After a person has undergone a drastic loss in weight due to a restriction in diet or any type of surgical weight loss procedure the midsection, especially, has an excess skin and fat deposits, that make the skin droop or sag. It results in self-consciousness as well as irritation and infection due to the rubbing of this sagging skin. In these cases body lift surgical procedure is helpful to remove the excessive skin along with fat deposits which gives a more appealing and attractive shape and contour to the body.
The person may have to undergo a mid, lower or upper body lift procedure depending on where the excess skin and fat deposits are visible.
Am I a candidate for Body Lift procedure?
Most patients who have undergone remarkable weight loss due to the various weight loss procedures tend to seek body lift procedures so that they can enjoy the regained attractive body contours. Being a complicated surgery it is advisable to note that you are considered an ideal candidate for body lift surgical procedure if:
- Your weight loss has been between 30-50% of your peak weight.
- You have sagging skin, muscular tissue and fat deposits around the abdominal region and thighs.
- Your weight has not been fluctuating considerably after the weight loss procedure.
- Your overall health allows you to undergo a major surgical procedure.
- You have no plans to be pregnant after body lift surgery.
- You can abide by the regimen to follow a restricted and healthy diet.
- You are physiologically and psychologically ready.
How is Body Lift surgery performed?
Body lift surgery is dependent on the area where you have excess skin, muscles and tissues that tend to sag.
These are the different types of procedures that are included in body lift surgery:
Lower Body Lift
Also known as a belt lipectomy, this procedure is one of the most common forms of body lift procedures. A lower body lift helps to remove the excessive skin from the thighs, hips and buttocks as well as shape the lower body parts to look more attractive.
The procedure begins with the surgeon making an incision around your belt line running across the circumference as well as incisions in your lower abdomen and inner thighs. The extent and the exact shape of the incisions will depend on the particular case. The surgeon will then use these incisions to access the underlying muscles, tissues and fat deposits and remove them. The next step is to pull the skin taut across these regions before closing the incisions with sutures and cover the incision regions with a compression garment or a bandage.
This procedure is often combined with an abdominoplasty to tighten the abdominal skin as well.
The lower body lift is considered to be ideal for a person who has sagging skin in the lower body due to aging or as a result of pregnancy.
Mid Body Lift
This procedure is also called as ‘torsoplasty’ and is useful for treating the abdominal region including the thighs, buttocks and hips. This procedure helps in balancing and creating a symmetrical contour from the hips to the lower thighs.
The procedure requires the surgeon to make incisions around the circumference of your waist as well as along the lower abdomen and your inner thighs. These incisions are used to access the underlying muscle tissues and fat deposits (if any) and remove these. The surgeon will then use these same incisions to restrict the abdominal muscles that results in tightening them and stitch them in place.
After the surgeon has reshaped your abdominal muscles, removed excess fat, skin and tissues they will use compressive garments or bandages to close the incisions.
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Total Body Lift
This procedure is advised for patients who do not have much skin elasticity in their body (elderly person especially). This procedure is very useful in such cases as the comprehensive procedure addresses all those parts of the body that are liable to have fat deposits and sagging skin. A full body lift covers treatment of arms, breasts, buttocks, thighs and the abdomen.
Total body lift is considerably more extensive and complicated procedure as it has to cover more parts of the body thus it is mostly done in multiple stages instead of being completed in one session.
The surgeon will usually start with a mid body lift by making incisions around your waist, lower abdomen and inner thighs. After the surgeon has removed the underlying excess muscle, tissues and the overlapping skin the remaining skin is pulled taught over this region and the incisions are closed.
The next step involves performing an upper body lift. For this the surgeon may advise a day’s rest and start the procedure on the next day. An upper body lift consists of the surgeon making incisions along the inside of the upper arms and at the side of the breasts as well as along the back. The underarm incision helps the surgeon to tighten the skin along the biceps and the incision on your back will help remove the underlying fat deposits, or excess tissues, as the same time help tighten the skin on the back.
For a breast lift the surgeon will make an incision around the areola going towards the bottom of the breasts. These incisions are useful in removing underlying additional fat and excessive skin that sags.
As a total body lift is an extensive procedure you should be prepared for at least a stay of 3-5 weeks at home.
What are the risks and benefits of Body Lift surgery?
As with any type of major surgery there are certain risks that might be seen with body lift procedure, however, the doctor/surgeon will take every precautionary and preventive measure to avoid these risks or complications from occurring.
These are the risks that might arise in certain body lift procedures:
- Excessive bleeding – Hematoma can occur in some cases where the incisions do not close properly. Blood clots can form due to extended inactivity in the body due to bed rest. A corrective surgery or blood transfusion (for rare cases) helps in stopping excessive bleeding.
- End result unsatisfactory – This can be because of unrealistic or non-feasible expectations by many patients who are not aware of the limitations of their body contours and physiological conditions. A revision surgery can correct any feasible unsatisfactory result.
- Fat necrosis – This is caused when the deeper layer of fat tissues in the operated region are affected by a loss, or irregularity, in the blood supply. It causes these fat tissues to become stiff and abnormal in shape. Additional surgery is mostly suggested to correct this problem.
- Skin necrosis – As is seen in the fat necrosis the skin layer may also get affected due to loss in nutrient supply which might cause discoloration or deformity around the incision site. This tends to repair itself as new skin cells form fast to replace the dead skin cells.
- Infection – This can result due to many reasons, especially if the surgeon’s/doctor’s post-operative instructions are not followed properly. An antibiotic prescribed by the doctor can resolve this.
The benefits of body lift procedure are many:
- Mobility – Body lift procedure helps you increase your mobility and activeness by removing the excess skin and fat from the abdominal area that often result in causing irritation and skin reactions due to constant rubbing.
- Attractiveness – Body lift procedure increases your attraction factor by giving you a more youthful and lithe appearance by shaping your body and contours.
- Comprehensiveness – Body lift procedure is a one-stop surgical solution that involves reshaping different parts of the body into an attractive one.
- Additional weight loss – Removing the excessive skin, muscle tissue and fat deposits can further reduce your body weight.