After massive weight loss, people experience significant excess skin throughout their lower and upper body. This extra skin can cause folds and wrinkles in the back, abdomen, and buttocks.
The upper body lift procedure helps to remove excess skin from the upper abdomen area, sides of the chest, and your upper back. This surgical procedure helps improve your upper torso, both the front and back, unlike the tummy tuck procedure which removes skin and fat from the abdomen and flattens only your lower abdomen. The upper body lift procedure helps eliminate excessive skin under the armpits and back rolls.
Dr. Wallach brings his vast experience with cosmetic surgery to give his patients optimal results from the procedure. Many bariatric patients are referred to Dr. Wallach for the elimination of the excessive, sagging skin after massive weight loss.
Preparing for your upper body lift surgery
You will be advised not to take any blood thinners before your surgery like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
What is the surgical procedure?
Fat and skin are removed from the upper abdominal area and any scars are well concealed within the creases of the chest so they can be hidden. Some tissue may be removed as well around your upper body as well.
The surgical procedure is done in two positions – the abdomen and the back. Liposuction may be used on your back area and the flanks. Once the extra fat and skin are removed, the underlying tissue is lifted. Your upper body lift results in the waistline being cinched so that you can restore your youthful contours.
Recovery from an upper body lift
Most patients can go home after their surgery while some may have to be observed overnight in the hospital. You will be prescribed antibiotics and pain medicines for the recovery period. You might experience some numbness in the area, but it improves with time. Drains are commonly placed during surgery, and they will be removed within 1-2 weeks at most cases.
Complications of the procedure
The best candidates for this procedure are patients who are close to their goal weight, healthy, and at a stable weight. If you are severely overweight this can add complications to the procedure. Some of the complications of the surgery include bleeding post-surgery, collection of fluid resulting in infection, skin necrosis, thick scars, asymmetry, and blood clots. You might need additional procedures for correction of these complications.
Dr. Wallach ensures he takes appropriate measures in order to prevent these complications. These include the use of drains to prevent infection, antibiotics, sequential devices to prevent blood clots in the legs and prevention of necrosis with careful handling of the tissue.