Nashville Body Lift Surgeon
Michael R. Burgdorf, MD, MPH, is a compassionate plastic surgeon in Nashville, offering a number of post-bariatric body contouring, or “body lift,” procedures intended to eliminate the excess skin and fat that often remain following massive weight loss, as well as to repair any damaged underlying tissues.
Specific body contouring procedures may include buttock lift, thigh lift, lower body lift, abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”), arm lift and / or breast lift surgery. These procedures can be performed on their own or in combination with one another for optimal body contouring results. Thanks to Dr. Burgdorf’s broad expertise in an array of body contouring techniques, the plastic surgeon can tailor a treatment protocol to best meet the distinct needs of his Nashville and Franklin post-bariatric patients.
Why Post-Bariatric Body Lift Surgery Is Necessary
Unfortunately, it is common for those who have achieved substantial weight loss to find that losing the surplus weight has not necessarily given them their dream figure. This is because major changes in weight can often cause the skin to lose its elastic quality, so it is unable to shrink back to a smaller size and shape after massive weight loss. In fact, the skin might start to sag, hanging in folds off the body.
At Music City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Burgdorf and his staff are sensitive to this shared frustration that many of their post-bariatric and massive weight loss patients have. That is why they are proud to help these patients attain the figure they have worked so hard to achieve, with body lift cosmetic surgery.
Body Lift Candidacy
A highly trained, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Burgdorf must consult with prospective patients before determining if they are appropriate candidates for body lift surgery. Nonetheless, suitable body lift candidates typically include individuals who:
- Suffer from lax excess skin that has lost its elasticity and droops off the body, as a result of massive weight loss (often with the help of bariatric surgery), pregnancy or the aging process
- May also suffer from localized pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise as well as damaged supporting tissues that make it difficult or impossible to “firm up” certain areas of the body
- Have inadequate skin elasticity, rendering them unsuitable liposuction candidates
- Are not currently pregnant and are finished having children, as pregnancy can counteract the aesthetic benefits of body lift surgery
- Are experiencing a plateau in their weight loss and have been at a stable, consistent weight for at least three months
- Have realistic expectations for the outcome of body lift surgery, meaning they desire aesthetic improvement, not perfection
- Are healthy enough, both physically and mentally, to undergo body lift surgery
- Are non-smokers or are prepared to quit smoking for several weeks before and after surgery
Moreover, suitable body lift candidates understand both the possible risks and rewards of the procedure, and have decided to pursue body contouring surgery of their own volition.
What Body Lift Surgery Entails
The specific details of body lift surgery vary by patient, depending on the person’s medical history, anatomical needs, aesthetic desires and the areas of the body being treated. In this vein, body lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis in some cases but as an inpatient procedure in others. The procedure can take anywhere from three to six hours. The incision length and pattern also differ, based on the criteria above. However, body lift surgery is always performed under general anesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety throughout the duration of the procedure.
In general, Dr. Burgdorf first performs liposuction in the treatment area to remove unwanted fat, if needed. Body lift surgery involves making an incision on or near the treatment area. Although the required incision is significant, Dr. Burgdorf strategically places it in a location that is easily concealed by the body’s natural shape or by clothing.
The Nashville body contouring surgeon excises excess skin. He then repairs the underlying tissues, placing internal sutures in the deeper tissue layers to improve the shape and tone of the supporting structures. After pulling the remaining skin taut over the new, sleeker contour of whichever body part he is treating, he closes the incision with sutures. He dresses the area with bandages as well as an overlying compression garment, which provides additional support to the tissues while they heal and helps minimize swelling in the area.
For Those Desiring a Total Body Makeover Today, Hold On
Although patients who are candidates for body contouring surgery may desire multiple areas of improvement, Dr. Burgdorf will typically limit the amount of surgery performed in a single setting to two body areas. For example, contour surgery can be performed on the breasts and arms (arm lift) in one stage. It can be performed on the abdomen and back in a single surgery (as with a circumferential body lift). Another option is for the thighs and abdomen to be improved in a single stage. This is all assuming the patient is healthy enough to undergo surgery for the length of time required for these procedures.
It is tempting to want to “take care of it all” in one fell swoop; however, this is unsafe and unwarranted. During your consultation, Dr. Burgdorf will help you decide which areas of desired improvement are the most important to you and will customize the treatment plan accordingly. Although this can be an exciting time, Dr. Burgdorf will ensure that the prudent path is taken to ensure your success. Often, this means undergoing multiple stages to achieve your dream body, not having a total-body makeover in a single day.
What to Expect After Body Lift Surgery
The recovery period also varies by patient, depending on the individual’s ability to heal, the complexity of their body lift procedure and if multiple areas were treated. However, the majority of patients are able to return to work or their normal routine within two weeks of surgery.
During this time, it is important that patients take the time to heal. This includes avoiding strenuous activity, including exercising and heavy lifting. Dr. Burgdorf will prescribe oral pain relievers, if necessary, to help alleviate any postoperative discomfort.
Because each person heals at a different rate, Dr. Burgdorf monitors patients’ recovery progress and lets them know when it is safe to resume their everyday activities, including their exercise routine.
Also, patients will start scar therapy several weeks after body lift surgery to help minimize the appearance of scars. They should keep their incision site(s) out of the sun for up to one year, as sun exposure can cause scars to become red or raised above the skin’s surface. Once this happens, it is nearly impossible for scars to fade.
Scar therapy also includes the regular use of bioCorneum+, an advanced topical silicone gel treatment that helps protect the incision site to minimize the look of scars. Dr. Burgdorf can attest to the effectiveness of bioCorneum+ in helping scars heal properly, so he includes it in the price of body lift surgery.
To arrange a private consultation with Dr. Burgdorf to find out more about body lift surgery, contact Music City Plastic Surgery by calling (615) 567-5716 or by clicking the “Request a Free Consultation” button.