Body Contouring Surgery Perth

Body Contouring

Body contouring surgery includes various procedures to remove and tighten excess skin, usually after massive or significant weightloss. It is also used to tighten saggy skin due to childbirth or ageing. Body contouring can improve a number of areas, most commonly it used used to contour the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and upper arms.

About torsoplasty (body lift)

The body lift improves the appearance of the abdomen and buttocks. The surgery involves removing excess skin and fatty tissue and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. This is often required following massive weight loss.

The lower body surgery includes a variety of different techniques, which will be discussed with you. The procedure can be combined with other forms of body contouring surgery, or performed with other elective surgeries including an assisted Lipectomy (suction) to achieve a more sculpted look.

Liposuction may be a surgical alternative in an individual of normal weight, because there is good skin tone and localized abdominal fatty deposits. Diet and exercise programs benefit the overall reduction of excess.

As much as liposuction removes excess, this is not a surgical treatment for being overweight. Obese individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body contouring surgery until they have reached a stable weight.

In most cases your surgeon will require that you be relatively close to your ideal body weight. However, this is not an absolute requirement. Dr Patrick Briggs is a Perth-based surgeon experienced in an extensive range of cosmetic and plastic surgery. If you’re considering a body lift, contact us today for a consultation.

Your consultation

During your consultation you will be asked about your general health, medical history, about conditions that might interfere with the procedure, and your goals for the surgery.

It is important that you clearly define your goals, so that your surgeon can advise you as to whether the results will meet your expectations. As part of your consultation, your doctor will perform an exam, explain the details of the procedure and develop a specific plan for surgery and recovery with you.

Your operation and what to expect

Surgery time is generally four to seven hours and is usually performed under general anesthesia. The steps of the loose skin surgery differ, depending on the needs of the patient. However, in most instances the surgeons begin with the stomach, remove excess skin from the belly button to the pubic area, then tighten the abdominal wall muscle – the area that is most often loosened by excessive weight loss.

To treat the abdomen, a horizontal incision is made along the pubic area. Excess skin and usually fat is then removed from the pubic bone to the belly button. The fatty tissues are lifted from the underlying muscles, to the level of the rib cage, which is (usually) when the abdominal wall muscles are tightened. The remaining skin and fat is pulled down from above the belly button area, where it is sutured in position at the pubic area. Usually the belly button is repositioned into its proper position. The procedure is repeated in the buttocks and thigh areas, making the incisions as inconspicuous as possible.

In cases that require the removal of fat, liposuction is performed prior to removing excess skin. Any essential repairs to the abdominal wall (such as hernia repair) usually can be made at the time of the body lift.

After surgery

Excess skin removal is a major surgery that requires significant recovery time. Most patients remain in the hospital for one to three nights. Pain and discomfort are initially managed with intravenous or intramuscular medications, and later with oral pain medication. Drainage tubes are inserted. A medical compression garment is to be worn at all times – except while bathing – until your surgeon tells you it is no longer needed. Dressings are generally removed two days after surgery, and showering is allowed at that time, however major activities are best avoided for a few weeks.

Restrictions on your activities could include no exercise and no lifting of three kilograms or more. Walking is encouraged; however, further exercise is not recommended until sufficient healing has taken place. Most people require four to six weeks recovery time before returning to normal activities, and generally from six to eight weeks before exercising, due to the sensitivity on the incisions and scarring.

To ensure a successful outcome of your skin removal surgery, you are required to follow your surgeon’s instructions very carefully. Do not place any pressure on the treated area. Approximately 75% of the swelling dissipates at six weeks and 90% at three months. It is important that the incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during healing.

Successful post-operative function depends on the surgery and subsequent care. Physical activity that increases your pulse or heart rate may cause bruising, swelling, or fluid accumulation, leading you back into  surgery. It is wise to refrain from intimate physical activities after surgery until your physician states it is safe. It is important that you participate in follow-up care, return for aftercare, and promote your recovery after surgery.  A specific dietary plan may be encouraged.

Other considerations

With every skin removal procedure or medical surgery there is a possibility of complications, which can make the recovery period longer than usual. Common body lift complications include seromas (fluid accumulating under the skin) and small skin separations. Your surgeon will help to resolve these issues. Some patients experience reduced sensation in the treated area, which can be permanent. However, infection, bleeding, and blood clots are uncommon and should be addressed immediately with your doctor.

Abdominal scars may appear to worsen during the first weeks or months, and could take up to 18 months before they flatten. The scars never completely disappear, but the colour does lighten and can be hidden by clothing.

Risks involved

Every surgical procedure involves risk and it is important that you understand these before proceeding with surgery. In addition, every procedure has limitations. An individual’s personal choice to undergo a surgical procedure is normally based on the risk versus potential benefit.

Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications after a body lift, you should discuss each of them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you completely understand all possible consequences of a body lift:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Skin sensation changes
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Major wound separation
  • Skin discoloration/swelling
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Fat necrosis
  • Pubic distortion
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry
  • Delayed healing
  • Allergic reactions
  • Seroma

If you’re curious about body lift surgery and would like to enquire, please contact Dr Patrick Briggs for assistance.

Arm Reduction

Weight loss or simply ageing can cause the arm to sag creating an unsightly bag of flesh and loose skin. It can be corrected by removing skin and fatty tissue, however the surgery often leaves a noticeable scar. As the goal for many patients is to be able to leave their arms bare, some people may find that this surgery is not for them. However, for those who have lost a significant amount of weight, Arm Lift surgery can be an important part of restoring a balanced body shape.

Thigh Reduction

Much similar to an Arm Reduction a Thigh Lift, or reduction, is removing the excess skin and tissue that may result from ageing or dramatic weight loss.  If appropriate this surgery can be preformed with other elective surgeries such as liposuction to gain a desired effect.