Body Lift Recovery Timeline
The loose, sagging skin left behind by extreme weight loss can diminish weight loss results, leaving the body looking lumpy and flabby. Fortunately, excess, hanging skin can be removed with body lift surgery to reveal the contoured, toned physique hidden beneath loose skin. Each body lift procedure is tailored to the needs of the patient, and as such, recovery times can vary greatly.
During patient consultations, Dr. Gregory T. Mesna explains the body lift recovery timeline. To receive your personalized timeline, contact our Minneapolis, MN practice. The following is only a general overview. Your recovery timeline will vary based on the extent of surgery, the amount of tissue removed, and personal healing times.
Immediately after Surgery
Most patients will spend the first few days of recovery in the hospital. During this time, it is normal to feel some pain and discomfort, which will be controlled with prescribed pain medication. Our medical staff will check incision sites and drains to ensure proper healing and to help reduce the risk of complications. Patients should rest, however, they are encouraged to take short, light walks starting the day after surgery to help the body heal and keep the blood circulating.
The First Week of Recovery
After a short stay in the hospital, patients will be allowed to return home. Patients should arrange for a friend or family member to bring them home because driving is not advisable immediately following body lift surgery.
Once home, patients should rest and take care to avoid straining or stretching the tissues, but should continue to take short walks. During this time, patients will notice bruising and swelling at the surgical sites. Compression garments should be worn to support the tissues, encourage healing, and reduce swelling. Most patients will be able to take showers after three days, but should be careful around incisions and allow incisions to thoroughly dry before bandaging and dressing. Strenuous activity should be avoided until cleared by a physician.
Two to Three Weeks after Surgery
Drains and sutures may be removed by the second week of recovery during a post-operative appointment. Incisions will be checked for proper healing and any signs of infection. Patients should continue to wear compression garments and take regular, short walks. Depending on the extent of surgery and how much tissue was removed, some patients may be recovered enough to return to work after two weeks. Doctor approval should be obtained before returning to work.
Four to Eight Weeks after Surgery
Swelling and bruising should begin to decrease within the fourth to eighth weeks following surgery, but may not fully fade for several months. Patients may be able to resume strenuous activity around the sixth week but should get physician approval before taking on any vigorous activity. Many patients will be recovered enough to return to work but those who have undergone a full body lift may require several more weeks to sufficiently recover.
Find out More about Body Lift Surgery
For more information about body lift surgery, including what to expect during recovery, you're encouraged to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mesna.