Body Lift Surgery Recovery
Recovery is extensive but a total body lift is an encompassing way to revamp the body's figure. Because the total body lift is so complex in nature, there is a long period of recovery. Preparations should be made to stay at home for several weeks following each stage of surgery. It is important to follow directions regarding recovery in order to achieve the best results.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, lower and upper body lift procedures can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient facility. An extensive surgery or one that requires multiple procedures necessitates staying in an after care facility for 2 to 3 days. Out of state patients need to stay local for 2 weeks following an upper body lift and 3 to 4 weeks following a lower body lift.
Surgery - Once in the recovery room following surgery, your body will be in a binder or garment. This compression garment is to remain on for 4 to 6 weeks.
Caregiver - Body lift surgery for the lower and upper body involves multiple procedures that take place in one setting. The patient must understand that this is not a minor surgery and having someone to help you get around and perform tasks such as filling prescriptions and taking medicine will be needed for at least the first week following surgery.
Nausea - The scopolamine patch helps with nausea for the first 72 hours after surgery. Following surgery, taking an anti-nausea pill an hour before taking pain medication or antibiotics can help decrease nausea. Follow the directions for the medication and take pain medications with food.
Sleep - Try and sleep on one of your sides for the first week following a lower body lift. Slightly bend your legs at the hips to reduce pain and tension on the incisions on the buttocks. This will also help minimize scarring.
Sequential Compression Device - Sequential compression stockings with portable pumps will be provided after surgery to help reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The compression stockings should be worn at all times for the first 5 days following surgery. Studies have shown that the sequential compression device reduces the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.
Painkillers - Body lift surgery results in soreness that can last a few days but you should be up and around after 24 hours. Most of the pain and soreness can be controlled with prescribed painkillers.
ProCare MD Nutritional Supplement - Three weeks before body lift surgery, take at least 3 to 4 scoops per day and continue with it until about 5 to 6 weeks after surgery when the incisions have healed. The ProCare MD Nutritional Supplement provides nutrition needed for quick and optimal healing, especially after a large surgery such as a lower body lift.
Shower - On day 3 or 4 following surgery, a shower with help is acceptable. Be sure to remove any dressing, sponges or gauze pads before showering. Pat the incisions dry and replace the abdominal binder after showering.
Post-Operative Visit - The first 3 days after body lift surgery your surgeon will see you if you are in a local after-care facility.
Swelling - Swelling can take up to 5 weeks to subside.
Driving - Do not drive if you are in pain. Follow the directions on any medication. Pain medication can slow your reflexes and cause drowsiness, making it unsafe to drive within 24 hours of taking it.
Motion - Do not subject the incisions to excessive motion, force or abrasion while they are healing. Avoid any irritation around the operative site early on in healing or an abnormal collection of fluid may develop, known as a seroma. Excessive irritation may also cause the wounds to separate.
Walking - Begin walking as soon as possible, typically the night after surgery. Though you may not be able to stand upright for 7 to 10 days following lower body lift surgery, it is important to keep the blood circulating to help reduce the risk of blood clots.
Light Exercise - In the same respect, light exercise is recommended to help reduce swelling and prevent clotting. Light exercise, such as walking, stretching, or moving your arms and legs while you are sitting will help keep your blood moving. Stop any exercise if you feel pain or pulling from the scar area.
Activities - Avoid exercise or activities that raise your blood pressure for the first week after surgery. Too much strenuous activity can cause bleeding at the operative site, which may lead to an abnormal collection of blood, known as a hematoma. Avoid exercise that directly affects the incisions, heavy lifting, jogging or contact sports for up to 6 weeks following surgery. Light exercise, such as walking is considered the best and safest exercise for this time. After 6 weeks, your body will be close to its pre-operative state, and cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking or riding a stationary bicycle is acceptable.
Healing - It will take several weeks to recover and heal from body lift surgery. Expect to take 2 to 4 weeks of recovery before returning to work, depending on the nature of the work and the physical activity required.
Scarring - Scarring is different for everyone. There are many factors involved that contribute to how the body heals and how fast. For about the first 6 weeks, the scars will be firm and pink. It could take up to 9 months before scars lighten in color or reduce in size and blend in with the rest of your skin. Non-smokers and individuals who follow the Enhanced Recovery Nutritional Supplements routine stand a better chance of healing quicker and having thinner scars.
Follow-ups - Follow-up appointments are necessary to help protect against any potential complications.Emergencies - Some pain and discomfort is expected following body lift surgery but be sure to get help if:
- You experience an increase in pain, swelling, redness, drainage or bleeding in or around the surgical area
- You develop a fever, experience nausea, dizziness or vomiting, or feel generally ill
- You have shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats or chest pains. These complications may require additional treatment or hospitalization and you should seek medical attention immediately.
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