Body Lift Surgery and Procedures

There are many people who lose a significant amount of weight through bariatric surgery and exercise or diet, however are left with stubborn deposits of fat and sagging skin in several body parts, particularly around the midsection. They are not able to embrace their new bodies and find clothes in which they fit properly. Also, they are more vulnerable to infections and general discomfort. For such people, body lift surgery makes for an ideal choice to get back into shape.

body lift surgery

What is a body lift surgery?

It is an extremely effective and result-oriented plastic surgery procedure for patients who have excess fat, skin and other tissues that linger around different body parts after massive weight loss. Based on the location of excess skin, you can opt for either a lower, mid or upper body lift procedure. Those who have a significant amount of surplus skin throughout the lower body, midsection, and extremities, a combination of these called total or full body lift might work the best.

Treatment body part and types of body lifts

The entire procedure involves removal of excess fat, skin and tissue in the:

  • • Breasts
  • • Buttocks
  • • Groin
  • • Lower back
  • • Thighs
  • • Arms
  • • Hips
  • • Midsection

When it comes to choosing the type of body lift procedure, it largely depends on the location of your surplus skin on the body and aesthetic goals. Your plastic surgeon can have an inclusive approach and treat the much larger area in one go, can focus on a particular body part, as in the case with a thigh lift or an arm lift surgery. The full-scale type of body lift eliminates excess skin over a large part of the body. Procedures such as total body lift can create a new figure.

Recovery from total body lift procedure is involved and takes a lot of time when compared to small-scale body lift methods. However, doctors achieve the best results with this approach of the treatment. Your surgeon might use liposuction for removing fat cells before trimming away excess tissue and skin with an incision.

Lower body lift surgery

Also known as the belt lipectomy, a lower body lift is one of the most popular types of body lift procedures.Major weight loss, for most patients, occur in parts such as thighs, buttocks and hips. Significant weight loss can leave behind large folds of skin causing discomfort and chaffing. This surgery not only removes surplus skin but also lifts the thighs and buttocks adding flattering contours to the body of a patient. Compared to a total body lift, it is less invasive a procedure and is the right option for those who have experienced extreme weight loss and those whose lower body parts have begun to sag because of aging or pregnancy.

The procedure

Your plastic surgeon will make an incision along the belt-line of your waits, down inner thigh and across your abdomen. The patterns for your incision depends largely on the expertise of the surgeon and your specific needs. The surgeon will the make incisions in such a way that they remain hidden by your clothing or underwear. Then, the doctor will remove excess tissue and fat before pulling the skin taut and trimming it. Next, incisions will be sutured closed and covered with bandages and compression garments.

It is difficult to tighten the lower body and not the tummy thus many patients prefer combining a lower body lift with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or a mini body lift. You can return to work three to four weeks after the surgery.

Mini Body Lift surgery

Medically known as Torsoplasty, a mini body lift is performed to treat the abdominal region along with the body parts addressed by a lower body lift surgery. This type of body lift is often a preferred choice than a lower body lift because a surgeon is able to create smooth and continuous contours from the tummy all the way down to the thighs.

The procedure

The incisions made are similar to a lower body lift. Excess skin is removed through the incisions. The surgeon will then use the incision around the waist for accessing the abdominal muscles. These muscles will be pulled together and stitched into a place for creating a flatter stomach and a trimmer waistline. This particular procedure also repairs any damage or tears to the abdominal muscles.

Once surplus fat and skin is removed, muscles reshaped and excess skin trimmed, your plastic surgeon will close the incisions with sutures and bandage them. Scars of a mini body lift are similar to that of a lower body lift, however this surgery might take more time to heal because of the adjustments made to your stomach muscles. In most cases, patients can return to work in four to five weeks.

Total body lift surgery

This type of procedure is helpful for patients who have lost skin elasticity all over the body. Surplus skin can cause discomfort and severe chafing, and prevent patients from exercising properly or wear clothes of their choice. A total body lift surgery addresses all body parts that have accumulated deposits of fat and skin. Your abdomen, buttocks, arms, thighs, breasts and hips can be contoured to achieve a trim, smooth and lifted appearance. Some surgeons call a full body lift as a lower body lift and upper body lift. In an upper body lift procedure, breasts are treated with a breast lift and arms contoured with an arm lift. These two procedures can be done separately or during a lower or mid body lift.

No doubt that total body lift is the most comprehensive method to rejuvenate your figure after significant weight loss, it is important to know that you will need extended recovery time after such a complex procedure. be prepared to stay at home for six to eight weeks after the surgery as well as adhere to the instructions given by your surgeon. Once the swelling subsides and scars start to fade, most patients are satisfied and happy with their new appearance.

