One of the biggest advances in plastic surgery in recent years has been the body contouring surgery that we offer to patients who have lost a massive amount of weight. When someone loses a significant amount of weight, the harsh reality is that, in most cases, excess fat is traded for excess skin. Also, several psychological, social, and medical changes occur with the weight loss that a plastic surgeon should acknowledge when deciding what surgery to offer a weight loss patient.
When a patient undergoes dramatic weight-loss, there is usually loose skin in the face, arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. A lower body lift is an operation that addresses the laxity of skin and excess fat in the abdomen, waist, hips, outer thighs, and buttocks. It can be combined with an inner thigh lift for total lower body rejuvenation. Although it is a big operation with prolonged healing time, the satisfaction a patient gets from this operation and the dramatic improvement is unparalleled.
A lower body lift procedure is more than cosmetic surgery for a bariatric patient. It is part of a “new me” plan. It is an affirmation of a final chapter in a long road towards self-improvement. It is the crowning achievement after taking huge risks, suffering major setbacks, and finally achieving a body that was once felt to be only a dream. It is a plastic surgeon’s privilege to help a patient achieve this dream.
We believe a well-prepared patient leads to a successful surgery and recovery. Whether you are flying in internationally or a local, our staff strives to give you a great experience. During your initial call to our office, one of our patient care coordinators will discuss the different options available to improve the areas of your concern. A consultation is scheduled with the doctor who best fits your personal situation. The doctor will review your medical history, spend the appropriate time to review all surgical and non-surgical options, and discuss whether surgery can be performed in-office under local sedation or at the hospital under general anesthesia. In sharing our before and after photos, you get a better sense in the quality of surgery our doctors offer and what outcome you can expect to achieve. We will review pre- and post-operative care so you can be prepared for what your role is in surgery. You will be asked to stop smoking two weeks prior to and post-surgery. Safety is our top priority, so we will ask you to see your primary care physician to perform a physical exam, lab work and, in some patients, an EKG 30 days prior to surgery. Next, we see you for a pre-op appointment two weeks prior to surgery to discuss any questions you may have and review surgery details, ensuring everyone is on the same page. You will then receive a courtesy call the evening before surgery to review instructions and any questions you may have.
Patients seeking lower body lift surgery are usually bariatric surgery patients. They need to understand that massive weight loss, especially after a gastric bypass, puts them at a higher risk of complications from any surgery, especially a big one, like a lower body lift. All efforts to optimize nutrition, body weight, muscle tone, psychological, and mental state of mind should be undertaken to ensure the best outcome possible.
This procedure is a big operation. It usually lasts about six hours and the patient has significant bleeding when compared to other plastic surgery procedures. Therefore, we request patients to have either themselves or relatives donate a total of two pints of blood that will be given back to them during the operation. Also, this is the only procedure that we require our patients to stay in the hospital for two days.
Conceptually, a lower body lift procedure is simple to understand. Imagine removing a six inch belt of skin around your waistline and lifting the lower body to fill the gap. This is a simplistic rendition of what a lower body lift accomplishes. This procedure will tighten the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, and outer thighs. It will not improve the inner thighs but it can be combined, in the appropriate patient, with an inner thigh lift to accomplish a complete lower body enhancement.
The scar in this operation is of major concern. The location varies depending on the patient, but it usually resembles a bikini bottom pattern. Because of the high satisfaction that this procedure yields, patients are accepting of the extensive circumferential scar.
“I went to my 30-year high school reunion and everyone was telling me I hadn’t aged a bit.”
Our office will provide a comprehensive post-operative plan to ensure the best possible outcome. The plan will include what to expect postoperatively, such as estimated recovery time, pain management, garments or dressings, and anticipated activity level. For your safety, we require that an adult stay with you at least the first 24 hours after you are released from the hospital. With most body procedures, you will be instructed to limit activity for the first week or two, which could include restrictions on driving, prolonged travel and flying. In addition, we ask you refrain from exercise until cleared by the physician, usually around six weeks post-op. You are asked to refrain from smoking for a minimum of two weeks. To optimize healing, we recommend that you eat a high protein diet. You should anticipate a variable degree of bruising and swelling, as with any surgical procedure. We also offer scar creams at an additional cost to optimize results.
To promote healing and minimize complications, you will be seen in a series of post-op appointments. These appointments will continue throughout the first year after the procedure to make sure you are healing as planned. For your added convenience, you also have direct access to Dr. Bitar’s and Dr. Lickstein’s cell phone numbers if you need to reach your physician after hours. The final post-op visit, one year after surgery, is one of our favorites since the results are fully apparent and we love seeing our patients happy. You are always welcome to come back and see us, even years after your surgery.
MAXIMIZING POSITIVE OUTCOMES
At the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, we take pride in providing our patients with the best surgical experience possible, emphasizing patient safety while trying to optimize surgical results. This is a process that includes comprehensive pre-operative preparation and patient education, the development of a personalized operative plan, and a thoughtful post operative care regimen emphasizing patient comfort and promoting recovery.
There are a number of strategies which the Institute has adapted to further ensure patient safety. We are selective and only offer surgery to patients whose general health and lifestyle choices permit healing and facilitate recovery. To minimize risk, we require a preoperative assessment that includes a thoughtful history and physical exam, as well as targeted laboratory tests.
We operate at accredited hospitals and surgicenters that have demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of care, employing board certified anesthesiologists and nurses. We adhere to well established surgical principles designed to ensure patient safety and have developed policies and protocols to minimize the risk of infection. Our surgeons are committed to continuing education, honing their skills and introducing new techniques always with the aim of improving safety and surgical results.
We emphasize patient safety in our peri-operative care plan, advocating early mobilization, optimizing nutrition, and providing detailed care instructions. After surgery, patients are seen in our office frequently and early, starting the day after their procedure, and a staff member is available around the clock for any questions or concerns. Our entire team is committed to our patients’ well being and every measure is designed to minimize potential complications, promote comfortable and rapid recovery, and optimize surgical results.
WHY CHOOSE BITAR COSMETIC SURGERY INSTITUTE?
Our commitment to excellence and exceptional patient care is in every step of your doctor-patient experience. Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Larry Lickstein are distinguished board certified plastic surgeons, with over 30 years of combined experience, who exclusively perform cosmetic surgery. Our doctors stay on the cutting edge of advancements in cosmetic surgery and technology to offer the best possible results. With a blend of artistry and meticulous surgical technique, they are able to achieve beautiful and natural results for our patients. We provide a high level of patient safety and our experienced and caring staff will be with you every step of the way. Our institute offers a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical options, from skin care, injectables and lasers to in-office or hospital options, to provide a versatile approach to fit individual patient needs. Your aesthetic goals are our priority and each procedure is customized to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
For more information, call our office at 703-206-0506.
Content on this website is for information only and should not be used to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.