A body lift improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin. Excess sagging fat and skin are removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity.
A well-toned body with smooth contours often is a sign of fitness achieved by healthy diet and exercise.But exercise cannot always achieve desired results for people who have loose, sagging skin and uneven contours. Aging, sun damage, pregnancy and significant fluctuations in weight as well as genetic factors may contribute to poor tissue elasticity and can result in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and upper arms.If you desire a firmer, more youthful-looking body contour, then a surgical body lift may help achieve your goals. It improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin.Excess sagging fat and skin are removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. In addition, the procedure(s) can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface, commonly known as cellulite.
A body lift may include these areas:
- Abdominal area, locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area
- Buttocks, that may be low, flat or shaped unevenly
- Groin that may sag into the inner thigh
- Thigh, including the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or circumferentially
What it won’t do:
Body lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and body lift techniques may be recommended.
What happens during body lift surgery?
Step 1 -Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and surgical judgment.A complete lower body lift treats the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs in one procedure.
A circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat and repositions and tightens tissues.A combination of liposuction and surgical body lifts may be necessary to achieve an improved contour. Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Sutures, skin adhesives or tapes close the skin incisions.
Step 4 – See the results
The results of a body lift are visible almost immediately. It may take as long as one to two years for the final results to fully develop.
Important facts about the safety and risks of body lift surgery
The decision to have a body lift is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.Possible risks of body lift surgery include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss
- Blood clots
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Anesthesia risks
- Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Major wound separation
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Pain, which may persist
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Persistent swelling in the legs
- Possibility of revisional surgery
- Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal