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For many patients who have experienced massive weight loss, excess skin is left over the entire body. This may seem like an unfair reward after all your hard work to shed excess weight. This excess skin may appear on the front of your abdominal region, as saggy love handles, on outer thighs, back, or buttocks. If you are left with excess skin following significant weight loss, you have options with our Washington DC body contouring. All of these areas can be addressed with a single surgery, called a “circumferential body lift.”


What is a Post Weight Loss Body Lift?

During a circumferential body lift, all of the loose excess skin will be removed, so your body looks trimmer and you can confidently wear tighter clothing. Following your surgery there will be a scar that is similar to a belt around the lower trunk region. Once the procedure has been completed you will find that not only is your abdomen flatter, but the pubic area is elevated, the outer thighs are tightened, the lower back folds are removed, and the buttocks are lifted and made smoother.

This tightening and lift are achieved with an advanced surgical procedure in which the skin is suspended on the outer thighs and lower back areas. This helps to maintain the lift over time and minimizes recurrence of the loose, hanging appearance of the skin.

What Can I Expect During a Body Lift?

Your Washington DC body lift will typically be performed in a hospital under general anesthesia with an overnight stay. Occasionally, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, but this decision is made on a case-by-case basis after an initial consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon. Before your procedure begins, the areas to be treated will be marked while you are standing, either the day prior to surgery or that morning. The proposed skin to be excised is outlined, the expected location of the surgical scar. When you awake, you are one step closer to seeing the body you have worked so hard to achieve.

What Can I Expect Following my Body Lift?

At the end of the procedure, temporary drains will be placed to prevent fluid from accumulating beneath the skin. A urinary catheter is usually in place for the first night. If you have your body lift as an out-patient procedure, you may have local anesthesia placed along the operative site. Patients who remain in the hospital overnight will be comfortable with IV pain medication administered. Following surgery, the treatment area is wrapped with an abdominal binder. Your bandages will be changed in your first follow-up appointment. Any drains will be removed when the output is minimal. You will need to wear a compression garment about a month following your surgery.

Why Choose Plastic Surgery Institute of Washington?

We are not your standard plastic surgery center. At PSIW, our team of board-certified plastic surgeons are some of the most respected physicians practicing in the field, acting as educators for training surgeons. We do all we can to make your experience very positive, and offer a discreet, luxury private practice that caters to your every need.

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What is the Recovery from Post Weight Loss Surgery Like?

The recovery period for your Bethesda body contouring is typically between four to six weeks. You should refrain from sitting for the first five to ten days, remaining either in a standing position or lying down to avoid putting too much tension on the incision. You will not be able to drive for two to three weeks following your surgery. While each patient is different, most are able to resume their normal activities approximately six weeks following surgery, and many are back to their normal exercise routines within by eight to ten weeks. It is important that you wear your compression garment when exercising for the first two months after your surgery.

What Are The Risks or Complications Associated with Post Weight Loss Surgery?

Risks and complications are uncommon but occur rarely. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Asymmetry
  • Wound separation
  • Loss of the umbilicus
  • Skin loss
  • Fluid collection under the skin following drain removal requiring drainage (seroma)
  • Prolonged numbness and/or swelling
  • Widened, hypertrophic or keloid scarring
  • Need for revision surgery in the future
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