Will my tummy button need to be relocated during a total body lift?

Often relocation of the tummy button is required. There will be scars around the tummy button that take time to settle. In certain scenarios one can leave the tummy button intact on the skin surface but reposition the tummy button internally.

Will a total body lift improve the contour of my buttocks?

A total body lift will improve the buttock contour and will often improve the contour of the upper thighs. It does result in a scar across the back dipping into the buttock cleft.

When does the swelling go down?

Following a total body lift there is often swelling during the first few weeks which can take months .The area that tends to take the longest to settle is the bit above the scar. This area can take a number of months to settle and can be improved by massage.

When can I go back to work following a total body lift?

After a total body lift your recovery and your job will dictate when you can return to work. I usually would advise patients to leave 2 weeks before considering returning to work although this does vary depending on each individual. For body lifting it is important that the wounds have healed.

When can I get the wounds wet?

I normally advise patients to keep the wounds dry for the first week following surgery. Occasionally patients do get the wounds wet and this does not seem to be detrimental to healing. I would not advise bathing the wounds following surgery during the first week. After the first week one is able to shower and bathe normally. For total body lifting I would recommend avoid swimming pools until the wounds have healed.

When can I fly following a total body lift?

For all general anaesthetics I would recommend not flying for 4 weeks following any surgery requiring general anaesthetic. In certain scenarios it may be possible to fly sooner than this but the risks and complications e.g. DVT are increased if one flies sooner following a general anaesthetic. The risks are reduced if one wears thrombembolic stockings, drink plenty of fluids, mobilise during the flight and are only going on a short flight but flying within 4 weeks is not recommended and patients wishing to fly before this should weigh up the pros and cons and consider altering their date of surgery.

When can I exercise following a total body lift?

I would usually not recommend exercising a lot in the first week. Walking is always encouraged although lifting and bending over should be limited. Following review at one week I would usually discuss what exercises would be relevant to you. I always encourage patients to remain in compression garments for 4-6 weeks postoperatively and also encourage these tight pants to be worn as patients get back to normal exercise programmes. Gentle exercise such as running and cycling can often be commenced after 2 weeks and swimming is encouraged once the wounds have healed. Abdominal crunch exercises should not be performed until after 6 weeks.

What is a seroma?

A seroma is a collection of fluid. It occurs following all types of surgery but in total body lifting it has been reported as a problem in up to 50% of patients. If present it can cause excessive swelling and occasionally it is necessary to drain the seroma. I use a technique that limits seroma formation and I usually do not to use drains. I use internal tissue glue that helps to prevent seroma formation and it is very rare with these preventative measures to encounter seromas. When choosing a surgeon one should ask about the techniques used and complication rates for the surgery you wish to undergo.

Total body lifting seems excessive. I was hoping to have an abdominoplasty to rejuvenate by abdomen. What is the benefit if a body lift?

An abdominoplasty will only address issues on the font of the tummy. Following weight loss the skin excess can be located all the way round the sides and the buttocks and back. If one were only to perform an abdominoplasty the areas on the flanks and on the back / buttocks would not be addressed. A total body lift is more extensive but with modern techniques the operative time and recovery and complications have improved considerably.

Is there a disruption in sensation following total body lift?

There will always be a disruption in sensation following a total body lift. It can take months for this sensation to return and it is uncommon to have permanent sensory loss. Massage in the postoperative phases can help.