A body lift is surgery performed to correct excess loose and sagging skin and irregular contours of the:
» Abdominal area, locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area
» Buttocks, that may be flat, low or shaped unevenly
» Groin that may sag into the inner thigh
» Thigh, including the inner, outer or posterior thigh
» Upper arms
Body lifts improve the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin. Excess sagging fat and skin is removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. Body lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. In cases where skin has good elasticity, liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits. A combination of liposuction and body lift may be recommended where skin elasticity is poor.
Body lifting procedures are indicated for patients who are of stable weight that is reasonably proportionate to their height and body frame. It is recommended that women considering future pregnancies postpone an abdominal body lift since pregnancy may diminish results.
Body lifts surgeries may be performed on adults of any age. Good candidates are:
» Patients with significant soft tissue looseness
» Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
» Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring
Body lifts are surgical procedures and they require incisions, in some cases extensive. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as surgical technique.
Other body contouring procedures may be performed separately or in the same surgical session as a body lift, including liposuction, abdominoplasty, breast lift or breast reduction.
Once procedure is completed, dressing or bandages may be applied to the incisions and a compression garment is used to minimize swelling and to support the new contours. One or more tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may be collect.
Initial healing will include swelling at the incision sites. Discomfort is common and can be controlled with medication. The patients will be instructed to return to light walking as soon as possible to minimize the complications and must avoid bending, straining or lifting for several days. A return to light activity is possible usually within two to three weeks following surgery.
Initial wound healing may take 7 to 14 days, any sutures will be removed some time after that. Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling dissipates and incision lines continue to improve.
Possible risks of body lift procedures include bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, delayed or poor wound healing, skin loss, blood clots, excessive or widened scars, numbness and other changes in skin sensation, irregular or asymmetric contours or scars and risks associated with anesthesia.
The result of a body lift are visible almost immediately, however it may take several months for the final result. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skin’s surface will resolve over the following months. It may take a year or more for incision lines to refine to some degree.
The new uplifted body contours should be long lasting, so long the patient maintains weight and general fitness.