Many people who have lost a great deal of weight are discouraged to find their hard work hidden by a heavy cloak of loose skin. This excess skin can be embarrassing and even hazardous to your health, since it can cause mobility issues, chafing, and sometimes infections. An upper body lift in Boston can remove that loose skin and recontour your upper body to create a smoother, tighter look after weight loss, liposuction, or even pregnancy. Once the skin is gone, you’ll be pleased to see a body that fits better in clothing, moves more comfortably, and more fully reflects your hard work.
During your consultation, Dr. Davidson will go over the problems you have with your upper body and discuss the results that can be achieved with surgery. An upper body lift is a highly customizable procedure, so he’ll discuss which operations to include tailoring it to your body. Most patients include a breast lift, back or upper trunk lift, and an arm lift. Some also incorporate liposuction or a breast reduction.
In addition to discussing what procedures will be necessary for you, Dr. Davidson will also advise you of the precautions you should take before upper body lift surgery, including getting a checkup from your normal physician and stopping smoking.
The exact procedure for an upper body lift varies widely due to the different needs of patients. In general, it begins with an arm lift, which requires an incision on the inner aspect of the arm. The incision may go from the elbow to the underarm, depending on how much skin needs to be removed. Additional incisions are made around the areolas and down the crease under the breasts for the breast lift and near the bra line for the back lift.
Excess skin is removed via the incisions, and the underlying tissue is recontoured. The remaining skin is pulled to tighten it, and then the incisions are closed up and sometimes drains are inserted.
Dr. Christopher Davidson's patient first approach to aesthetic medicine means that every decision he makes is aimed at achieving the optimal outcome for the patient. This is apparent, not just in the beautiful, natural-looking results he creates, but also in the compassionate care he delivers through every step of the process.
Many patients will go home after the procedure. You will receive detailed instructions on when to take your medications and how to care for your dressings and drains. You can expect to have compression garments placed around your arms and back as well as gauze over your breasts.
There will also be bruising and swelling, which should go away in several weeks after your upper body lift.
Once you get home, you will have to curtail your activities for four to six weeks while everything heals. If your upper body lift procedure incorporated an arm lift, you’ll need to keep your arms elevated as much as possible for the first few days, and you should avoid lying on your back if you’ve had a back lift. Most patients are able to resume most aspects of daily life in about a month, and the scars will be considerably faded within the first year.
An upper body lift has the same risks as all other surgeries: Infection, bleeding, reactions to anesthesia, and hematoma. In addition, changes in sensation are experienced by many patients, with numbness and tingling sometimes lasting for several months following surgery. Rarely, some numbness may continue for a year or more after the procedure. Other uncommon risks include poor skin healing, scarring, and asymmetry.
A. The exact scars will vary a great deal depending on exactly what you have done, but Dr. Davidson will make sure that they can be hidden easily whenever possible. Scars from the back lift, for example, are generally able to be hidden under a bathing suit top or bra strap, and scars from the arm lift can sometimes be confined to the underarm area. During your consultation, Dr. Davidson will carefully go over the number and locations of scars with you so that there aren’t any surprises.
A. Yes, the results of an upper body lift are permanent. There may be a small amount of skin sagging with age, as is normal, but the large amounts of skin that are removed during the surgery will not come back. You can help to maintain that smooth, taut look permanently by maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise and by encouraging skin elasticity through good hydration and not smoking.
A. Since upper and lower body lifts are both extensive procedures, it is usually not safe to do them at the same time. In most cases, the lower body lift is performed several months before the upper body lift, but Dr. Davidson will be able to give his recommendation for your specific case during your consultation.
A. In order to remove as much excess skin as possible, the incisions have to be fairly extensive. However, in most cases they fade reasonably well, and there are steps you can take at home to help them heal further. Hydration, topical steroids, silicone gel sheeting, and scar massage can all help to produce a fainter scar. In addition, avoiding direct sunlight without protection such as sunscreen can prevent the scar from becoming overly pigmented.
A. Exercise after an upper body lift can go a long way toward helping to maintain your results, but you’ll need to take it slow. You should be able to resume gentle lower-body exercises in three to four weeks after your procedure. Specifically, avoid lifting weights or jogging until Dr. Davidson gives you the go–ahead.