The skin on the body starts to sag and lose volume as we age, and you may notice loose skin on the arms, chest, legs, and trunk. If this is a problem for you, a body lift could be the solution.
This procedure is gaining popularity, especially with more people having bariatric surgery for extreme weight loss.
A body lift removes extra, loose skin from the trunk, chest, and extremities to provide a slimmer, younger appearance.
This procedure can be done in two phases, depending on your needs:
- Upper body lift: including a breast lift and arm lift
- Lower body lift: including a tummy tuck, buttock lift, and thigh lift
During the lower body lift, the abdomen is the focus. The procedure uses a 360 tummy tuck that goes around the waist. This part of the body can be particularly problematic for someone who lost a lot of weight.
The lower body lift slims the waistline and reduces bulges, making it easier to exercise and enjoy life.
The lower body lift also focuses heavily on the legs to remove loose skin and fat on the outside of the thighs.
If you are interested in a body lift, everything you need to know is below.
Body Lift Procedure Overview
The steps for a body lift are:
The surgeon will use general or IV sedation to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Let your surgeon know if you have any allergies to anesthesia, so they know which is best for you.
The most frequently used technique for a body lift is to use incisions like a bikini pattern to remove the skin from the abdomen, waist, groin, thighs, and buttocks.
The incision removes a belt of extra skin and fat from the lower body. Then, the remaining tissue is repositioned and tightened with sutures.
The surgeon uses deep sutures to keep the remaining tissues and skin in place. Next, the incisions are closed in several layers, and the surgeon may insert drains to remove fluid buildup.
You can see the results of a body lift almost right away, but it will take up to two years for all the swelling to dissipate.
Does A Body Lift Remove Fat?
The purpose of a body lift is to remove sagging, loose skin that may occur after massive weight loss or aging. It is not intended to help you lose weight or lose fat.
A body lift is major surgery, and it puts considerable stress on the body, which is why you should be close to your goal weight before going under the knife.
If you still need to lose weight, your surgeon will recommend that you continue to diet before having the procedure. It’s critical to be near your ideal weight before having skin surgery. People who are still obese have higher risks during the procedure.
Patients with small pockets of stubborn fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise may also have liposuction. This procedure removes small amounts of fat from the abdomen, legs, arms, and sides with a cannula.
Ideal Candidate For A Body Lift
An upper and lower body lift can remove a lot of extra, loose skin that makes it difficult to move freely and exercise. The procedure removes a lot of extra skin and tissue, so it’s essential to be able to tolerate surgery.
The ideal candidate has extra, loose skin on the lower abdomen and relaxed abdominal muscles that make the belly stick out. The patient also may have extra skin on the buttocks and thighs that make it hard to move quickly.
Other good candidates are those who lost a lot of weight recently, but you should be at a stable weight for at least six months.
If you have a significant health issue, such as heart disease, diabetes, or a lung condition, you should speak to your doctor to find out if this surgery will work for you. This procedure is stressful on the body and could be too risky for patients with medical conditions.
Body Lift Recovery
The recovery process for a body lift depends on the amount of skin removed, but be prepared to take at least a month off work. Most patients have considerable soreness at the incision sites and plenty of swelling.
The peak of the discomfort is usually on the third or fourth day, but the surgeon will give you prescription pain medication to manage it. After two weeks, you probably will be OK with over-the-counter pain medication.
Additional tips after the procedure include:
- Have someone available to drive you home from the surgical site and stay with you for a few days. You’ll be sore and uncomfortable, so you’ll need help around the house.
- The surgery affects mobility, so have meals prepared and bottled water available for the first week.
- Eat plenty of lean protein and fruits and vegetables, so the body has the fuel it needs to heal.
- You won’t be able to exercise for at least six weeks, but make sure to go for a daily walk as soon as you can. The movement keeps the blood circulating and prevents blood clots.
- Attend all follow-up visits to ensure you are making good progress.
When a body lift is done correctly, it will remove extra skin from aging and massive weight loss and will make a massive difference in your life. Of course, the recovery will take time, but most patients say it’s worth it.
Request A Body Lift Consultation
Thinking about a body lift in Beverly Hills? Dr. Nicholas Lahar is pleased to provide plastic surgery procedures to his Beverly Hills patients. He will discuss your aesthetic goals during your consultation and help you decide if you are a good candidate for a body lift.
Lower Body Lift. (2021). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/lower-body-lift
Body Lift Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-lift/procedure
Body Lift Surgery: What You Need To Know. (2020). Accessed at https://www.realself.com/surgical/body-lift