Part V: The Future After a Body Lift

July 27th, 2013  

Body Lift Surgery and the Future

A body lift is a major reconstructive surgery performed after massive weight loss. As with all post-weight loss surgeries, a body lift can help restore your body to a more natural look that complements your frame. If you’re dedicated enough to have taken the time to lose such a drastic amount of weight, then your dedication to maintaining the results of a body lift procedure are just as essential.

Results following your body lift surgery will be immediate, but can take a year or two to fully develop; as long as you eat right and exercise, the results should be long-lasting. Aging can cause natural sagging of the skin over time; however, the results of your surgery should still stand up to the test of time if you continue to take care of yourself.

The body lift operation is only part of the process; it’s also important to find a qualified board certified surgeon to help you on your journey. Your surgeon will advise you, prepare you for surgery, and monitor your post-op recovery and healing. You should feel comfortable with him or her, and be able to ask any questions that you have. Your doctor will be your greatest asset for any questions or concerns following your surgery, so make sure to utilize their knowledge and advice wherever applicable.

You may also wish to join an online support group such as where you can talk with other pre- and post-op body lift patients. They can provide a measure of support and also advise you on what to expect during every stage of your journey.  Patients that are going/have gone through the transformation that you’re going through are an excellent sounding board for questions, real answers, and support at what can be a stressful time.

Article by: RealSelf

Sources: RealSelf plastic surgery specialist, J. Timothy Katzen, MD of 360 Body Lift, Beverly Hills, CA

About RealSelf

RealSelf is the largest online community for learning about and sharing information and results for any medical-beauty treatment. Dedicated to helping people make suitable and empowered elective decisions, the site features consumer reviews, Worth It Ratings, real-time pricing information, and thousands of before and after photographs that collectively illustrate the ‘real story.’ The site also includes safety information and a Q&A with more than 3,500 board-certified doctors so visitors can interact with qualified experts and make safe decisions. RealSelf covers thousands of topics ranging from weight-loss surgery and post-weight-loss surgery to cosmetic dermatology, plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, vision correction and more. 

To visit RealSelf and share your own journey go to

Part IV: After a Body Lift

July 20th, 2013  

Ten Things to do After a Body Lift

Just as you must prepare before a body lift procedure, you most also be mindful of post-operative care to take to ensure you get the best results from your surgery. Below are the top 10 things you should aim to do for success.

  1. The most important thing to remember is to continue eating. To heal from a body lift, the nutritional goal set by the Registered Dietitician Association is 75 to 100 grams of protein a day.
  2. It is essential to allow your body to heal. Rest is very important. The body lift is a big procedure; allow your body time to heal. Do not perform extra activities or plan on exercising for about two or more weeks.
  3. If you are not too constipated from the anesthesia and pain medication, take enteric coated iron pills. During surgery, blood is lost and this blood loss can contribute to feeling “tired”.
  4. Antibiotics can destroy your intestine’s normal bacteria. To reestablish the intestinal flora, eat some pro-biotic cultures every day.
  5. Anesthesia and narcotics often lead to constipation. Take a stool softener twice a day. If you develop diarrhea, please notify your plastic surgeon. This can be a serious problem.
  6. Every plastic surgeon has his or her own way “of doing things”. Please consult with your plastic surgeon before and after your body lift to determine your limitations and restrictions.
  7. Compression garments flatten scars and minimize swelling and can help lead to a faster recovery. You should wear your compression garments as much as possible and consult with your plastic surgeon when to stop.
  8. Most plastic surgeons use drains. For easy accessibility, you may want to log the drain outputs into your smart phone. This minimizes the chances of losing the drain record for an office visit.
  9. Some medications which you were taking before the body lift may be very important to continue after your body lift. Essential medications include pills for hypertension, thyroid, and diabetes. Please consult with your plastic surgeon regarding which medications you should continue after your body lift.
  10. Do not worry how the initial scar appears. It can take up to two years for a scar to fully mature. After your incision has healed, silicone creams and compression can be used to help minimize scarring.

