in the house ready for your return as this will reduce the need to go to the shops in the early days of your recover. You could also buy smaller packages of food and drink that are easier to carry around and cook with. This will further reduce the amount that you are lifting as well as make it easier for you to manage your portions.

You may need anything up to a couple of months off work to allow for recovery although this will depend on the nature of your employment and you will be able to ask your surgeon for their advice on this. You will need to make sure that you have arrangements in place for this to occur and to ensure that your boss understands that you may need to extend this period in the event of complications.

You may want to share all of this information with your friends and family to ensure that your recovery buddy (or recovery buddies) understands that you will be spending lots of time relaxing and they know how to help you. Even having someone run to the shops with you when you buy some fresh milk could mean that you do not have to risk stretching your wounds to get the milk down from the shelf in the shop.

The day of the body lift surgery

Try to relax! You have done all the hard work that you can do at this stage and now it is time for the surgical team to do some hard work for you. Because you will need to go under a general anaesthetic for your body lift surgery, you will not be able to eat anything for six hours before your surgery. You may be allowed to have small amounts of water during this time, but generally you will not be able to have anything to drink within two hours of your surgery.

Make sure that you give plenty of time to get to the hospital so that you are not rushing and you don’t risk being late. Shake hands with your surgeon and say good bye to your excess skin!

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