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Body Procedures

We offer a variety of plastic surgery procedures for the body and a selection of the most common procedures is listed below.

Arm Lift

Loose upper arm skin is most often related to weight loss.  When someone is overweight, heavy arms generally develop and stretch the skin.  When weight is lost, the skin often fails to tighten so it sags.  The only way to improve this problem is through an arm lift, also called brachioplasty.  An arm lift will not remove excess fat; if you have excess fat on your arms, liposuction is likely a better option.

One of the major drawbacks to an arm lift is scarring.  An incision is made from the armpit to the elbow, potentially leaving large scars.  This scarring is out of the surgeon’s control and is part of the body’s natural healing process.  What the surgeon can control is the amount of tissue removed and to some extent the location of the scars, but not the body’s natural healing process.

Reasons for Considering an Arm Lift

  • Correct sagging skin on arms due to aging or excessive weight loss

The Procedure
The surgeon begins by marking the area of excess skin, with the patient either standing or sitting.  Anesthesia is then administered and incisions are made on the inner and under surface of the arm. The pattern of skin removal usually follows an elliptical or triangular shape; some fat may be suctioned at the same time. The surgical opening may run from the armpit to as low as the elbow.  After the excess skin and fat is removed, the remaining skin is repositioned and sutured into place. Occasionally a drain is used to remove excess fluids from the site of incision, allowing the skin to adhere better to the tissue beneath. The incisions are then bandaged.

  • Anesthesia:  General (performed in a hospital setting) or sedation (performed in our surgery center)
  • Length of surgery:  Approximately 2 hours
  • Length of stay:  Outpatient (home the same day)

Recovery Process

  • Back to work:  2 weeks
  • Exercise:  May be resumed in 3 to 4 weeks
  • Discomfort:  Mild to moderate (anticipate 5 to 7 days of prescription pain medication)
  • Swelling:  Moderate (peaks at 3 to 5 days)  
  • Bruising:  Common
  • Bandages:  Will be removed in 1 to 7 days and replaced with gentle ACE wraps to be worn for 2 weeks
  • Tubes:  Placed to drain excess fluids and will be removed in 5 days
  • Stitches:  Several layers of absorbable stitches will be placed on the upper arm 
  • Final result:  Permanent scars will result from the incisions, but will be carefully placed to minimize visibility.

Other Information
An arm lift is usually not suitable for patients who have had a mastectomy. The drainage of fluid (lymph) from the arm may already be damaged, and further surgery can lead to persistent swelling. Patients who have repeated infections in the armpit, or suffer from excess sweat formation (axillary hidradenitis) may also not be good candidates for this surgery. For some people, liposuction may be a better way to reduce the thickness of the whole arm.  Dr. Piasecki will make specific recommendations during the initial consultation.

Body Lift

Skin loses some elasticity during the aging process, causing the mid-section to lose its natural shape and firmness.  A body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is a procedure to raise and reshape unsightly, sagging body contours.  This procedure removes loose skin and related fat deposits, leaving a more youthful appearance.  A body lift can be applied to the lower torso and upper legs including the abdomen, waist, inner/outer thighs, buttocks and/or hips. Liposuction may be performed in conjunction with a body lift.

Reasons for Considering a Body Lift

  • Reshape mid-body contour
  • Correct sagging skin and fat deposits due to aging or excessive weight loss
  • Remedy weight gain and stretched skin caused by multiple pregnancies

The Procedure
The procedure varies with each patient, depending on the body type and desired surgical outcome.  Generally, the body lift procedure entails making an incision that follows the lower abdominal crease.  In more extensive surgeries, the incision goes completely around the waist and lower back.  Adjustments to the buttocks and thighs may require additional incisions.  Once the incision is made, excess skin and fat are removed and the skin is repositioned and sutured into the new configuration.

  • Anesthesia: General (performed in a hospital setting) 
  • Length of surgery:  3 to 5 hours
  • Length of stay:  Outpatient (home the same day); occasional admission to the hospital for 24 hours

Recovery Process

  • Back to work:  2 weeks
  • Exercise:  May be resumed in 3-4 weeks
  • Discomfort:  Mild to moderate (anticipate 7 to 10 days of prescription pain medication)  
  • Swelling:  Improves over 14 days
  • Bruising:  Common
  • Bandages: Removed in 3 days and replaced with a specialized garment to be worn for 2 weeks
  • Tubes:  Drains are placed to remove excess fluids and are removed after approximately 5 days 
  • Stitches: Absorbable (no stitches to remove)
  • Final result:  Permanent scars will result from the incisions, but are carefully placed to minimize visibility.

Liposuction

Liposuction is targeted removal of fat from problem areas, but is not a replacement for regular exercise and a healthy diet.  Liposuction is a reduction procedure for stubborn areas where fat accumulates, and when several areas of the body are treated, liposuction can provide a well-proportioned body appearance. Ideal surgical candidates are those already in good physical condition who have stubborn areas of fat that do not respond to diet and exercise.

