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Aesthet Surg J. 2008 May-Jun;28(3):294-303; discussion 304-5. doi: 10.1016/j.asj.2008.03.001.

A clinical review of total body lift surgery.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



Until 2001, body contouring surgery after massive weight loss was uncoordinated, with few patients achieving compete rehabilitation.


The authors report a 5-year, retrospective, 75-case clinical review to determine the effectiveness, reliability, and safety of single and multistage total body lift (TBL) surgery.


Between January 2001 and June 2006, 59 single-stage, 15 two-stage, and 1 three-stage TBL surgeries were performed, involving a total of 605 separate procedures. Outcomes and complications were compared among all TBL patients and a contemporaneous published series.


Three representative cases are described. Overall, in patients under 55 years of age with a body mass index of less than 30, there was no significant difference in the choice of procedure (ie, single-stage TBL [95% confidence interval, 1.236-2.302] or multiple-stage TBL [95% confidence interval, 1.687-4.892]; P = .1882). Although there was no significant association between major complications and the number of procedures performed in this cohort of patients, there were increased wound healing problems following multiple-stage TBL (P > .5). Single-stage TBL surgery averaged 8.4 hours. Two-stage surgery took 7.4 hours for the first stage and 4.6 hours for the second stage, for a total of 11 hours. Banked blood transfusions for single-stage surgery were 1.5 per single-stage case and 0.78 per multi-stage case. Seventy-six percent of the patients experienced complications, mostly related to wound healing. All preoperative and postoperative Pittsburgh rating grades improved.


TBL is customized for individuals who desire a comprehensive approach to improvement of their loose skin. The rate of complications was high and comparable to other published series. There was no difference between the complications of the single-and two-stage patients. While there was an observable reduction in deformity and a high rate of satisfactory aesthetic outcomes, this high number of complications indicates a need to improve clinical performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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