The procedure

A total body lift is an intensive surgery when compared to a lower, mini or upper body lift. Usually, plastic surgeons perform this surgery in stages. During this procedure, your plastic surgeon will start by completing a midbody lift, making an incision around your wait, into your abdomen, down to your thighs. After removing unwanted fat deposits, firming underlying muscles, and trimming away excess skin, your doctor will close and bandage incisions.

Next, the surgeon will perform an upper body lift. It can be done either at a sperate appointment or on the same day. During this procedure, the surgeon will address sagging skin, tissue and fat on breasts, back, and arms according to the preference of a patient. Then an incision will be made to the underarms for tightening muscles, trimming the skin and removing excess fat for an improved appearance. The same will be done for your back by making either a horizontal incision across it or two vertical incisions on either side.

For women, this procedure also involves a breast lift, during which the surgeon would make an incision around the areola, across the breast crease, and down to the bottom of your breast for removing drooping fat and skin. In some cases, a breast lift is performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation.

Some plastic surgeons enhance breasts with an autologous fat transfer, using your ownliposucted, purified fat cells from another body part to augment breasts. Once breast modification is done, your surgeon will reposition the areola and nipple for achieving a natural look to complete a breast lift. Men opting for a total body lift undergo a male breast reduction surgery to get rid of excess breast tissue. If you have small fat deposits in this part, this can be treated with liposuction only that needs only a small incision to insert the cannula for suction. However, if there is too much skin or fat, your surgeon would create an incision on either side of your chest.

Recovery and aftercare

You can return to work nearly between two to three weeks and two months after the lift surgery. You have to avoid strenuous activities for several months. It is very important for you to follow the instructions given by the plastic surgeon for proper healing of underlying tissue and skin. You can return home the same day after the procedure or even have to stay a few days at the hospital.

Immediately after the surgery

You have to spend three to five days at the hospital after the procedure. this will allow the surgeon and staff to monitor your recovery and keep a note of changes, keeping incisions clean, and reduce the chances of risks and complications. In case you are allowed to return home the same day after the procedure, it is important for you to make sure that you have somebody to provide nursing and care. You will feel pain and discomfort after the procedure, however prescribed medication and painkillers can minimize it. You might be asked to take a short walk a day after the procedure as this will help you heal.

After returning home

Make sure you get plenty of rest once you are home. You have to sleep with a specific arrangement of pillows to keep your body in the right position for healing and to remain comfortable. Though you might feel frustrated, you will need help with eating, bathing and caring for other things. However, it is very important not to strain your body, particularly during the first two weeks after the surgery. The process will be easier and simpler if you have done proper arrangements prior to the surgery.

There will be some bruising and swelling in the area where surgery is done. You have to empty and measure your drains daily and keep a report of them. Also, you have to wear compression garments as suggested and might need to follow dietary instructions for many weeks after the procedure. most patients are allowed to take bathe three to five days after the surgery however, be careful to wash gently and redress your wounds immediately. Take short walks, however make sure you do not indulge in strenuous activities until suggested by the surgeon.

Follow-up visits

Until you resume normal activity, your plastic surgeon will schedule appointments every week for post-surgery care. This allows the surgeon to examine your incisions, make changes to prescribed medications compression garments bandages, and conduct necessary testsif any. It will take nearly two to three weeks to get your drains and sutures removed.

After seven to eight weeks of the surgery, you might have to visit your surgeon only every few months so that he or she can monitor how your scars are fading and tissues are healing. If you have any kind of concern, query or changes in the surgical site, discuss with the surgeon over the phone or visit him. Attending regular post-surgery appointments and adhering to your plastic surgeon’s directions can maximize your possibilities of successful body lift surgery results.

Temporary Side effects

Removal of the large amount of excess fat, skin and tissue involves a process requiring multiple surgical methods and several medications. Body lift surgery is a major procedure, so temporary side effects can be experienced, especially immediately after the surgery. Some of these side-effects are:

  • • General discomfort
  • • Inflammation and bruising
  • • Decreased sensitivity or numbness
  • • Nausea, Disorientation and grogginess
  • • Allergic reactions
  • • Wounds separation

How to choose a surgeon?

It is very important for you to be cautious while choosing a plastic surgeon. Look for a plastic surgeon who has experience and expertise in performing body lift procedures. Choose a board-certified, qualified and trained surgeon. During the initial consultation, you can ask him or her about the type of techniques used to perform the procedure along with other things to make the right decision.

Costs associated with the body lift surgery

If you are considering undergoing body lift surgery, make sure you have sufficient funds. It is an expensive procedure and you need to make proper financial arrangement before making any decision. There are several factors that influence the overall cost of the body lift surgery. Discuss factors like fee of the anaesthesiologist, doctor, surgical facility and aftercare expenses so that you know how much it will cost your pocket to opt for this body contouring surgery.

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