Arm lift surgery | Body lift | Thigh lift | Buttock Lift
Specialist in body contour surgery for Northern Virginia areas, Ashburn, Leesburg, Reston and West Virginia
The arm lift surgery will change the contour of the upper arm. People with extra skin and fat in the upper arm will be concerned about their appearance. They may not wear certain styles of clothes because of their concerns. In arm lift surgery, the incision can be placed in two different locations. It can be along the bottom of the hanging skin. Or it can be along the inside of the arm. Both scars have issues. The hanging scar heals well but can be seen from behind. This is mostly a concern in tank top shirts. The inside scar cannot be seen from behind but can be wide and red. Either scar may need to extend into the armpit. If so, the armpit scar makes a ‘T’. This scar can take the most time to heal because it affects range of motion. Liposuction may also be used in arm lifts.
The arms should be raised most of the next few days after surgery. Sleeping with your arms on pillows helps. This will decrease the swelling. There are no stitches to be removed. To return to full activity will take about three weeks. The scar will fade over time.
The thigh lift can have dramatic results. Like the arm lift, the scar can be placed in two positions. The scar can be placed along the inside of the leg or in the groin area. In some cases, a ‘T’ type scar will be required. There are drains placed in the legs to aide in healing. They will be removed within a few days. A support garment will be required for at least a month. It may be worn for up to two months. This depends on the degree of skin removal and lift. The patient will have difficulty walking for the first week. It will feel tight in the legs for a few weeks. It is best to be careful and take it easy. Full activity will take six to eight weeks.
The body lifts are not for the faint hearted. They are extensive plastic surgeries. They can leave the patient with a trunk scar that goes all the way around them. Body lift surgery results can be dramatic. The scar is hidden in the underwear area. These patients are so happy with the improvement that they do not mind the scar at all. Candidates for body lift surgery have considered less extensive surgeries. They have tried other alternatives and have not been able to achieve the results they are seeking. After full explanations of the plastic surgery, they are eager patients. Drainage tubes are left in place and are removed ten to twenty days after body lift surgery. This surgery typically has a long recovery period. This is because of the extent of the internal sewing. It is often recommended to perform this surgery in two stages. The first surgery involves the tummy tuck plastic surgery and then 3 months later the back surgery is performed. This is a safer way to achieve the best result and minimize the risk of the surgery. There would be no overnight hospitalization required and no risk of blood transfusions. Performing the complete circumferential surgery at one time is possible but does carry more risk. The only advantage of the single surgery is one recovery. The recovery will be longer and still amount to the same number of days off of work. For those that want to accept the greater risk for one recovery, Dr. Brown will consider this if the patient is in good health.
Risks of body contour plastic surgery: It is important that you understand the surgery risks involved with circumferential body lift plastic surgery. An individual´s choice to undergo a surgery is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of plastic surgery patients do not experience problems, they still exist. Make sure you understand all possible risks of body lift surgery. The following surgery items are an overview of the risks of body lift surgery; click here for the body lift consent form.
Bleeding – It is possible to experience a bleeding episode during or after cosmetic plastic surgery. If bleeding occurs, it may be best to undergo emergency surgery to drain accumulated blood. It is best to not take any aspirin or medications for ten days before surgery. This may increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
Infection – If an infection occurs, treatment including antibiotics or additional plastic surgery may be necessary.
Change in skin sensation – Diminished skin sensation in the lower abdominal area may not resolve after surgery.
Skin contour irregularities – Contour irregularities and depressions may occur after body lift.
Skin scarring – In rare cases, abnormal surgery scars may result. These surgery scars may be unattractive and a different color than skin. Additional treatments including more plastic surgery may be necessary to treat abnormal scarring.
Surgical anesthesia – Both local and general anesthesia involves risk. There is the possibility of complications, injury, and even death from all forms of anesthesia.
Asymmetry – Symmetrical body appearance may not result from the body lift. Factors such as skin tone, fatty deposits, bony prominence, and muscle tone may contribute to normal asymmetry. It is common for the plastic surgery scar to be asymmetric.
Delayed healing – Wound disruption or delayed wound healing is possible after surgery. This is true of massive weight loss patients who have had gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery. Some areas of the abdomen may not heal normally. Some areas of skin may die. This may require wound care or plastic surgery.
Smokers have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications with cosmetic plastic surgery. It is best to stop smoking a few weeks before surgery.
Allergic reactions – In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations may occur. Systemic reactions which are more serious may occur to drugs used during surgery and prescription medicines. Allergic reactions may require additional treatment.
Pulmonary complications – Both blood clots or partial collapse of the lungs after general anesthesia may occur. You may require hospitalization and additional treatment. These can be life-threatening or fatal. This is the greatest area of risk with body lift or thigh lifts.
Seroma – Fluid may collect in between the skin and the abdominal wall after surgery. It may require more procedures for drainage of the fluid. This is the most common complication seen after body lift.
Umbilicus – Malposition, scarring, unacceptable appearance or loss of the navel may occur after tummy tuck or body lift plastic surgery.
Long term effects – Subsequent alterations in body contour may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or other issues not related to body lift surgery.
Pain – Chronic pain may occur very infrequently from nerves becoming trapped in scar tissue after tummy tuck or body lift plastic surgery.
Most health insurance companies exclude coverage for cosmetic plastic surgery or any complications that might occur from surgery. Please carefully review your health insurance subscriber information.
When considering a body lift or tummy tuck, it is important to be aware of non surgery options. Liposuction surgery may be an alternative to tummy tuck if there is good skin tone and localized abdominal fatty deposits. Dr. Michael J. Brown has lasers that have used to tighten modest amounts of loose skin on the lower abdomen and around the belly button. Diet and exercise programs may be of benefit in the overall reduction of excess body fat. Lasers will not work for body lifts.
To best help our patients make well-informed decisions we have provided additional information in the tummy tuck plastic surgery section.