If you have successfully lost a significant amount of weight, congratulations! If, however, that weight loss has left you with excess, sagging skin, in the lower half of your body, you may wish to consider a lower body lift. Also referred to as a belt lipectomy, a lower body lift can address excess skin around the abdomen, in the groin and buttocks, and the inner and outer thighs. Body lift procedures are intense surgeries that typically require an extended recovery period. Here’s what you can expect during your lower body lift recovery with Dr. Tracy McCall in Milwaukee, WI.
Immediately after Surgery
Following your lower body lift surgery, Dr. McCall will insert drainage tubes at your incision sites. These will collect any excess fluid. She will also provide you with a compression garment, which helps minimize swelling and discomfort. Most patients require a short stay in the hospital (one to two days) due to the extensiveness of the belt lipectomy procedure.
First Few Days Post-surgery
Bandages and tubes may be removed within two to three days, after which you can shower. You will continue wearing your compression garment at all times, except when showering. You will experience pain and swelling during this time. Dr. McCall will provide you with pain medications to minimize your discomfort. Although you need to keep your activities to a minimum, you should begin walking as soon as possible. This encourages blood flow and will aid in the prevention of blood clots.
One to Two Weeks after Lower Body Lift
You will still have some swelling and bruising one to two weeks after surgery. Dr. McCall may remove your sutures at some point during this time. She will also evaluate your healing progress. Your activity is still restricted primarily to walking. You should avoid lifting objects over five pounds and keep other activities involving the lower half of your body to a minimum. Most patients can return to work after about two weeks, depending on their occupation and whether or not they are able to stop taking pain medication.
Three to Six Weeks Post-belt Lipectomy
During this time, your swelling will go down dramatically, although it may not subside completely. By week four, you can slowly begin increasing your activity levels. Most patients need a full six weeks or more before returning to more strenuous exercise activities. Dr. McCall will guide you through this phase of recovery, providing detailed instructions so you do not over do it with exercise or other activities.
Three to Six Months Post-op
Within three months, most patients see a drop in swelling by about 75 percent. After about six months, the swelling subsides by about 90 percent. It can take a year or more, however, to see the full results of your belt lipectomy.
Learn More about Lower Body Lift Surgery
If you have lost a significant amount of weight and want to eliminate sagging, excess skin, contact our office to schedule a lower body lift consultation with Dr. McCall.