What is a Body Lift?
Patients with a history of massive weight loss often have significant amounts of redundant and excess skin that obscures the results of their massive weight loss. A lower body lift removes excess tissue of the back, abdomen, buttocks and thighs. It elevates the sagging tissues of the buttocks and thighs and tightens the skin and tissues of the abdomen and back. The overall effect is dramatic, revealing the true lines and contours of the underlying muscles and body.
Who is a candidate for Body Lift?
You may want to consider a body lift if you have:
- Excess skin and laxity of the soft tissues of the abdomen, back, thighs, and buttocks secondary to massive weight loss
- Difficult with hygiene and chronic rashes due to the redundant tissue and excess skin
As with all body contouring procedures, the ideal patient has been stable at their goal weight and does not have plans for future weight loss.
How is Body Lift Performed?
A body lift combines multiple procedures into one circumferential procedure. The procedure starts with a traditional abdominoplasty and rectus muscle plication. The patient is then turned onto their stomach and the abdominoplasty incisions are carried over the hips and superior border of the buttocks. These incisions are used to elevate the excess buttock and outer thigh skin and soft tissue, which are then excised. Multiple drains are placed and the patient is placed into compression garments.
All surgeries are associated with risks. The risks of a circumferential body lift are similar to those of other body contouring procedures. The most common risks are wound healing problems, fluid collections (seromas), and unsightly scars. Additional risks include bleeding, infection, asymmetry, and need for revisional procedures. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your surgery and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.
Patients who undergo a circumferential body lift will have more motion restrictions and difficulty with mobilization than with other body contouring procedures. Although it is important to protect the incision lines, it is also important to ambulate and mobilize a little bit every day. For this reason, it is recommended that patients stay in an aftercare facility for at least several days. This will allow them to maximize the assistance available to them, to have assistance with mobilization, and to prevent them from over-exerting themselves. Movements will be difficult and limited for the first 1-2 weeks. After 2 weeks, activity can slowly increase but no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise should be performed until after 6 weeks. Patients will have multiple drains, and they should expect to have weekly office visits until all drains are removed. Depending on their type of employment, patients may be able to return to work in 2-3 weeks.