Part III: Preparing for a Body Lift

July 13th, 2013  


diet before body liftIf you choose to have a body lift, there are several measures you should take to properly prepare your mind and body for your surgery. From medicines you can take to foods you should eat, here are the top 10 things you can do to best prepare for surgery! 

  • Your weight must be stable for three months. Weight fluctuations greater than five pounds should be investigated. Due to the highly sensitive nature of body lift surgery, it is best to not gain or lose weight in excess. When millimeters can make huge differences in the surgery, you must ensure that you keep yourself at a constant weight so nothing shrinks or expands beyond what the doctor planned for.
  • You should continue exercising and eating right, as these are always healthy practices and can only make you more ready for your transformation. Your body will need these energy stores of healthy calories, muscle, and a healthy heart to heal. Before your body lift, you should build up as much muscle mass as you can. Eat foods rich in iron and protein to help build healthy muscle.
  • A week before your body lift, get plenty of rest. The healing process takes significant energy from your body, so as much rest before, during, and after, is crucial to a healthy recovery.
  • Fill your prescriptions BEFORE your surgery!  Take our word for it, after surgery the last thing you want to do is to stand in line or wait in the car at the pharmacy waiting for your pain medications.
  • Prepare food and freeze or refrigerate it beforehand. As stated before, it is highly important to eat enough protein and iron to help build and maintain healthy muscle. Order extra protein shakes and protein powders. Prepare foods that have high protein value and are easy to prepare. Plan to eat 75 to 100 grams of protein a day.
  • Prepare your house by creating a recovery headquarters! Get several comfy pillows, order DVDs or new books to read, place new batteries in your TV and DVD remote controllers, and have your cell phone handy and keep your cell phone charger bedside.

Rest after body lift

  1. To minimize the chances of blood clots, you may want to order a leg squeezer. This machine sequentially compresses your calves to minimize the chance of blood clots.
  2. Arrange for pets and children. If you have a dog, you should have someone else take care and walk the dog for two weeks. If you have children who need to be carried and picked up, you should have someone else assist you with these actions for two weeks. You should not lift anything for about two weeks.
  3. To prepare for your recovery after a body lift, consider purchasing or renting a recliner. This is the best position because your back is bent, your abdomen is flexed and your knees are bent.
  4. Consider purchasing or renting a walker. This will help steady you while you are walking.

Part II: Questions to Ask Before a Body Lift

July 5th, 2013  

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon Before Having Body Lift Surgery

Before any surgical procedure, a patient should have a list of questions for their doctor pertaining to their individual needs, goals, and expectations. Below are a list of questions you can start with to ask your doctor to learn more about their qualifications, experience, results, and opinions on your unique post weight-loss surgery goals.


“Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?”

For best results, your surgeon should absolutely be board certified! A board certification asserts that the doctor has taken the necessary steps to become an expert in the plastic surgery field, which can only improve the odds that you’ll have a smooth surgery, recovery, and optimal results without complication.


“How many years of plastic surgery training/experience do you have?”

Along with asking about the doctor’s board certification, you want to work with a doctor that has a sufficient number of years in practice, specifically in the procedure that you’re looking to get.


“Am I a good candidate for body lift surgery?”

The doctor will make an evaluation based on several factors to determine if you’re a good candidate.


“Will I also need liposuction?”

As every surgery and patient is different, you should ask your doctor what steps will be taken in your procedure to achieve the body lift. Make sure to stay informed on what will be happening so you can set realistic goals and expectations.


“What results can I expect post-surgery?”

Make sure to have the doctor clarify to you what the end result of the surgery will look like, even if you already have a vague idea of what it will be.


“Where will my surgery be performed?”

Have the address and phone number before hand so that whoever picks you up or visits you can find you!


“Where will my incision(s) be?”

