A body lift in is designed to tighten the skin of a patient all the way around their body and the improvements can be nothing short of dramatic. Patients who benefit from body lift have typically lost a large amount of weight and have significant skin laxity. The body lift may address the lower body or the upper body.
Major weight loss is a significant accomplishment, whether by dieting alone or after bariatric surgery. Fitting into new, smaller clothing enhances the excitement you feel when you step on a scale. You feel healthier, happier, and probably are more active too. But many of our patients feel uncomfortable with areas of excess skin after weight loss, and seek help at our CosmeticCulture clinics.
Excess skin is unsightly and can seriously hinder your ability to participate in certain physical activities that could further improve your health. Excess loose skin can also make you self-conscious about wearing certain outfits. After all the work you’ve put into losing the weight, shouldn’t you have the freedom to wear what you want and look the way you have always wanted?
The main difference between cosmetic surgery after major weight loss and other cosmetic procedures is the need to assess the entire body not just one targeted area. Excess skin will pucker and fold over many sections of the body from the breasts, back, hips, abdomen, thighs, arms and pubic area. This is where a body lift can really make a difference. Your skin’s texture and the amount of tissue laxity will affect incision sites, the amount of skin removal, and the degree to which scars from your cosmetic surgery will be visible.
Body lift techniques can be performed in two different ways, to treat either the upper or the lower body:
- Lower body lift: The lower body lift is the most common type I perform in my practice. It typically includes liposuction, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), thigh lift and butt lift performed at the same time. The incision is concealed around the waistline so that it’s not visible when wearing underwear or a bikini.
- Upper body lift: For patients with severe skin laxity of the upper tummy, an upper body lift may be the appropriate treatment. This typically includes a bra line back lift and upper abdominoplasty. The procedure is individualised for the particular patient.
Good candidates for body lifts typically have lost large amounts of weight. They should be healthy and well nourished without vitamin or mineral deficiencies. They should not smoke, as smoking increases the risk of complications.
With recovery, patients usually take at least 1–2 weeks off from work following a body lift. During the immediate post-op recovery period I encourage patients to undergo chest physiotherapy and ambulate by going for short 5-10 minute strolls and later progressing to 30 minute walks during the end of the second week. They may resume full exercise approximately 6 weeks following surgery.
Possible risks of a body lift include delayed wound healing, bleeding, infection, seroma (fluid collection) and venous blood clots. I take many precautions to minimise the risk of each of these complications. With diligent care, each of these complications may be treated and still result in a happy outcome from body lift surgery.
You deserve to look your best after all the effort you’ve put into losing those unwanted kilograms. A body lift following massive weight loss may be just the answer for you.
Question: What features annoy you the most following massive weight loss? You can leave a comment below.