The operation is always under general anaesthetic and usually as an in-patient procedure. The usual length of stay in hospital is 2-3 days.
In order to remove the excess skin, lift the soft tissues and keep the scar as inconspicuous as possible, the incision is usually placed in an m-shaped curve just below the crest of the hip bones. The excess tissue and desired lift is estimated by pinching and pulling the tissue in an upwards direction. Care must be taken not to remove too much tissue to avoid wound breakdown. This however does limit the amount of lift that can be achieved safely.
Both the deep and superficial (skin) sutures are made from absorbable material and do not have to be removed.
Wearing a compression garment is usually recommended for 4-6 weeks after surgery day and night to reduce swelling and aid wound healing.
The dressings can usually be left intact after discharge until your first follow-up appointment. You may shower over the dressings, but should not bathe or swim until the wounds have healed.
Every day activities and light work (e.g. office work), including driving, can usually be resumed about 1-2 weeks after surgery. Strenuous physical activities should be avoided until all wounds have healed.
Routine follow-up appointments with your surgeon will be at 1-2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 1 year after surgery.
As with every surgical procedure a buttock lift is associated with both anaesthetic and surgical risks. Preexisting conditions such as Diabetes, obesity, heart and blood vessel diseases, immune diseases and smoking significantly increase the risk of complications.
General complications of all surgical procedures include:
Bleeding/Hematoma, infection, thrombosis (including pulmonary embolism)
The most common surgical complications after buttock lift are:
- delayed wound healing or wound breakdown (very common!)
- unsightly or asymmetrical scars
- permanent numbness of the skin
- skin or soft tissue necrosis
Do I need to stop my own medication prior to surgery?
Most medication can be continued normally. Some drugs such as blood thinners (e.g. Aspirin or Warfarin/Marcoumar) can increase the risk of postoperative bleeding and may need to be stopped or replaced before the procedure. We ask you to bring a complete list of all your medication and their dosages to your first consultation.
Does my GP need to perform or organize any special investigations or tests before surgery?
Before any surgery the surgical team including the anaesthetist will need to be aware of any preexisting conditions (especially cardiovascular or lung diseases) which may be associated with an increased anaesthetic risk. Previous abdominal surgery can also pose an increased risk of surgical complications and can have an impact on the surgical strategy and technique. In case of a suspected hernia a CT or ultrasound is usually recommended to assess its size and extent.
We ask you to provide as much detailed information on your past medical history as possible when you come for your preoperative consultation so we can coordinate any necessary tests with your GP.
Do I need to stop smoking before surgery?
We seriously recommend stopping all nicotine consumption, including smoking at least 6 weeks before any surgical procedure. One of the most common complications following any type of surgery is delayed wound healing or wound breakdown. The main cause of this is usually bad blood circulation to the skin and tissues in the operated area. Nicotine is a chemical substance, which causes blood vessels in the body to constrict (narrow). This lowers the blood circulation to the wound and significantly increases the risk of complications.
Are there any activities I won’t be able to do after surgery?
It is usually recommended not to engage in any strenuous activities for 4-6 weeks after surgery. These include lifting heavy objects and physical activities such as jogging. Once the healing period is over there are no restrictions.
I have already had a buttock lift but I have regained some excess tissue. Can I have a further buttock lift?
In most cases this is indeed possible. It is however essential for your surgeon to know the surgical details and the technique of your previous surgery. The risk of complications such as wound breakdown, necrosis of the navel and bad scarring are significantly higher in any repeat surgery.
What happens when I develop a seroma?
A seroma is a fairly common complication after any operation involving a large wound cavity. The seroma merely a collection of wound secretions and is not dangerous. It can however be quite uncomfortable and cumbersome. Small amounts of fluid can just be left alone until your body absorbs them by it self. Larger fluid collections may need to be drained with a needle. This can be done during a regular consultation and is usually painless. In some cases repeated drainages over a period of a couple of weeks are necessary until the fluid build up stops completely. Compression garments or an abdominal binder can reduce the risk of seroma formation.
How long before I can go back to work after surgery?
This depends on your work. Light duties, such as office jobs can usually be resumed after about 2-3 weeks.
Will I get a sick certificate for the time I am off work?
No. You will need to take annual leave for the entire period that you are absent from work as it is a purely aesthetic procedure.
Will my health insurance cover the costs for the surgery?
No. Buttock lifts are considered to be purely aesthetic procedures and are not covered by heath insurance.
Will my health insurance cover the costs of treatment if I develop any complications requiring medical treatment, hospitalization or even further surgery?
Yes, provided the complication is purely medical, e.g. an infection.
Corrections of aesthetic complications are not covered.