Full Body Lift

A body lift procedure is similar to body contouring in that it removes excess skin and unsightly fat from the body. After significant weight loss from pregnancy, gastric surgery (such as Lap Band), dieting and/or aging, stretched out skin can hang from the body giving a disproportionate body appearance. It often appears as though the skin covering the body is too large for the new leaner frame. Also, fat deposits that have remained, despite weight loss in other parts of the body, can be unflattering.

Who is a Candidate?

Candidates for body lifts typically have loose (inelastic) skin on many or most areas of the body as a result of significant weight loss due to diet, exercise or more commonly, bariatric surgery (lap band or gastric bypass).

The abdomen, buttock and thighs are the most common areas treated, but many also choose to undergo an arm lift, thigh lift, breast lift, liposuction (liposculpture) and buttocks lift (buttocks augmentation), to achieve a body shape specific to their desires.

Body lifts tighten and tone the abdomen, back, buttocks, hips and thighs. In addition, an “auto-augmentation” of the buttock fat can be used to add fullness to a buttock region that has become deflated over time.

Intended results

  • Reshape the hips, abdomen, back, buttocks, flanks, and thighs in one procedure
  • Alleviate the emotional discomfort and rashes associated with excess skin
  • Create a tighter, flattering and toned-looking physique
  • Help restore self-confidence and body image after significant weight loss

Procedure Description

In most cases, a body lift focuses mainly on creating a tighter body shape by removing loose excess skin, but the reality is that most patients require a more tailored approach that will include aspects of one or multiple procedures. The basic approaches to body lift include:

Body Lift with Liposuction:

Loose skin is an un-welcomed reminder of past weight problems, and for many patients isolated areas of diet-resistant fat only add to the problem. For smoother, firmer results, it may be recommended to have liposuction (liposculpture) to remove fat from problem spots such as the hips, flanks, pubic area, or abdomen.

Body Lift with Tummy Tuck:

One of the most common post weight-loss plastic surgery procedures patients receive is a body lift with tummy tuck – or a “circumferential abdominoplasty” – which creates extensive improvements to the entire lower body in one procedure by extending the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) incision around the body.

Body Lift with Breast Augmentation:

As plastic surgeons are experienced in both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery techniques, surgeons can combine body lift with breast lift, breast augmentation, or both.

The procedure is done under general anaesthetic in a hospital and takes 4-6 hours depending on its complexity. As with any surgery, scars will be present. The more skin that is removed, the more extensive the scars. For a body lift, they will extend from along the lower abdomen, around the hips, and toward the buttock crease. There is another scar in each groin crease due to the inner thigh lift.

One way to look at it is that this operation exchanges one cosmetic problem (loose skin) for another (scars). In general, those with very loose saggy skin following significant weight loss are likely to find this exchange worthwhile. Those with a small amount of looseness will probably not want the scars.

Recuperation and Healing

You will have a simple dressing covering the wound site, and a special compression garment will be required.

  • Length of stay: 1-4 nights
  • Discomfort: Moderate. Anticipate 5-10 days of prescription pain medication
  • Swelling: Improves over 2-6 weeks
  • An appointment will be arranged for a follow up in 7-10 days for removal of bandages and wound review. Stitches used are absorbable

Getting you back to work and normal activities

It depends on the complexity of the procedure that you’ve undertaken, but generally you will be able to go back to normal duties within 2-4 weeks.

  • Exercise: May be resumed in 4-6 weeks
  • Final result: Will be seen after the scars have matured, which will take about six months

Note

The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can only be fully determined at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications which do not affect the overall cosmetic results occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.