Body Contouring Surgery
Listed below is the step by step procedure of body contouring:
- What is Body Contouring Surgery?
- Why is Body Contouring Surgery Required?
- Pre-operative Preparation
- Day Before Surgery
- Procedure Day
- Methods / Techniques of Body Contouring Surgery
- Post Procedure
- Risks and Complications
What is Body Contouring Surgery?
Body contouring is a single term that depicts a number of different body shaping techniques that are strictly cosmetic in nature. This cosmetic technique is usable for almost any body part that needs fat reduction and reshaping. Body sculpting and reshaping it post any weight loss surgery are among the main goals of a body contouring surgery.
Why is Body Contouring Surgery Required?
Body contouring is as mentioned before, a cosmetic procedure, strictly to be done after thorough research and proper understanding of what the patient is putting himself/herself into. Following are the indications that the patient requires a body contouring procedure or any of the individual procedure that comes under the term â€œbody contouring.â€
- Fat deposits: Unevenly distributed deposits of fat in the body on parts like thighs, arms, stomach etc.
- Post pregnancy: After delivery, most women gain excess body weight on places like buttocks and abdomen. So women can seek to undergo body contouring or any other reshaping procedure that will give them a satisfactory appearance.
- Obese people: When people who are either obese or over-weight lose weight, their overall body starts looking loose and sagging. They can achieve best results in terms of appearance by undergoing a body contouring or lower body lift.
In preparing for body contouring surgery, you may be asked to:
- Clearance from physician: You need to get a clearance in writing from your physician that clearly states that you are physically fit for undergoing the body contouring surgery.
- Blood tests: You also need to submit results of blood tests beforehand.
- Mammogram: A mammogram is necessary to be done for patients going in for breast lift; also known as breast augmentation.
- Electrocardiogram: Patients who have crossed their 40s are required to submit electrocardiogram results which state that their cardiac health is not weak.
- Smoking: You need to stop smoking well in advance of surgery so as to not let the nicotine come in way of surgical outcome.
- Medications: You would get a list of medications from the team of operating doctors beforehand. Those are the medications you need to discontinue in the period before and after surgery. This is because those medications have tendency to halt or affect surgical outcome by triggering loss of blood. You may get prescribed with certain medications in the pre-surgical period.
- Birth control pills: Notify the doctor if you are on any birth control tablets.
Day Before Body Contouring Surgery
- Physical examination: Physical fitness of patient is assessed to check whether he is fit for undergoing surgery.
- Vital signs: Blood pressure, temperature and pulse rate are tracked several times on the day before surgery.
- Midnight fasting: Fasting is the be observed since the night before surgery not only on the night before surgery.
On the procedure day, the person is asked to change into a hospital gown before entering the surgical area. Anesthesia is administered by the anesthesiologist in the region where the surgery needs to be performed.
Methods / Techniques of Body Contouring Surgery
Body contouring procedures include a number of sub-procedures which are as follows:
It is a surgery that alters the facial appearance and gives a very much younger looking skin to the person undergoing it. Women who do not have a well-defined jawline, wrinkled skin near the neck region or just plain loose skin on their face and neck are eligible to undergo facelift and correct their features.
A facelift commences with patient getting administered with a general anesthesia. Surgery begins with an incision that is made near the temples which continues till the lower scalp. Excess skin is removed from the facial region and fat is redistributed to give the face a uniform look. Further, an incision may also be made below the chin for ironing out the wrinkles that give the neck an bulky look. Incisions made during surgery are then stitched up properly for concealing them and making the skin look uniform.
Breasts in women keep on changing with age and other events of her life such as pregnancy & changes in weight. The breasts loose elasticity losing their firmness over the years. Breast-lift is a cosmetic surgery that reshapes the breasts but does not increase their size.
After you are positioned on the operating table, you will be attached to an oximeter and heart monitoring machine. Your vital signs such as blood pressure, body temperature, pulse rate/heart beat, and your breathing rate will be monitored. This is done for confirming whether you do not react incorrectly to anesthesia. The oximeter machine tracks the oxygen content in the hemoglobin in your blood also known as oxygen saturation in your blood.
General anesthesia is given to the patient for making them lose consciousness. An intravenous drip is attached to the person's arm for fluid and medicine administration. Incisions are either made around areola or in the space between nipple and breast crease. Nipple and areola are repositioned. Firmness and shapeliness is achieved when the breast tissues are reshaped. Incisions are placed deep inside breast tissue for holding together the newly shaped breasts.
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck surgery grants a shapely appearance to the stomach; especially when the person has lots of fat deposits sitting on it. Post pregnancy, women gain weight and lose the original shape. This surgery is the best solution for these women. Surgery is also done in obese people who have excessive fat deposits.
To start the procedure, the patient is made to lie down on the operating table and general anesthesia is given to him/her. The first incision is made in the part between belly button and pubic hairline. In this way, excess fat deposited there is removed. Belly button is shifted and repositioned. After muscles are tightened, skin on abdomen is stitched up.
Women who have sagging skin on their arms can do well with an arm-lift or brachioplasty. This procedure tightens the skin around arms. After undergoing this procedure, women can get a slimmer appearance because of slimmer arms. You are a fit candidate for this surgery if you do not suffer from any health condition, have a healthy immunity and a weight that is not too high or too less. Moreover, if you do not have the habit of smoking, you are 100% likely to have a better surgical outcome post undergoing arm-lift.