Reasons for Considering Liposuction

  • Eliminate fat from any of the following areas
  • Chin and neckline
  • Back
  • Upper arms
  • Stomach and waistline
  • Hips
  • Thighs and knees
  • Calves and ankles
  • Create a more proportioned figure

The Procedure
A narrow tube or cannula is inserted through tiny incisions and used to vacuum out the fatty tissue beneath the skin.  The amount of fat to be removed is determined by massaging the skin and squeezing the tissue.  After eliminating the excess fat, the incisions are closed with absorbable stitches; a compression dressing or bandage is applied to the area to prevent bleeding, reduce swelling and support the affected area.
Recent advancements in technology have produced several different types of liposuction procedures.  At the initial consultation visit, Dr. Piasecki will discuss which method(s) are best for the individual patient.

  • Anesthesia:  General (performed in a hospital setting) or local with sedation (performed in our surgery center)
  • Length of surgery: 1 to 2 hours
  • Length of stay:  Outpatient (home the same day)

Recovery Process

  • Back to work:  3 to 7 days
  • Exercise:  May be resumed in 2 weeks
  • Discomfort:  Mild to moderate (anticipate 2 to 5 days of prescription pain medication)
  • Swelling:  Improves over 14 days
  • Bruising:  Common
  • Bandages:  Removed in 3 days and may be replaced with a support garment to be worn for several weeks
  • Stitches:  Absorbable (no stitches to remove)
  • Final result:  Won’t be seen until the scars have matured and healing is complete (approximately 3 to 4 months).

Thigh Lift

Loose, saggy skin in the thigh area occurs in some patients following significant weight loss, and a thigh lift can help them achieve the look they had in mind when they decided to lose weight.  In other patients, skin loses elasticity through the aging process.  Excess skin in the thigh area not only adds to an aged appearance, but can be uncomfortable when the skin on thighs rub together and cause irritation.
A surgical thigh lift removes skin that has lost its elasticity, and although it often focuses specifically on the inner thigh, can improve the overall appearance of the thigh area.

Reasons for Considering a Thigh Lift

Sagging skin on the inner thigh due to weight loss
Cellulite creating a “dimpled look” on the thighs
Excess skin on the inner thighs that rubs together and causes irritation or sores

The Procedure
The incision used to perform a thigh lift is placed along the inseam and a crescent of skin is removed.  The tissues below the incision are loosened and the "thigh lift" takes place as the skin is pulled together and sutured.  Drains are placed in the incision to prevent collections of fluid after the thigh lift surgery, and are usually removed after one week.

  • Anesthesia:  General (performed in a hospital setting) or sedation (performed in our surgery center)
  • Length of surgery:  Approximately 2 to 3 hours
  • Length of stay:  Outpatient (home the same day)

Recovery Process

  • Back to work:  2 weeks
  • Exercise:  May be resumed in 3 to 4 weeks
  • Discomfort:  Moderate (anticipate 7 to 10 days of prescription pain medication)
  • Swelling:  Moderate (should be gone in 3 to 4 weeks)
  • Bruising:  Common
  • Bandages:  Removed in 3 days and replaced with gentle wraps or a specialized garment to be worn for 2 weeks  Tubes:  Placed to drain excess fluids and removed in 7 to 10 days
  • Stitches:  Absorbable (no stitches to remove)
  • Final result:  Permanent scars will result from the incisions, but will be carefully placed to minimize visibility.

Other Information
The thigh lift procedure can occasionally be combined with body lift, arm lift and/or liposuction procedures.

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

As we age, a layer of skin or fat often accumulates around the waistline that is difficult to remove, even with a healthy diet and regular exercise.  A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is the removal of skin and fat tissue from the stomach area.  This procedure is not meant to replace a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Reasons for Considering an Abdominoplasty

  • Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area
  • Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss
  • Loss of skin elasticity or loose abdominal muscles (diastases) following pregnancy
  • Desire to remove unsightly skin and fat deposits and properly align the abdominal muscles to produce a more flattering look

The Procedure
The surgery begins with an incision just above the pubic bone area, horizontally across the lower abdomen.  The skin and fat are then lifted away from the muscle tissue, and excess tissue is removed.  The abdominal muscle tissue is tightened to provide a firmly contoured stomach and well-defined waistline.  Finally, the incision is closed and the skin stitched back into place.  In most cases, the procedure requires an additional incision around the navel to provide the best results.  Liposuction is frequently combined with a tummy tuck to contour adjacent areas.

  • Anesthesia:  General (performed in a hospital setting) or sedation (performed in our surgery center)
  • Length of surgery:  1 to 3 hours, depending on desired look and patient needs
  • Length of stay:  Outpatient (home the same day)

Recovery Process

  • Back to work:  Approximately 1 to 2 weeks
  • Exercise:  Light exercise can be resumed in 2 weeks
  • Discomfort:  Mild to moderate (anticipate 5 to 7 days of prescription pain medication)
  • Swelling:  Improves over 14 days
  • Bruising:  Minimal
  • Bandages:  Removed in 1 to 2 days and replaced with a specialized binder to be worn for several weeks
  • Stitches:  Absorbable (no stitches to remove)
  • Final result:  Dramatic results are immediate, but scar maturation takes approximately 6 to 9 months.