It’s unfortunate that excess skin will remain after a patient has worked so hard to lose a great deal of weight. The only way to remove this excess skin is through surgery. A body lift is a surgical procedure performed to eliminate the excess fat and skin around the hips, abdomen and buttocks that occurs following the loss of a great deal of weight. A body lift is similar to an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) but it goes beyond the abdominal area to include the buttocks and hips. While you may lose additional weight through a body lift, this procedure is not meant as a weight-loss tool, but as post-weight-loss sculpting of the body. It is often combined with a brachioplasty to rid the upper arms of sagging skin and/or a thigh lift, to lift the sagging skin on the thighs after a great deal of weight has been lost.
A body lift can be performed on any healthy adult who has lost all the weight they intend to lose. Your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of a body lift procedure at your consultation to confirm that this is the best course of action for your particular needs.
How the Procedure is Performed
A body lift is performed under general anesthesia in our Boca Raton accredited in-office surgery suite on an outpatient basis. It may be performed along with other body contouring procedures, such as a brachioplasty or a thigh lift. During the procedure, an incision is made from hip bone to hip bone around the entire body, ie, front, sides and back, to allow for maximum removal of excess skin. The skin is removed along with a superficial layer of fat and the incision is closed to leave a taut skin surface. This surgery generally requires about 5-6 hours to complete, as it also involves tightening the abdominal muscles and repositioning the buttocks.
What to Expect During Recovery
Following a body lift, you will wear a compression garment around the lifted area to help facilitate healing. You will feel fairly uncomfortable and we advise that you plan to take 10-14 days off from work and normal activities after this procedure. We will provide you with pain medications to take after you return home. You will need to avoid strenuous activities for at least a month, and it takes almost three months for most individuals to realize the final results of this surgery. Please understand that body lift surgery cannot recreate a perfect contour, but the results will be much better than the previous hanging skin you experienced post-weight-loss. You will find that the scar will always be somewhat visible but will fade over time to a fine line. Most of our patients are quite pleased with their results and look forward to finally wearing the smaller-sized clothing that they’ve been dreaming about.