Am I a good candidate for body contouring surgery?
If one or more of the following situations apply to you, you may indeed be an excellent candidate for body contouring surgery:
Significant weight loss and have sustained your weight for several months
Significant weight loss following childbirth and you do not intend to have any more children
What happens when I see Dr Lim?
Your first consultation with Dr Lim will take around 45 minutes and you are most welcome to bring a friend or husband/partner along to your consultation. During the consultation, Dr Lim will take the time to discuss the procedure with you, and any other issues related to the appearance of your body that you feel are important to you. This will help Dr Lim understand your expectations and determine if they are achievable. Dr Lim will explain the risks of surgery and discuss the methods of the body contouring surgery with you. During your consultation, your body will be assessed and a few measurements and photographs will be taken to plan the procedure. You do not have to make the decision to proceed with the surgery at this initial consultation.
You will be given a written quotation and information to take home to read.
How will Dr Lim evaluate me for surgery?
Dr Lim will examine your body and consider such factors as in what areas the excess skin is located and which you consider problematic, your general health status, and your dedication to proper diet and exercise. You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions you may have, any medications you are currently taking, any allergies that you have, and other medical treatments you have received and any previous surgery you may have had. You will also be asked whether you have had any prolonged bleeding, or excessive bruising when injured, any long term or recent illness, psychological or psychiatric illness or suffered from any blood clots (DVT's). It is important for you to provide complete and correct information. If you are planning to loose more weight, you will need to discuss this with Dr Lim. He may recommend that you stabilize your weight before undergoing surgery. If you think you my want to become pregnant in the future you should mention this also. A second consultation, at no extra cost, is usually required if you wish to proceed with surgery.
How should I prepare for surgery?
In some cases Dr Lim may recommend that you have blood tests or a scan to check for DVT's (blood clots). Dr Lim will advise you to stop smoking at least four weeks prior to surgery as smoking can have an effect on you surgery and recovery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory medications can increase bleeding and should be avoided two weeks prior to surgery. You will be given all pre operative instructions prior to your operation and the staff from Dr Lim's rooms will be in touch with you before your operation to discuss any further last minute questions you may have.
Where will my body contouring surgery be performed?
Dr Lim performs the surgery in fully accredited hospitals at Castle Hill Day Surgery, Holroyd Private Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital. Body contouring surgery is performed as an overnight stay procedure. The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic.
What will the day of surgery be like?
You will need to contact the hospital a day before surgery to confirm your admission and fasting time. On entering the hospital you need to report to the admissions desk and the staff will direct you through the admission process. Dr Lim and the anaesthetist will both see you prior to surgery and Dr Lim will make some markings on your body. Post procedure you will spend some time in the recovery room where you will be closely monitored until you are fully awake and returned to your rooms. Dr Lim will visit you in hospital the morning after your surgery. You will have firm bandages around your body, and there will be one or two surgical drains coming out of the surgical sites to drain away any fluid that may accumulate after surgery. You will have calf compressors (inflatable devices) on both lower legs and TED stockings (compression stockings), as well as anticoagulant injections to reduce the risk of DVT's (blood clots).You will have a drip in your arm and be connected to a machine to give you pain relief, fluids and medications. You will be very drowsy for the first 24hours.
How will I look and feel after the operation?
The first day or two after surgery are usually the most uncomfortable, particularly when you are moving around or coughing. Like all operations it is not painless, and the pain is mild to moderate for about 48hours. It is also normal to feel tired and a little slow for a day or two following a general anaesthetic. You may also experience bruising and swelling around the surgical sites which is a normal part of the recovery process. The first few days will be spent sitting out of bed with gentle walks to and from the toilet or around the ward or your home. You will need to sit and sleep in a semi up right position with your knees bent and pillows underneath to take the strain of you abdomen. You will also need to walk in a slightly bent our position. You will be given a compression garment to wear in order to support the operation sites during the healing period, for at least six weeks. You will have dressings over your incisions and will be able to shower 48 hours after your surgery.
When can I resume my normal activities?
The recovery period following this procedure varies from person to person. Over exertion and over activity should be avoided for the first six weeks. You should also take care of your stomach area during this time that you do not bump it, strain or place any pressure on it. This includes lifting small children. You will however need to gently walk around frequently and do gentle foot and leg exercises to prevent the formation of clots in your legs (DVT's). As healing time is individual to each person it is recommended that you have about three weeks off work and you should refrain from driving during this time. Most people feel well recovered between four to six weeks.
I understand that all surgical procedures have risks involved but how do I find the information to make an informed decision?
Dr Lim will discuss with you the risks involved and the potential complications. We endeavour to have our patients as fully informed as possible and while some of the potential risks seem frightening it is important for you to be aware that they can occur. Some of the potential complications that will be discussed with you are:
Unfavourable or unsightly scarring
Keloids and hypertrohpic scars can develop
The final body shape may not be what the patient expected, and may require further procedures
Temporary numbness of the skin on the abdomen
Sutured skin may not heal well, and a skin graft may be needed
Movements may feel constrained e.g. bending forward
Fluid accumulation around the incision sites
Poor wound healing
Patients may require a blood transfusion
How long do I need to see Dr Lim for following my surgery?
Dr Lim will monitor your progress carefully and the staff will stay in contact with you during the post-operative period. You will be seen at frequent intervals over the first twelve months. Your relationship with Dr Lim and the nursing staff does not end once you have had the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns after your operation, you are always welcome to call and discuss these with us.
Are the results long-lasting?
Following extensive weight loss, the results after body contouring surgery are visible immediately. It may take two years or more for the final results to develop completely. Although the scars will remain, provided that the patient does carry out all efforts to maintain their weight and practice good eating habits and exercise, the final outcome, however, is permanent. However, it is inevitable that some body firmness may be lost, due to the natural aging process.
How long do I need to see Dr Lim for following my surgery?
Dr Lim will monitor your progress carefully and the staff will stay in contact with you during the post operative period. You will be seen at frequent intervals over the first six months.
Your relationship with Dr Lim and the nursing does not end once you have had the procedure and if you have any questions or concerns after your operation you are always welcome to call and discuss these with us.