Michael R. Burgdorf, MD, MPH, was voted “The Most Compassionate Nashville Plastic Surgeon” by the acclaimed medical website Vitals.com. Dr. Burgdorf offers 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 offered at our Nashville plastic surgery practice, Music City Plastic Surgery, include buttock lift, (“butt lift”), thigh lift, liposuction, abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”), arm lift, and breast lift. These body contouring procedures can be performed on their own or in combination for optimal results. Thanks to Dr. Burgdorf’s broad expertise in an array of body contouring techniques, his treatment protocol meets the distinct needs of his post-bariatric patients.
WHY POST BARIATRIC BODY LIFT SURGERY IS NECESSARY
Unfortunately, it is common for patients who have achieved substantial weight loss to find that losing the surplus weight has not given them their dream figure. This is because major changes in weight can often cause the skin to lose its elastic quality, rendering it unable to shrink back to a smaller size and shape after massive weight loss. This sagging skin may hang in folds off of the body. Following massive weight loss patients now have the option to tighten up that skin for the dramatic results they dream of.
At Music City Plastic Surgery, Dr. Burgdorf and his staff are sensitive to the frustration of the accomplishment of substantial weight loss followed by unattractive, sagging skin. That is why we are proud and happy to help our plastic surgery patients attain the figure they have worked so hard to achieve.
BODY LIFT CANDIDATES
A highly trained, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Burgdorf must consult with prospective plastic surgery patients before determining if they are appropriate candidates for body lift surgery. Nonetheless, suitable body lift candidates typically include individuals who meet the following criteria.
- Suffer from 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 fat deposits 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.
WHAT BODY LIFT SURGERY ENTAILS
For patients who have undergone drastic weight loss, Nashville plastic surgeon Dr. Burgdorf can explain the specific details of body lift surgery to each patient. The subtleties of body lift 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 at our Nashville plastic surgery practice is always performed under general anesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety throughout the duration of the procedure.
During the body lift process and in the first step of liposuction, Dr. Burgdorf performs removes unwanted fat, if needed, in the treatment area. 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 body contouring process removes excess skin. Dr. Burgdorf 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 as breast lift and arm lift in one stage. It can be performed as adominoplasty and lower body contouring in another stage (as with a circumferential body lift). Another option is for thigh lift and abdominoplasty procedures to be performed 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, via body contouring surgery, are the most important to you and will customize the treatment plan accordingly. Although this can be an exciting time, Dr. Burgdorf will take the prudent path 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 for body lift varies by patient, depending on the individual’s ability to heal and the complexity of their specific body lift procedure. Often, recovery takes longer when multiple areas are treated. However, the majority of patients are able to return to work or their normal routine within two weeks of body contouring surgery.
We emphasize appropriate healing time for all patients visiting our Nashville plastic surgery practice. In the days and weeks following body contouring surgeries, including the complex body lift procedures, it is very 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.
Each person heals at a different rate and Dr. Burgdorf, carefully monitors the recovery progress of each patient 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 the scar healing process, so he includes it in the price of body lift surgery.
To arrange a private consultation with Dr. Burgdorf, and to find out more about body lift surgery, please contact Music City Plastic Surgery. Call Us Today at 615.567.5716 or Click Here to send us an email.
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