Sagging skin can be a difficult thing to avoid. Aging alone will change the elasticity of the skin and superficial tissue. Weight fluctuations and dramatic weight loss can significantly affect the skin’s ability to bounce back, especially around the waistline since this is where a lot of fatty tissue accumulates. When the skin in the “belt” area, thighs, and hips is extraordinarily loose, a body lift can provide meaningful improvement that boosts your sense of self.
What Is A Body Lift?
A body lift is not a particular procedure but a customized treatment plan. At Austin Cosmetic Surgery, a thorough consultation and examination of skin and fatty tissue guide us in developing a surgical protocol. Patients may undergo lift procedures that focus on areas including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, and more.
Candidates For Body Lift Surgery
Frequently, those who seek body lift surgery have lost a significant amount of weight. Traits that are shared by optimal candidates include:
- Good general health
- Described as a nonsmoker (or willing to quit for a time)
- Have thin layers of redundant skin and fatty tissue
- Would like to improve comfort and quality of life by resolving issues like rashes or chafing
- Understand the possibilities and limitations of body lift surgery
- Body lift surgery is appropriate for those who have undergone bariatric surgery
- Weight should be stable for at least 12 months before body lift treatment
What Procedures Are Involved With A Body Lift?
A body lift is customized to achieve the best overall result. The best overall result is one in which the various areas of the body are in ideal proportions. To achieve this, a surgeon may perform:
- Liposuction. The minor removal of fatty tissue can smooth the transition between the body lift area and neighboring areas, such as the buttocks to the back.
- Abdominoplasty. This procedure tightens the abdominal muscles that have separated due to weight or pregnancy.
- Thigh lift. The inner or outer thighs, or both, can be tightened and reduced to create balance with other parts of the body.
The Body Lift Procedure
A body lift may also be referred to as belt lipectomy. This procedure can improve the contours of the hips, thighs, waist, abdomen, and buttocks in a single surgery. The procedure can take six to eight hours. It is conducted under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility or hospital.
- Before you are anesthetized, your surgeon may mark your incisions around your torso. Additional markings may delineate tissue that is to be excised during your procedure.
- After you are anesthetized, incisions will be made in the marked area.
- An apron of excess skin will be removed below the incision point.
- The two edges of the remaining tissue will be connected, resulting in a tighter, smoother transition.
- Part of the procedure may be performed while you are lying on your side or back; you may then be repositioned as needed to lift your front side.
- Your surgeon will excise and lift tissue in all areas discussed prior to surgery (abdominoplasty, thigh lift, buttocks lift, etc.)
- Incisions are closed internally and externally to suspend tissue in a tighter position. Drains may be placed at this time to inhibit fluid accumulation.
- You will be monitored in the surgical recovery area until general anesthesia has worn off.
- You may spend one or more nights in a recovery center before going home.
Recovery After A Body Lift
Undergoing a body lift can sound like a major event. It is. It can change your life. However, the recovery period incurred after this set of procedures may be shorter than you might expect. Many patients regain mobility to resume light, normal activities after two weeks of rest. Initial side effects from body lift surgery include swelling and bruising. Mild to moderate discomfort is expected and can be managed with prescription pain medication taken as directed. Patients may also be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent infection, and muscle relaxants to support comfort as muscles settle into their new position.
The midsection may feel tight and somewhat restricted at first. Numbness and tingling may also occur as nerve endings reconnect over time. Some patients sleep in a slightly inclined position for a short time. To minimize swelling and support comfort during the healing period, compression garments should be worn.
The drains placed at the conclusion of surgery may stay in place for about one week. These will be removed in the office. Sutures may be removed at the same time.
Our staff is available during normal business hours to answer any questions that may arise during your recovery.
Is A Body Lift A Weight Loss Procedure?
Body lift surgery is often sought by people who have lost a substantial amount of weight. The process focuses on trimming excess tissue that no longer has the ability to retract. Although minor liposuction may be involved in a body lift, its purpose is to smooth out any irregularities that may occur. Skin and superficial tissue do not weigh much, so patients should not expect a dramatic drop in their weight after their body lift. Furthermore, body lift treatment achieves the best results in patients who have reached their ideal body weight based on their frame.
How Long After A Body Lift Can I Exercise?
Physical activity resumes gradually after a body lift. Your doctor will clear increased mobility as you reach milestones of recovery. Typically, exercise and more strenuous activities can resume approximately 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
Risks Of A Body Lift
Surgical procedures inherently carry risks associated with anesthesia, infection, and bleeding. Body lift procedures have been performed for decades and should only be conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon. In these hands, the surgery is considered extremely safe. The risks of this treatment are similar to most surgeries and include fluid accumulation, poor wound healing, scarring, and asymmetry. Risks are significantly decreased when you choose a board-certified surgeon who is experienced in the performance of lift procedures.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about body lift surgery and to see if you’re a candidate, contact our office today to schedule a consultation at 512-688-8000. We serve patients in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and surrounding areas in Texas.