Actual patients in bikinis

Body Lift Surgery

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.

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.

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.

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 at a glance

Avg. Surgery Time

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

Pain Reducing Pump

2 night stay at Specialty Hospital

Am I a Good 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

Belt lipectomy

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.

body lift marking diagram
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.

Alternative procedures may include:

Risks

All surgery carries certain risks associated with anesthesia, scarring, and suturing. A Lower Body Lift 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.

buttock lift marking diagram
Diagram: Markings for buttock lift.
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Guerra Plastic Surgery Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Want a body lift in Arizona? Call us at (480) 970-2580 or use our online contact form today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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