Obesity is a significant issue in the United States, which has given rise to bariatric surgery and extreme weight loss. That’s why full body lift surgery has become so popular in recent years. One estimate is that demand for body lifts has risen 4,000% in the past 20 years.
A full body lift involves an upper and lower body lift that removes hanging, loose skin left behind after significant weight loss, age, or pregnancy. This procedure is essential because large amounts of loose skin make movement uncomfortable, complicating the ability to exercise and enjoy life.
A full body lift tightens and firms the skin on the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, waist, hips, groin, and arms, back, and breasts.
The procedure also is called a belt lipectomy because several incisions go around the body like a belt. The result is a slimmer and pleasing shape that makes you look younger and healthier.
Full Body Lift Overview
A full body lift usually includes an outer thigh lift, butt lift, tummy tuck, and skin and tissue removal from the lower abdomen (panniculectomy). Some surgeons also perform a monsplasty, which tightens the mons pubis area between the public bone and genitals.
The body lift is done with a circumferential incision from the hips to the lower abdomen and across the back and buttocks.
Most full body lifts don’t include removing fat and tissue from the inner thighs; a medial thigh lift is needed to address that area.
The full body lift also removes skin and fat on the upper body with an arm lift, back lift, breast lift, and sometimes breast augmentation. Your surgeon also may use liposuction to remove fat from other areas.
The surgery usually lasts about five hours and sometimes longer. However, many surgeons say they prefer to spread the procedure over two or more sessions than go more than six hours.
Pros And Cons Of A Full Body Lift
A full body lift is major, invasive surgery, so it’s essential to consider the pros and cons before going ahead:
- A full body lift is the only way to remove large amounts of skin after losing a lot of weight.
- Most patients report a boost in self-confidence after a full body lift. However, many say it feels like the conclusion of a lengthy process to lose weight.
- You can see results right away, and it’s easier to fit into clothing.
- A body lift eliminates some stretch marks.
- Body lift recovery can take one or two months because of the large quantities of tissue removed.
- Body lights have a higher complication rate than other plastic surgeries.
- Patients have lengthy scars, but they will fade after a year.
- Removing skin from the rear can make the buttocks flatter, but you can fix this issue with a Brazilian butt lift.
Ideal Candidate For A Full Body Lift
The best candidates for this procedure are those who lost weight and have loose, hanging skin on many parts of the body. The patient should have a BMI no higher than 30 when having a full body lift.
Patients whose BMI is higher than 30 should lose more weight first; a full body lift can be dangerous for people who still need to lose a significant amount of weight.
Surgeons recommend that you are at a stable body weight for at least six months before the body lift.
Ideal candidates also should not smoke or stop for two months before and after surgery.
Patients with diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, or other serious medical issues may not be good candidates for this procedure. Talk to your primary care physician to determine if you’re healthy enough for a full body lift.
Full Body Lift Recovery
You will be groggy from anesthesia after the body lift, and you’ll need someone to drive you home. It’s also a good idea to have a family member or friend stay with you for at least the first night.
A body lift can involve removing more or less skin depending on your needs, so your surgeon will tell you how long you’ll need to take it easy. Most patients need about one month off work and generally limit vigorous activities for three months.
The initial recovery involves discomfort and swelling, but things will improve after a few days. You’ll also need to wear compression garments to reduce swelling. In addition, it’s essential to keep the incisions clean and covered for about eight weeks.
You can probably start more vigorous workouts after three months, and you could have minor swelling for up to six months.
Full Body Lift And Health Insurance
It varies if health insurance will cover the cost of a full body lift after massive weight loss. Some health insurance providers pay for excess skin removal, but others don’t. Even in the same state and health insurance company, payment varies.
The only way to find out if your health insurance pays for a body lift is to call them and submit a claim. Insurance may cover the cost if you can show you get skin rashes from skin rubbing that doesn’t go away with lotions and creams after several months.
It’s essential for your doctor to thoroughly document skin rashes from loose skin to get insurance to pay for the procedure.
A full body lift can change your lift after massive weight loss, so talk to your surgeon to learn more.
Request A Fully Body Lift Consultation
Thinking about a full 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 this plastic surgery procedure.
Body Lift Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://my.clevelandclinic.org/cosmetic-plastic-surgery/procedures/body-lift
About Body Lift. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-lift
Body Lift Overview. (2021). Accessed at https://www.verywellhealth.com/body-lift-surgery-what-you-need-to-know-2709984