A body lift improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports skin and fat. Excess sagging skin and fat are removed and the procedure(s) can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface.
What is a body lift?
Which areas body lift may include?
- Abdominal area – locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area
- Thigh – the inner, outer or posterior thigh, or the thigh’s circumference
What are the steps of a body lift procedure?
Body lift procedures are surgical procedures and they require extensive incisions. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits.
What You should know / Frequently Ask Questions
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, body lift techniques along with liposuction may be recommended.
In general, body lift candidates include:
- Individuals with significant soft tissue looseness in one or multiple body areas
- Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what body lift surgery can accomplish
- Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of body lift surgery 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 body lift surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Poor wound healing
- Fluid accumulation
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Fatty tissue under the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Pain, which may persist
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Persistent swelling in the legs
- Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possible need for revisionary surgery
- Skin loss
- Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation and require removal
- Unfavorable scarring
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
In preparing for body lift surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get a lab test or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements and other medications that may increase bleeding
Body lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.
If your body lift is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery, and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
The results of body lift surgery are visible almost immediately. However, it may take two years or more for the final results of the body lift procedures to fully develop.
Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness.
However, most of your initial improvement should remain.
Although good results are expected from your body lift surgery, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.
It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, motion, swelling or abrasion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.