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THE TOTAL BODY LIFT:
A FACELIFT FOR YOUR FIGURE
Millions of Americans are unhappy with their body shape/figure. Whether it is a case of bad genetics, the traumatic effect significant weight loss has caused, or just an abundance of loose skin on the abdomen or thighs. Pittsburgh board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dennis Hurwitz can help with the total body lift procedure, which is much like a facelift for the body. It is designed to assist people who suffer from sagging abdomens, buttocks and inner/outer thighs. Dr. Hurwitz will be Introducing The Total Body Lift as a single stage procedure for the first time at the Northeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting in Baltimore. He first introduced it in February to the medical world as a multi stage procedure.
Dr. Hurwitz can offer the procedure in one single stage and remedy the problems of loose skin from the shoulders to the knees in one operation. As Dr. Hurwitz explains, With increasing age or with weight loss there is often an excess of skin and or fatty tissue. In mild cases this can be managed by procedures such as with a tummy tuck or liposuction. However, in more extreme situations, especially where the excess is circumferential in nature around the abdomen, hips, back, buttocks, and outer thighs, this more extensive procedure is required. The operative plan he originated takes 10-13 hours to execute. For many who are not optimally physically fit, two stages are indicated.
The Total Body Lift as performed by Dr. Hurwitz is the only comprehensive way to not only change the abdomen, thighs and buttocks but also to correct the upper back, breast shape and loose skin of the upper abdomen. Dr. Hurwitz combines the upper and the lower into one procedure. Patients can now for the first time be introduced to total correction of the problems of loose skin due to aging or weight loss.
In a more conventional situation, a staged procedure would be performed and take care of the abdomen, and lower body. Dr. Hurwitz places the patient on his or her stomach and removes a large segment of skin above the buttocks, up to the mid back and along the thighs to bring up the lower body. Then the patient is carefully turned while still under anesthesia and the doctor continues with the thighs and abdomen rendering a circumferential abdominoplasty. Phase two to correct upper body deformity can be performed as early as four months.
Dr. Hurwitz can either complete the operation in 6 or 7 hours or move on to the upper body lift. While prone, he takes out skin from the upper back and when he turns the patient the upper abdomen is advanced and positioned into its new location under the breast. His version does not have a scar go across the chest but under the breast so that the incisions are well hidden. His technique has advanced the ability to achieve a tight lift of the thighs. While the patient is prone, Dr. Hurwitz brings out the leg to the side and can remove more skin than was possible in the past. He does not need to place the patient on their side. He moves the patient only twice instead of 3 or 4 times which makes the procedure more efficient.
Quite often, a weight loss or severe skin laxity patient has sagging skin above the genitalia. Dr. Hurwitz has a technique to smooth the skin and put it into a nicely contoured position. Recovery time for The Total Body Lift is 4-6 weeks. Patients are limited to bed rest for 3 days and then they can progressively resume non- taxing light activity. Within 4-6 weeks they can resume daily functions such as driving and desk work. Patients stay in the hospital for one to three nights. Elastic support garments are worn for one month to insure proper healing and provide support for the incision sites.
Results are already dramatically improved when they see the first dressing change. The Total Body Lift can remove anywhere from 10-30 pounds of excess skin. At present, it is the only procedure that can help massive weight loss patients deal with excess skin issues from the collar bones to the knees.
There are three groups of patients that are good candidates for the total body lift:
1.The first group is composed of women who have a mild amount of excess in the belly, hips, thighs and sagging buttocks. These changes are common in the mid thirty to forty year old group. They are associated with early aging, often secondary to changes that occur after child bearing. While others might feel the changes are mild, these patients want to reverse the ravages of age and child rearing on their bodies.
2.The second group of patients are those with moderate excess of the trunk. Many of these patients have attempted for years to loose the excess 30 to 40 pounds but are unable to. A traditional tummy tuck procedure in this group will often lead to less than ideal results, especially in the hip, flank, and buttocks areas. Their anatomy requires total body lift to attain a striking improvement in their truncal contour.
3.The third group of patients are those who have had a significant amount of weight loss due to gastric bypass surgery, intestinal bypass surgery or a dramatic change in eating and exercise habits. They often have had more than one hundred pounds of weight loss when they present. They typically will have hanging skin and fat in the area of the abdomen, outer thigh excess, hip excess that may hang, back rolls, and ill defined buttocks. They often will have massive hanging skin and fat from the chin down to the knees. Many of these patients are disheartened when they come to see the plastic surgeon. They have worked hard to loose all of the weight, but still cannot wear normal clothing because the hanging skin robs them of a normal contour.
As Dr. Hurwitz explains, Some patients are not good candidates for the procedure. If the patient is massively obese he or she is not a candidate for this procedure, because it will not improve contour and they may not heal their wounds. Patients who have medical problems that preclude them from undergoing general anesthetic are also not considered. Smoking causes a significant decrease in blood supply to all tissues of the body, thus smokers are not candidates for total body lift because of the increased risk of tissue loss associated with the surgical procedure. Patients who are deemed mentally unable to handle an extensive surgical procedure with its concomitant recovery period may not be good candidates and may require counseling and or antidepressant therapy prior to being reconsidered for the procedure.
In all cases Dr. Hurwitz obtains a general medical history prior to surgery. This is necessary to ensure that he or she can tolerate the anesthetic and surgical stress involved. A good history on weight and contour changes that the patient has experienced is taken. In some cases if the patient is capable of loosing more weight, it is wise to delay the procedure till they have reached their maximal weight loss to insure the best results.
Dr. Hurwitz points out that, The Total Body Lift procedure is a complex operation and the multi-stage is not offered by many plastic surgeons nationwide. The single stage total body lift for massive weight loss patient has not been reported until now. It is an operation that requires both the skill of the surgeon and the cooperation of the patient who must understand that this is an arduous process.
For more information call: Dr. Dennis Hurwitz 412-802-6100
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