Guerra Plastic Surgery Center
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Body Lift Surgery

Dr. Guerra's experience, skills, and techniques for body lift in Scottsdale or Phoenix.

Body lift after major weight loss.

Addressing the excess skin of the abdomen is often very satisfactory following pregnancy but is usually inadequate following major weight loss. Weight loss following bariatric surgery is more generalized with excess skin not just confined to the abdomen but involving the thighs and buttocks. For these reasons, some plastic surgeons almost exclusively perform a circumferential procedure going all the way around with either a body lift or belt lipectomy on major weight loss patients. The operation involves components of tummy tuck, outer thigh and buttock lift all at one time. These operations very effectively addresses loose skin and cellulite along the thighs and buttocks as well as the abdomen. While the scar is lengthy, it is confined to the waistline and is hidden by conventional underwear. Both men and women can find body lift in Phoenix / Scottsdale very rewarding.

Body Lift - Quick Facts

Average Length:4 - 6 hours
Anesthesia:General
Location:Specialty Hospital
Recovery:Back to work 2 - 6 weeks
Full exercise 8 weeks
Fading Scars 3 months - 2 years
Improving the Experience:3-Day Pain Reducing Pump
2-Night stay at Specialty Hospital
Am I a Candidate?Healthy
Non-smoker
No medical conditions that reduce wound healing
Excess skin and fat after major weight loss
Body Mass Index less than 34
The lower the BMI the better
Realistic goals and expectations

Upper body lift for the upper body.

Upper Body lift is another procedure that is used in major weight loss patients, but is not as common. The excess skin and fat from extreme weight loss often creates a circumferential hanging effect at many levels of the body. While the lower body lift treats excess tissue in the tummy, thighs and buttocks, the upper body lift treats tissue excess in the upper trunk, including the areas around the breasts and upper back. The upper body lift is a combination of three body contouring procedures, incorporating breast lift (mastopexy) or breast reduction procedure (for both women and men), a side chest wall lift, and an upper back lift. In many cases, the procedure can be combined with an arm lift or brachioplasty, as well, for a complete upper body restoration.

Lower Body Lift Arizona
Lower body lift Arizona, actual patient.

Upper body lift surgery in Arizona.

This combined operation leaves long scars around the upper body that are usually worthwhile for most patients because of the dramatic improvement in the shape of the upper body. The resulting scars across the back and on the side of the chest are horizontal, much like in the lower body lift. However, the scar does not cross the center of the body in the front. The risk of scar widening is very likely in this area, not to mention being very noticeable particularly in women. Therefore an upper body lift does not always go completely around the body. Upper body lifts are not as common as lower body lifts because it takes a very large amount of weight loss to create enough skin to justify the operation. Usually, patients must have lost 150 to 200 lbs after their bariatric surgery.

Body lift markings
Diagram: Markings for body lift.

Alternatives to body lift surgery.

Many patients with major weight loss request body contouring to improve the shape of their body. The most accepted procedure for contouring in these patients is the body lift or belt lipectomy. However, many patients shy away from body lift. Alternatives exist for patients who find circumferential procedures too aggressive or undesirable for other reasons. The best candidates for these alternative procedures after major weight loss usually have the excess skin isolated to the front of the body and have little to no excess tissue or sagginess in the thighs and buttocks.

Buttock lift markings
Diagram: Markings for buttock lift.

The modified vertical tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure.

A modified vertical abdominoplasty or Fleur-De-Lis tummy tusk is a second version that is recommended for patients that have more than expected excess skin in the front of the body, usually seen after gastric bypass surgery and in association with a vertical scar (from the gastric bypass) in the middle of the tummy. In this procedure, the standard very low tummy tuck incision technique, is employed. The extension of the incision occurs over the previous mid-line incision, in a triangular shape, which allows the appropriate removal of excess skin, without the addition of other vertical incisions on the body. Patients should realize that modified vertical abdominoplasty and extended tummy tuck are options after weight loss surgery that "partially compensate" for all the excess skin. Body lift is still considered the best operation for most individuals experiencing major weight loss. However, these alternatives may be associated with less risk than body lift.