The location and length of regions to be operated are decided in the period before surgery. Incisions are done either on the back or inner portion of arm. The fat which was to be targeted is removed and the portion is tightened and smoothed out. Stitches which either dissolve in few days or need to be taken out by doctor, are used to close the incisions.
Medial thigh lift
Thigh lift surgeries are not for people who have excess fats in various body parts like thighs and buttocks only, but also for people who have a loosened and sagging skin after undergoing different weight loss surgeries. A medial thigh lift is the solution for women having stretch marks and loose skin post weight loss surgery. It is not a gender-specific surgery, it is done by men too.
General anesthesia is given to the patient before the procedure. Antibiotics are also given via intravenous drip to prevent any infection during surgery. The fat deposits from pre-decided areas on thighs - both inner and outer thighs, is suctioned out. Incisions are then closed after placement of drains in the thighs for preventing fluid buildup. After this, you are shifted to the recovery room.
Lower body lift
Lower body lift is a preferred option when you have thin layers of fat deposits residing in lower body area like waist, buttocks and thighs among others. You are also a candidate for a lower body lift, if pregnancy has given you loose and unflattering skin on waist. Incisions are made on the torso such that the decided area falls below incision area. Excess fatty pockets are removed and tissues in that area are tightened. A lower body lift is either paired with a tummy tuck surgery or with a medial thigh lift for best results. Incisions are then closed up using many layers so as not to cause stretching. The scars coming because of incision are obviously not visible since they are hidden due to bikini, once surgery is done.
Dos and Don'ts after Body Contouring Surgery
Since body contouring covers facelift, breast-lift, tummy tuck, arm lift, medial thigh lift and lower body lift, the dos and don'ts of each differ from each other to a large extent. Let us take a look at the individual dos and don'ts that need to be followed post surgery in recovery period:
Avoid wearing makeup for around a week after surgery. Not only the skin's recovery process is halted but the incision sites are likely to get stained. Also, the nicotine in cigarettes is a harmful element that impedes speedy recovery, so one needs to avoid smoking in the recovery period.
Avoid strenuous activities and lifting heavy objects until swelling has subsided. Make sure to use proper medically prescribed sunscreen lotion before stepping out in the sun.
After undergoing a breast lift, one should not indulge in any activities like running or jumping that will break open the surgical incisions or cause the implants to shift from its place. Also, do not allow water to enter your dressings. Resuming driving is possible once the pain medications prescribed by your surgeon are over. Returning to work after a 2 week rest window is feasible. Scarring after a breast lift is very natural and a commonly occurring post operative feature. There is no need to fret over it, as these scars tend to go away on their own. Do not forget to follow a healthy diet and fitness regimen as well. Refrain from wearing a wired bra till you have fully recovered after the procedure.
- Tummy Tuck
Post surgery, resuming any weight loss program that you were following before surgery is not advisable. Doing exercises like before is likely to damage the incisions made on abdominal area and also sag the skin over there. Nothing that can put pressure on abdominal muscles should be done in initial few weeks after a tummy tuck surgery. Wearing compression devices or garments throughout the day in the initial few weeks after surgery is a must. Avoid eating any packaged or processed food in the weeks ensuing surgery. Feeling depressed or low is completely normal; remaining positive is important.
- Arm lift
With a physiotherapist's advise proper exercises and stretches of arms can be performed without over straining the skin and muscles. Some movement of the arms is necessary as it will prevent stagnation of blood and concurrent formation of blood clots, which could have fatal outcome.
- Medial thigh lift
Post surgery, avoid intake of anti-inflammatory medications for a couple of weeks. You are advised to avoid consuming any diary products in the first week post undergoing medial thigh lift. Avoid any respiratory infections and complications by avoiding smoking for at least a month after surgery. Make sure to use a pillow each between your knees and behind your back while resting or lying down.
- Lower body lift
The recovery time for every person undergoing lower body lift is different. This surgery tends to limit the person's physical movements - be it bending down, bending side ways or forward. A month, to a month and a half is the amount of rest the person needs to take before resuming work.
Risks and Complications
- Blood clotting: Blood clots forming in the legs and travelling to the lungs and heart is a very rare complication happening during the procedure. Anti-clotting medicines can be used during surgery to prevent its spread.
- Asymmetrical appearance: There are chances that post surgery the operated areas may not look uniformly symmetrical. Hence, revision surgery or repeat surgery may be required.
- Bleeding: During surgery while operating on the indicated body parts, the surgeon is extremely careful not to damage any other healthy organs. But there is chance of accidental injury to the surrounding blood vessels. This could lead to bleeding during surgery. Bleeding can be stopped by sealing the blood vessels using the slightest amount of electric current or some type of chemicals. This problems might be seen mostly in cases of abdominoplasty, as that region is rich in blood supply and has many blood vessels.
- Anesthesia risk: The patient rarely develops allergic reaction to the anesthetic agent used during surgery, but that can be averted by testing various agents beforehand.
- Scarring: Scars that look inflamed and itchy are a minor complication.
- Rare risks: Death through heart attack or pneumonia is relatively rare as patients who undergo body contouring are young in age.