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.
What is a Body lift?
The contour and tone of the underlying tissue that supports skin and fat are improved with a body lift. The procedure(s) can enhance a dimpled, uneven skin surface by removing excess sagging skin and fat.
These regions may be included in a body lift.
- Localized abdominal pain or pain that extends around the sides and into the lower back
- Thigh - the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or the circumference of the thigh
Aging, sun exposure, pregnancy, severe weight fluctuations, and hereditary factors may all contribute to decreased tissue elasticity, resulting in drooping of the belly, buttocks, and thighs.
Body lifts are not just for getting rid of extra fat. Liposuction alone can remove unwanted fat deposits if the skin is supple and can naturally adjust to new body shapes. Body lift procedures, in conjunction with liposuction, may be indicated in circumstances when skin elasticity is weak.
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 consider lower 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 content 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 should I expect during a Body lift surgery consultation?
Prepare to cover the following topics during your body lift surgery consultation:
Your surgical objectives
- Medical problems, drug allergies, and prior medical treatments
- Medication, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, cigarette, and drug usage currently in use
- Previous operations
In addition, your plastic surgeon will:
- Examine your overall health as well as any pre-existing medical issues or risk factors.
- Examine and measure your physique, including comprehensive measurements.
- Photograph yourself for your medical documents.
- Examine your body lift alternatives.
- Provide a treatment plan.
- Discuss the possible outcomes of body lift surgery, as well as any dangers or probable consequences.
Your entire candor throughout your consultation is critical to the effectiveness and safety of your body lift treatment. You will be questioned about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
Make a point of asking inquiries. To assist you, we've created a list of questions to ask your body lift surgeon that you may bring with you to your appointment.
It is critical that you comprehend every part of your body lift treatment. It's normal to experience some worry, whether it's enthusiasm for your new appearance or preoperative tension. Don't be afraid to express your emotions to your plastic surgeon.
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. Following the completion of your body lift operation, dressings or bandages will be put to the incisions. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily inserted beneath the skin to remove any surplus blood.
You will be given precise instructions, which may include the following:
- How to take care of your surgical site(s) after surgery
- Medications that can be used topically or taken orally to help with healing
- Specific issues to watch out for at the surgery site or in your overall health
- How to maintain your drains
- When should you see your plastic surgeon again?
Ask your body lift surgeon specific questions about what to expect during your specific recovery period:
- Where will I be taken once my procedure is finished?
- What medications will be administered to or prescribed to me following surgery?
- Will I be wearing bandages or dressings following surgery? When are they going to be removed?
- When and how soon after surgery may I bathe?
- Are the stitches taken out? When?
- When are the drains going to be removed?
- When will I be able to resume normal activities, driving, and exercise?
- When should I come back for follow-up care?
What results should I expect after body lift surgery?
Body lift surgery produces apparent benefits almost immediately. However, the complete effects of body lift treatments may take two years or more to fully mature.
Some visible scars will remain, but the overall effects will continue as long as you maintain a healthy weight and overall fitness. It is natural for your body to lose firmness as it ages. However, the majority of your original progress should be preserved. Although favorable outcomes from your body lift surgery are predicted, there is no assurance. In some cases, a single surgical treatment may not be enough to provide ideal outcomes, and additional procedures may be required.
Following your doctor's orders is critical to the success of your operation. During the healing process, it is critical that the surgical incisions be not exposed to excessive stress, motion, swelling, or abrasion. Your doctor will provide you specific advice for self-care.
Risks and Complications of Body Lift
The choice to get plastic surgery is highly personal. You must consider whether the advantages will meet your objectives and whether the dangers and probable problems of body lift surgery are acceptable. Your plastic surgeon and team will thoroughly discuss the dangers of surgery. You will be asked to sign permission paperwork to ensure that you fully understand the operation and any risks or issues that may arise.
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
What is the Cost of a Body Lift?
According to the most recent American Society of Plastic Surgeons data This average cost is only a portion of the entire cost; anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related fees are not included. To calculate your total charge, please contact your cosmetic surgeon's office.
The cost of a surgeon is determined by his or her experience, the type of procedure(s) utilized, and the geographic location of the practice. Most health insurance policies do not cover body lift surgery or its consequences; however, many plastic surgeons offer patient financing programs; be sure to inquire.
Body lift prices may include the following:
- Anesthesia costs
- Costs of a hospital or surgical institution
- Medical examinations
- Post-surgery clothing
- Medication prescriptions
- Fee for a surgeon
When selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon in your region for a body lift, keep in mind that the surgeon's experience and your comfort level with him or her are just as crucial as the overall cost of the procedure.
Body lift surgery aims at improving the tone and 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 outcomes.