Body Lifts after Major Weight Loss – My Bariatric Life

My Bariatric Life Health Guide

    What is a Body Lift?


    Body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin, as well as removes excess sagging fat and skin. These excess sagging fat and skin are removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. A body lift is one of the most common body contouring procedures after major weight loss.


    A body lift is a major plastic surgery procedure that is performed to correct the contours of:


    The abdominal area and extending around to the sides and into the lower back area;


    Groin that may sag into the inner thigh;

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    Buttocks that are low, flat, or unevenly shaped;


    Thighs, including the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or circumferentially.


    A complete lower body lift treats sagging buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips, and outer thighs in one procedure, or in staged procedures. Incision patterns vary but commonly a circumferential incision around the body is used to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat.


    Who is a Candidate for a Body Lift?


    A body lift may be appropriate for an adult who has maintained a stable weight after bariatric surgery or has achieved major weight loss from dieting. Good candidates are:


    Persons who are healthy, without medical conditions that may impair healing or increase risk of surgery


    Persons who are not going to become pregnant


    Persons who do not smoke


    Persons with significant visceral fat and sagging skin in the lower body


    Persons who can afford the $12-20k cost, as the procedure is not covered by medical insurance


    What to Expect from a Body Lift?


    Body lifts require extensive incisions. Your plastic surgeon will try to place these in areas covered by most clothing and swimsuits. One common incision pattern resembles the outline of a bikini, to tighten the abdomen, groin, waist, buttocks, and thighs. A circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat and tightens muscles.


    Deep support sutures within the underlying muscles help to form the new contours of the body. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the incisions. Pain is to be expected and can be controlled with medication.


    Initial wound healing may take 7-14 days. You will be ready to return to work after two-three weeks, unless you have a job that involves heavy lifting or vigorous activity. Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling dissipates and incision lines improve.


    The results of a body lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as much as one to two years, or more, for the final results of the body lift procedures to fully develop.


    There is no other method of body contouring that can restore body shape, skin appearance, and skin tone as effectively as a body lift.


    Visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website to view a gallery of before and after photos and to find a certified plastic surgeon.


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    American Society of Plastic Surgeons



Published On: February 22, 2013