While many of us strive to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel, sometimes with all the working out and dieting, we just can’t get there. Sometimes after massive weight loss, there is just too much extra skin that you just cannot seem to tone up. However, with a total body lift, you can get the tight and toned body that you are working so hard to achieve. A body lift is a plastic surgery procedure that can be used to shape and tone the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and/or breasts. The body lift is broken up into two types. A lower body lift (belt lipectomy) involves the tummy, thighs, buttocks and back, while an upper body lift focuses primarily on the breasts, chest and middle back areas. If lower and upper body lifts are combined in one or two stages, the treatment is known as a total body lift. With this body lift, also called body contouring, it is possible to reduce the excess skin and fat that is left behind from the expansion of skin, loss of fat and lack of tissue elasticity that often occurs after a major weight loss. The success of body contouring is most influenced by your age and by the size, shape, and skin tone of the area to be treated. It is also not uncommon, depending on individual patient factors, the extent of surgery needed and surgeon preference, for massive weight loss patients to have multiple operations performed in stages. In such cases, the waiting period between surgeries ranges from weeks to several months or longer.
A lower body lift starts with a belt-like excision above the outer thighs and buttocks. Your surgeon may further separate the thigh skin to help with the procedure. They will then remove excess skin and reshape the underlying tissue before suturing this area and starting the tummy tuck. The tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision made along the pubic area and another around the navel to loosen the abdominal skin from the underlying tissue. Next, your surgeon will tighten the stomach muscles and remove excess skin and tissue. Your surgeon may suction out any remaining fat in this area with liposuction. The skin that remains is then repositioned and sutured at the pubic area, after which the belly button is returned to its original location.
Upper body lift starts with a broad bra-line skin removal. After your surgeon closes this excision, they will eliminate the rolls of fat from the back and narrow the waist. Any extra skin under the breasts or over the lower rib cage can now be removed. When closing, the surgeon will tighten the skin under the breasts, and the raised abdominal skin will be sutured to the lower rib cage.
Postoperative pain is subjective and will vary considerably from person to person. The average patient undergoing a lower body lift procedure will usually require a few days of pain medication to treat the feeling of discomfort. Over a 7 to 10 day period most people resolve the majority of their acute postoperative pain. The recovery period is around 3 to 4 weeks and the patient may have to wear compression garments following the surgery. Usually patients will also have drains to help with proper draining. In terms of scarring, scarring quality is variable and mostly dependent on the patient’s genetic makeup. It is usually covered by the patient’s underwear, although not in all cases. Some contouring procedures leave only small, inconspicuous scars. More noticeable scars may result when surgical removal of fat and skin is necessary to achieve your desired result. Most patients find these scars acceptable and enjoy greater self-confidence when wearing a bathing suit or form-fitting clothes.
For more information on the total body lift, give us a call today!
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group