It’s your body, so be sure to know where the incisions and changes will be so you can check them and be mindful of them post-op, as well as knowing what to expect from the surgery.


“If I smoke, when should I stop smoking?”

Don’t forget to ask this! Smoking before a surgery can be dangerous, and a doctor needs to know if you smoke or not.


“Do I need to stop taking any of my medications?”

Different drugs can interact and cause problems for you if not handled properly, so make sure to tell the doctor of any medications you’re on.


“What should I do post-op to get the best results?”

Make sure that you know how to take care of your newly remodeled body after you leave the doctor’s office!


“Will I need to take any medications post-surgery?”

Be sure to ask about medications so you can get them from the pharmacy beforehand, as well as to ensure that you aren’t allergic to any of the medications that the doctor recommends.


“When can I resume my daily routine and exercise?”

Make sure you have an answer to this, and DON’T disobey and exercise sooner than recommended by your doctor.


“How many follow-up appointments will I need?”

If you know this information ahead of time, you can schedule it out more easily.


“Are there any risks involved with this surgery, and if so, what are they?”

This is a good test of a doctor’s trustworthiness, and  it is imperative that you feel comfortable with the doctor’s answer.


“Do you have any before/after photos I can look at?”

Most doctors have before/after photos for prospective patients to showcase their past work. Look on a surgeon’s website for them, or ask for the photos in person during your consultation.


“Can I talk with some of your previous patients?”

Again, find out what the doctor’s policy is regarding contacting former patients for their reviews. If you can speak with them, they can provide insight into the work of the doctor, as well as the effects of the body lift surgery.

Part I: Body Lift 101

June 28th, 2013  

The Basics of the Body Lift

Body Lift

As a plastic surgeon with an expert knowledge of post weight-loss surgery, I am constantly fielding questions from patients and curious parties alike what exactly a body lift is. So, here is my response, a 5-part series on the basics of body lift surgery, questions you should ask before having body lift surgery, how to prepare, how to care for yourself afterward, and how to maintain your results! Without further ado, let’s start with the basics.


What is Body Lift Surgery?

If you have lost a substantial amount of weight, you have most likely been left with pockets of remaining fat and loose, sagging excess skin. A body lift is a form of body contouring surgery which allows you to regain a more toned appearance, and improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue following massive weight loss.

Following a body lift surgery, you should see a dramatic change to the shape and contour of your body. Areas of stubborn fat will have been removed and you should be left with a flatter, smoother and natural looking body. Results will vary slightly based on the patient. However, your doctor will explain the expected results prior to surgery.

The Basics of the Body Lift

How is a Body Lift Surgery Performed?

A complete body lift includes the abdomen, buttocks, waist, hips and thighs in one surgery. An incision is placed in the lower abdomen, across the hips and onto the buttocks. Tissue dissection is done on the tummy to rib cage and on the back, down the buttock. Excess skin and fat are then removed permanently form the abdomen, hips and buttocks. The muscles all along the mid-section will be tightened and excess skin and fat are removed, leaving a smoother more toned contour. Patients having a body lift will be put under general anesthesia during the surgery. Depending on the patient, some liposuction may be needed in conjunction with the body lift in order to remove final stubborn fat pockets. Multiple layers of sutures are used to close up the incisions. Following a body lift, results can be seen immediately. However, the final results can take up to two years to fully develop.


Who Can Perform a Body Lift?

Any surgeon is legally allowed to perform a body lift. However, plastic surgeons receive additional training via a residency program, and often become board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS). Although board certification is not required to perform a body lift, board certified surgeons can become members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). These organizations focus on patient advocacy and continuing education of plastic surgeons. They ensure that surgeons have a minimum of five years of surgical training and two years of training specifically in plastic surgery. They also ensure that your surgeon operates only in accredited medical facilities. Besides these qualifications, surgical experience is critical in performing a body lift. Seek a plastic surgeon who is both board certified and has experience in performing body lifts.