Last updated date: 20-Sep-2022
7 mins read
After a massive weight loss, it’s normal and almost common to have large amounts of excessive and sagging skin. Even with regular exercises and workouts, it’s still impossible to get rid of loose skin and have a normal-looking body. Also, old age is usually associated with a gradual reduction of skin elasticity. This causes flabby arms and sagging skin in other parts like the stomach and thighs.
Thus, a body lift procedure aims to remove the excess skin to give you an excellent authentic look and body shape. Surgeons can conduct body lift on the stomach, arms, thighs, buttocks, waist, and groin. Sometimes, doctors can perform this procedure alongside liposuction. This involves the removal of excess fat from the body using a vacuum-like device referred to as the cannula. However, this depends on your overall body objectives and requirements.
Types of Body Lift Surgery
Basically, there are three main types of body lift surgery that correlates to specific parts of the body. They include;
Upper body lift:
This involves surgically making changes on the upper part of the body. It can include the breast, upper arms, and the fat rolls at the back. Therefore, before opting for the upper body lift, you and the surgeon can discuss whether a complete upper body lift procedure is appropriate or simply targeting specific parts.
You can, however, consider upper body lift surgery if you;
- Have back rolls
- Lost a significant amount of weight, and now you have excess sagging skin in some areas
- Develop excess skin after pregnancy
- Are self-conscious regarding the appearance of certain areas
Mid-body lift surgery:
While regular exercise can help with excess fatty tissues, it cannot fully get rid of loose, saggy skin that usually remains after fat loss. With time, the skin can return to the initial form, especially if it’s not tightened.
However, mid-body lift surgery can help get rid of the loose skin and excess fat in the lower back and abdomen. The procedure involves tightening the abdominal walls to eliminate the sagging skin.
Lower body lift surgery:
Lower body lift surgery can also be referred to as circumferential body lift. This approach is more common since it focuses majorly on the hips, buttocks, and tights. It aims at removing excess fat and skin as well as lifting the buttock.
You can considerlower body lift surgery if you;
- Have lost a significant amount of weight and have loose skin in certain areas
- Are above 55 years of age and experiencing aging signs such as sagging skin and less-flattering contour
- Have excess skin as a result of pregnancy and wish to get rid of it
Ideal Candidates for Body Lift
People who are obese or overweight can either undergo bariatric surgery or change their lifestyle to minimize weight. While these approaches are usually successful, most people might not be contented with the overall appearance. This is especially if they have excess, loose, wrinkled, or sagging skin in certain parts of the body.
In such cases, opting for a body lift may be the best alternative to get the body appearance and shape you desire. In addition, you may be an ideal candidate to undergo body lift surgery if;
- You have lost around 35 to 50 percent of your overall body weight.
- You have a stable or constant weight. On the contrary, a fluctuating weight can interfere with the overall outcome of the body lift procedure. Surgeons usually recommend waiting for at least two years after attaining weight loss objectives so as to undergo the procedure. This gives the skin enough time to adjust and ensure that you won’t regain weight afterward.
- You are suffering from drooping fat, skin, or tissues within the abdomen. If the issue is excess fat, the surgeon can recommend losing a significant amount of weight before undergoing surgery.
- You are not planning to get pregnant after the body lift procedure, as this might reverse the initial results.
- You have good health and in a position to undergo surgery, withstand general anesthesia, and recovery safely afterward.
- You are not a regular smoker or alcohol user.
- You are willing to maintain a proper diet and exercise regularly. This promotes a safe recovery and enables you to continue enjoying the outcome of the procedure.
- You have realistic and reasonable expectations regarding the overall outcome of the procedure.
- You have stable psychological and mental health. This is because the body lift surgery can be associated with an extended, emotional course.
What to Expect?
When it comes to body lift surgery, you should expect the following;
Before the Surgery
Before undergoing surgery, you and the surgeon should first discuss whether the body lift procedure is a suitable alternative. The surgeon may not evaluate your overall body health. However, he or she can check and measure your body and take some pictures for planning purposes.
You will also get a chance to talk about the body lift results and the risks or complications that might arise. During the consultation, always ensure that you list all the critical questions to ask the surgeon.
It’s essential to undergo some laboratory tests to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. The surgeon can also ask you to refrain from certain things like taking alcohol, smoking, and particular medication. Alternatively, they can ask you to start taking some medications a few days before the procedure. Some of the medications to avoid include aspirin, herbal supplements, and anti-inflammatory medicines.
Lastly, it’s essential to make prior arrangements regarding traveling to and from the hospital. If possible, find someone to help and watch over you for at least 24 hours after undergoing the procedure.
During the Procedure
On the day of the surgery, the surgeon might take additional pictures and mark the body parts to adjust. After that, they can administer general anesthesia to make you unconscious during the surgery. Alternatively, they can perform the procedure by combining both intravenous sedation and local anesthesia. However, the surgeon will always advise you on the best option to use.
The next step involves creating incisions. The incision patterns of this procedure can vary based on the location and amount of the excess fat or sagging skin. Beforehand, the surgeon determines the suitable incision method that suits your objectives and needs. Overall, body lift incision involves encircling the body just like how the low sling belt does.
After creating the incision in the appropriate area, the surgeon removes the excess sagging skin and fat. The remaining skin is then repositioned by pulling it into a new different position. Also, the surrounding abdominal walls can be tightened while the belly button can be repositioned.
As soon as the procedure is done, the surgeon closes up the incision using sutures. Using skin adhesive or tissue glue and surgical tape can provide more support to the surgical site. Bandages or dressing can also be used to cover the incisions. Alternatively, the surgeon can temporarily place a small tube beneath the skin. This helps drain any fluid or blood that accumulates after the surgery.
After the Surgery (Recovery)
Body lift surgery is mainly done on an outpatient basis; hence you may be required to remain in the hospital overnight. The surgeon will also transfer you to the recovery room, where the surgical staff will watch and monitor your condition.
The recovery period often varies from one person to another, depending on the nature of the surgery. Overall, it may take at least six to eight days before you fully recover and resume normal daily activities, including exercising. However, it’s essential to discuss with the surgeon regarding the recovery duration in order to make prior preparation.
Also, as you recover, ensure that the incisions are free from abrasion, excess force, and motion. This can highly interfere with the healing process and cause bleeding.
Risks and Complication of Body Lift
Like any other surgical procedure, body lift surgery also carries several possible risks and complications. It can include;
- Hematoma, accumulation of blood outside the blood vessels
- Excessive bleeding during or after the surgery
- Unfavorable scarring and skin discoloration
- Fat or skin necrosis
- Formation of blood clots
- Negative reaction to anesthesia
- Pulmonary or cardiac complications
- Deep vein thrombosis risks
- Severe and persistent pain
- Constant edema (swelling or accumulation of fluids )
- Permanent or temporary loss or changes of the skin sensation
- An insatiable or unappealing outcome where an additional surgery may be necessary
- Reversion of the results
Body lift surgery aims at improving the tone and the shape of the body by removing underlying fat and excess sagging skin. Normally, excess fat and loose skin develop due to low tissue elasticity in the body. As such, body lift surgery, including lower, mid, and upper body lift, are essential to restore the overall appearance.
For such surgical treatment options, you can always consider the CloudHospital healthcare platform. It comprises a number of skilled medical experts and surgeons who work to ensure comprehensive care, successful recovery, and satisfying outcome.