The buttock lift procedure.

When a major weight loss patient decides to have a tummy tuck procedure as opposed to a body lift or circumferential procedure, they may desire a Brazilian buttock lift or rejuvenation procedure at a later time. The buttocks lift can be performed as a separate procedure or as part of a body lift. The procedure can improve the contour of the buttock and makes it look perkier, youthful and lifted. When loose skin starts forming around buttocks, they can sag and the body shows cellulite. A buttock lift is an operation designed to tighten the skin of the buttock area. This procedure can be performed alone or in combination with other operations such as a thigh lift and abdominoplasty.

Body lift is a combination of these three operations. Good candidates for this surgery have a excess skin along the buttocks which is associated with cellulite. If you had lipo or liposuction performed to the buttock area in the past and have skin irregularities, then you may also qualify for a buttock lift. For the procedure the patient is placed face down under general anesthesia. Surgery begins with an incision is placed very low on the back, just above the buttocks, that can be hidden by most contemporary underwear. Carefully following the markings made before surgery the excess skin and fat tissue in the lower back/buttock are removed and this incision is fully closed and reinforced with Dermabond®. Drains are used to collect any seroma fluid that may develop in the ensuing days after surgery. All incisions are treated with Dermabond®, a glue sealant that immediately and effective closes the wound, so that patients may safely shower soon after surgery.

Guerra Plastic Surgery Center in Scottsdale, Arizona
Guerra Plastic Surgery Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Considering a body lift in the Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona area? Please call (480) 970-2580 or use our contact form today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Jennifer's Story - Lower Body Lift Arizona, Inner Thigh Lift

Jennifer's Story
Jennifer is an actual patient. These are her before and after photos of lower body lift.

Lower Body Lift Surgery

The body lift or lower body lift is a procedure incorporating elements of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), thigh lift and buttock lift in one operation. The operation is designed to go around the entire body and remove excess skin in a belt-like fashion while lifting the outer thighs and buttocks using a single circumferential incision where it can be conveniently hidden by underwear. Because the abdomen is usually of greatest concern to most individuals following major weight loss, plastic surgeons performing body contouring surgery, recommend a body lift as a good starting point for most patients. Classically, good candidates for this procedure have a pear-shaped body and accumulate fat, excess skin and cellulite in the mid to lower abdominal area, flanks, buttocks, hips and outer thighs. Frequently, severe sagginess is identified in the hips and outer thigh area, which is effectively lifted and repositioned into a more aesthetic and youthful position with this procedure. Any sagginess that occurs in the pubic region is also treated with a body lift.

Actual patient, lower body lift testimonial video.

Several weeks before surgery, all patients receive an extensive medical analysis. The day before surgery, patients are asked to come into the office for markings. It takes 30 minutes to completely mark a patient for the next day's surgery. Once marked, the ink used will not come off and patients can take a shower with Hibiclens®. These markings are reinforced with an ink pen the morning of surgery. Surgery begins with the patient lying on their tummy. The excess fat and skin of the back and flanks is excised and the incision is closed using our carefully orchestrated suturing technique. Dermabond® is used to reinforce the skin closure. The patient is turned completely to expose the abdominal area. Carefully following the markings made before surgery the excess skin and fat tissue in the lower abdominal area, hips, and thighs are similarly excised. As the incision is brought together, saggy tissues of the hips and thighs are lifted into a more youthful and attractive position. Drains are used to collect any fluid that may develop in the ensuing days after surgery. We prefer to perform body lift procedures in a specialty hospital setting and keep patients in the facility for several days. All patients are expected to walk the evening of surgery. The next morning, a soft diet is started after the patient gets out of bed and walks. A body lift is a very strong body-rejuvenating procedure. This single operation can have a dramatic effect on body contour. Along with tightening of abdominal muscles and removal of excess skin from the abdomen, thighs and buttocks, the procedure often incorporates liposuction to achieve balance between the torso and thighs.

