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Full Body Lift Recovery Timeline: What Patients Can Expect

By The Landings Surgical Centre on April 25, 2018


A woman out by the beach in the sunIf you have lots of loose skin and stretch marks, a full body lift may be just what you’re looking for. This procedure treats contouring problems affecting your entire body, tightening the drooping skin and helping your figure look tighter, trimmer, and more athletic in the process.

A number of patients who come to our Halifax, Nova Scotia for body contouring and skin tightening procedures ask up what the recovery process for a full body lift is like. Below is a general healing timeline that should help you understand what to expect.

Taking Time Off from Work

For most patients who undergo a total body lift, it will be necessary to take three to four weeks off from work. This is because the surgery is extensive and patients need to commit to the recovery process.

Even upon returning to work, a full body lift patient may need to avoid certain tasks as they are healing. During the consultation process, these matters can be discussed in greater detail.

The First Week of Recovery

During the first week of full body lift recovery, patients will notice a lot of discomfort, bruising, and swelling. This is normal given the nature of the surgery and how it is performed. Thankfully, patients can take pain medications and cold compresses to manage these symptoms.

Rest is a primary focus during this first week. Avoid any physical activity that may place strain or stress on the incision sites. While rest is a priority, patients will be encouraged to walk around their home for a few minutes each day to promote circulation. This prevents deep vein thrombosis, which are blood clots in the legs that are common in problem for people who are totally sedentary after surgery.

The Second Week of Recovery

By the second week of full body lift recovery, patients will notice an improvement in the symptoms that they suffer from. Pain, swelling, bruising should be much less pronounced this second week of surgery. Patients may notice some numbness or tingling along the incisions sites, which is a common part of surgical healing. The amount of walking that is done each day can increase slightly, which will be part of the process of returning to normal physical activity.

The End of the First Month of Recovery

By the end of the third week or fourth week, patients will notice major improvements in their side effects and their overall sense of wellness. By this point, most full body lift patients will be able to return to work. Light exercise can be resumed by the end of the first month, though patients must avoid straining themselves too soon.

Healing in the Months Ahead

From week five and onward, patients will notice improvements in terms of the way their body feels and what they can handle physically. Some minor residual swelling may last for several weeks even though the major swelling will have disappeared. Tingling along the incision sites is also rather common just given the nature of healing, and will continue to abate over the course of several weeks.

A Word on Post-Surgical Scarring

Scarring is a reality after any surgery, and full body lift scars will usually be quite noticeable in the first months after surgery. These scars will fade over time, however, becoming less noticeable after several months have passed and from year to year thereafter.

Keep in mind that the scars from a full body lift can be concealed by many types of garments, which includes undergarments and bathing suits.

Learn More About Body Lift Surgery

For more information about plastic surgery and whether or not it’s a good option for your needs, be sure to contact The Landings Surgical Centre. We will happily discuss all of your treatment options and ensure that you receive answers to any and all questions that you may have.

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JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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