Friday, October 17, 2008

Bye-bye tattoo?

In my mid-thirties, I celebrated an significant change in my life by getting a tattoo.  It is on my lower back.  I got it there long before it became fashionable.  It is  a design of my own creation, and though slightly flawed in it's execution, it holds great meaning to me. 

As I began to consider the lower body lift surgery, I began to wonder; will be able to keep the tattoo?  Even more basic that that; do I want to keep the tattoo?   

I have decided to ask the surgeon to completely remove the tattoo, when be works on "lifting" my backside.  Though the tattoo has a lot of meaning for me, I think that it is time to get a new one.  Something that marks this momentous transformation in my life. 

Now, I just have to talk about this with the surgeon.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reconstructive Surgery ~ Part 2" (Belt Lipectomy).

If you have been following this blog, you are well aware that "Reconstructive Surgery ~ Part 1 ~ Breast Reduction" is now complete. Let us now move to "Reconstructive Surgery ~ Part 2 ~ Lower Body Lift”

The Belt Lipectomy, more commonly referred to as the Lower Body Lift, offers the most dramatic transformation of the mid and lower body. It is truly a resculpting of the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Broken into its components, the lower body lift includes a tummy tuck, a thigh lift, and a buttock lift. The body lift procedure is performed on post bariatric patients, like me, as well as patients who have not had weight loss. The body lift transforms patients that have experienced massive weight loss and have excess skin. The body lift has the advantage that it can be done in one surgical session, or in stages, depending on the patients needs. I will be doing the procedure all in one go.

What is involved in the lower body lift?

A lower body lift usually requires between 6 to 8 hours of surgery. I will be marked on the standing position just before the surgery. The excess skin is grasped at the level of the flanks with both hands trying to join each other, putting an important amount of tension. The horizontal lines of resection and the final incision placement are marked. These incisions are continued both anteriorly from hip bone to hip bone and posteriorly until they join with the markings of the contra lateral side. At this time areas that need to be sculpted with liposuction are also marked. These markings will guide us at the time of surgery and will make operative times quicker.

This surgery is carried out under general anesthesia and I will be placed on the operating bed on one side first and then on the other side. Incisions are made following the previously marked lines. The removal of excess skin and fat is performed at this time. There is a moderate undermining of the tissues inferiorly. Once this is done, liposuction is performed at the level of the upper lateral thigh, flanks, posterior trunk and/or other areas previously chosen. Then, the incision is continued at the abdominal area just above the pubic area, running from hipbone to hipbone and a second incision is made around the navel to loosen it from the surrounding tissue. After separating the skin from the abdominal wall up to the sternum and ribs, the separated muscles (rectus abdominus) will be pulled together and sutured from pubis to sternum. The apron of excess skin and fat in this area is removed and the navel will be repositioned. The tissues are approximated placing the highest-tension on the wound closure laterally at the level of the flanks, and less medially. Two to four drains are placed alone the incision lines to evacuate any old blood and prevent fluid accumulation. The incisions are sutured and a dressing is applied.

Anybody else nervous?