When is the right time for a body lift?

If you have reached your weight loss goals, but you still have not achieved the look you are after, it might be time to consider the next step: body lift surgery. 

Body lift surgery is designed for people who have lost a considerable amount of weight yet are left with excess skin. No diet modifications or exercise regimens can tighten skin or remove most of the excess fat deposits that have settled in unwanted areas. Surgical removal of excess skin and fat is the only option if weight loss has not garnered the results you sought.

Following a weight-loss procedure, some patients seek a body lift to improve their appearance further. A body lift may be appropriate for anyone who has lost considerable amounts of weight, regardless of cause. 

Except for very young patients, excess skin drooping from the abdomen, breasts, and extremities usually occurs following extreme weight loss. This occurs regardless of the methods used to reduce said fat. Body lift surgery can be performed to reduce these undesirable effects of significant weight loss. 

What Weight Should I Be Before Body Contouring?

Body lift surgery should not be performed until after patients have achieved their ideal target weight and have maintained a stable weight for at least six months. Fluctuations in weight can interfere with the results of body contouring procedures. Maintaining a steady weight after the procedure is one of the best ways to ensure results match your aesthetic goals. 

Body lift surgery is ideal for patients who have undergone gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery.

What Should I Consider Before Surgery?

Body lift surgery is not recommended for patients who smoke or drink alcohol excessively. Smoking greatly hinders the healing process and can increase the chance of blood clots during surgery and recovery. Patients should be tobacco-free for at least one month before any surgical operation.

Excessive alcohol can increase bleeding during and after surgery and may also increase swelling during recovery. Alcohol use also does not mix well with certain medications. Be sure and give your doctor accurate alcohol intake information during your pre-surgical consultations.

It is also important to consult your surgeon before your operation to ensure that your diet does not include foods or supplements that may impede healing or increase the risk of complications during surgery. 

How Is a Body Lift Different?

Body lift surgery is an extension of abdominoplasty, but the incision continues around the posterior (back) of the abdomen. As a result, this procedure may be referred to as a “belt lipectomy.” A body lift treatment is not a substitute for fat removal (that can be surgically done via liposuction). Instead, it is usually performed on patients who have lost a significant amount of weight to correct excess skin issues caused by that weight loss. 

The procedure’s targeted areas may include the abdomen (in front or continuing to the sides and lower back), the groin, the thighs, and the buttocks.

How Is a Body Lift Different Than a Tummy Tuck?

A traditional abdominoplasty will tighten the abdominal skin in a downward direction. A body lift performed on the lower abdomen pulls upward instead, lifting the buttocks and outer thighs as a bonus. The procedure also removes excess fat and skin from the back, hips, and flanks, which can be resistant to diet and exercise.

What Is Recovery Like After a Body Lift?

Patients will experience swelling, redness, and bruising in the first few days after surgery. It is recommended that patients take two to three weeks off from work. Most patients will be fully recovered within six weeks, with final results becoming visible after about three months. 

Body lift surgery involves surgical incisions to remove excess skin and fat. This inevitably results in some degree of scarring. These scars may be treated to heal quickly and fade over time. Scars may fade faster with proper lifestyle changes and proper after-care. 

What Should My Diet Include After Body Lift Surgery?

Healthy eating and regular exercise are the best ways to maintain the short and long-term benefits of body lift surgery. Consuming protein-rich foods before and after surgery will aid in the recovery process. 

Want to Learn More? 

If you’re trying to determine if it’s the right time to have a body lift surgery, our board certified plastic surgeons can help you understand expectations and any risks associated with body lift surgery. Schedule your complimentary consultation at Synergy Plastic Surgery today!

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