Body Lift before and after
Actual body lift patient, before and after photo.

Belt lipectomy after major weight loss.

The belt lipectomy is a procedure designed to treat excess fat and saggy skin of the central body, but is used on patients that have no sagginess of the buttocks or thighs. This procedure is generally used on patients with an apple-shaped body, who have a tendency to accumulate fat tissues and excess skin in the upper and lower abdominal area, flanks and back. These patients usually do not have severe sagginess of hip tissue and mainly require reduction and tightening of the abdominal tissues. A large number of these patients do experience sagginess of the pubic area and genitals, which can be lifted into a more pleasing position at the time of belt lipectomy. The incision required for the procedure is placed low on the abdomen. Several weeks before surgery, all patients receive an extensive medical and metabolic analysis. The day before surgery, patients are asked to come into the office for markings. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to completely mark and prepare a patient for the next day’s surgery. Once marked, the special ink used will not come off and patients can take a shower with Hibiclens® to reduce the chances of infection. These markings are reinforced with an ink pen the morning of surgery.

Surgery begins with the patient lying on their tummy. The excess fat and skin tissue of the back and flanks is excised and the incision is closed using our carefully orchestrated suturing technique. The patient is turned completely to expose the abdominal area. Carefully following the markings made before surgery, the excess skin and fat tissue in the abdominal area are similarly excised and this incision is fully closed and reinforced with Dermabond ®. Drains are used to collect any seroma fluid that may develop in the ensuing days after surgery. All incisions are treated with Dermabond®, a glue sealant that immediately and effective closes the wound, so that patients may safely shower soon after surgery. We prefer to perform belt lipectomy in a hospital setting and keep patients in the facility for several days. All patients are expected to walk the evening of surgery. The next morning, a soft diet is started after the patient gets out of bed and walks.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator

feet   inches
pounds
29.05 - low risk
Tummy Tuck Before and After Photo
Actual extended tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) patient, before and after photo.

The extended tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure.

The extended tummy tuck or abdominoplasty plastic surgery procedure is one alternative. The extended tummy tuck procedures are designed to remove even more excess skin and fat than standard tummy tuck, while tightening the six-pack tummy muscles in standard fashion. There are several versions of extended tummy surgery, which can be ideal procedures for patients after major weight loss surgery (usually less than 80 pounds lost) and patients who developed unusually large excessive skin and stretchmarks from pregnancy (usually from twins). The procedure involves an extension of the standard tummy tuck incision to remove the extraneous amounts of excess skin and fat, wherever it may be found.

Conservative liposuction is recommended to improve the contour of the body and is usually performed on the hips, love handles and flanks during an extended tummy tuck procedure. We recommend a version of this procedure in patients complaining of excess skin in the tummy that also extends to the sides and is loose over the back of the hips. The incision is placed using the very low tummy tuck incision technique, however, instead of stopping in the region in the front of the hips, the incision continues into the back of the hips without going all the way and meeting across the lower back. This is the best procedure for simultaneously tightening the tummy as well as the skin in the front and back of the hips in patients who wish to avoid a body lift.

Risks

All surgery carries certain risks associated with anesthesia, scarring, and suturing. Lower Bodylift has certain additional risks due to the extent and nature of this operation.

Common risks include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Asymmetry
  • Permanent scars
  • Blood clots
  • Fluid collecting under the skin around stitches
  • Nerve damage
  • Potential for chronic pain
  • Healing problems
  • Potentially permanent changes in skin sensation
  • Being unhappy with your results, despite adequate surgery
  • Need for additional breast surgery

The risks and benefits of your proposed will be discussed during consultation. With a body lift, scarring can be extensive. Many factors contribute to the depth, width, and color of scars, so be sure what you can do to aid the healing process. Other less common risks are discussed in consultation.

Patient Testimonial

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