Body lifting procedures are becoming more and more popular recently due to the increase in bariatric surgery. When patients lose tone in the skin due to dramatic weight loss, the skin may not re-drape totally causing hanging of the skin and fat that is left. Incisions are made to try to be inconspicuous as possible and the extra skin and fat are removed making a tighter contoured look.
Patients who have had a significant weight loss or have lost tone due to age or prior illness are ideal candidates for this procedure. Patients who wish to have cellulite and fat removed but do not have tone to have liposuction would benefit from this as well.
Liposuction removes a significant amount of fat under the skin in different areas. The skin must have significant tone and tensile correction strength to tighten over the smaller amount of fat underneath. Patients who have already lost a great deal of weight may not be able to tighten further with additional fat amounts removed with liposuction.
That depends on the work that one does as well as which procedure is performed. Most of the lower body lifts and thigh lifts will require approximately 10-14 days off of work. As skin and fat only are typically worked on, there is not a long period of discomfort.
Most patients can appreciate the improvement quite soon after the surgery. Most of the time the incisions are closed with self dissolving sutures which improve scarring and remove the necessity of discomfort from suture removal. After a period of time you are placed in a garment to assist healing and contouring.
The time required for a body lift surgery depends on the type and extent of the surgery being performed and in general, 3-7 hours is typical. In some cases, it may be necessary to split up the surgery into two different sessions.
A body lift procedure can be an inpatient or outpatient procedure depending on the complexity of your surgery. During your consultation with Dr. Gabbay, he will recommend the best option for you.
Any side effects from a body lift procedure are usually temporary and can include bruising, swelling, numbness, and discomfort, which can be controlled with medication.
Your recovery time depends on many factors including the type of body lift you had and your individual healing capabilities. Most people resume a normal, light routine, in 2-3 weeks with limitations. The key to a successful outcome is to be patient and allow your body to heal properly.
The results after a body lift are long lasting, but the processes of gravity and aging are continuous, allowing some laxity in your skin. With proper diet and exercise, the results of a body lift can be permanent, as good skin quality maintains your body lift results.
Like all surgeries, mild to moderate pain or discomfort will be experienced during the body lift recovery process and can be controlled with medication.
A general anesthetic in most cases is required to perform a body lift procedure, although other options are available, and will be determined based on your individual needs during your consultation with Dr. Gabbay.
A body lift is also known as a belt lipectomy, torsoplasty, central body lift, circumferential torsoplasty, circumferential panniculectomy, circumferential lipectomy, upper body lift, total body lift, and lower body lift.
Body lift surgery will remove the saggy, excessive, and unsightly skin on your body found in the thighs, abdomen, buttocks, chest, back, waist, arms, and hips. Underlying supportive tissue is lifted and tightened which helps to sculpt and contour the body into a more attractive shape.
Each surgery is different depending upon the procedure used. Essentially, excess skin and fat is removed, and the remaining skin is tightened and contoured.
Scars from a body lift may take up to eighteen months before they flatten and lighten. Although they may never disappear, they are discretely hidden with clothing or in natural skin folds.
People typically take several weeks (or months) before they start feeling like their old self, so one of the most important things to do before surgery is to be as prepared and educated as possible. The ideal candidate for body lift surgery is physically fit and one who follows all instructions provided by Dr. Gabbay to ensure faster and better healing.
In some cases, patients have to stay home for up to six weeks after a total body lift depending on your healing capacity.
Normally, you will be provided with a medical compression garment that you will be required to wear at all times (except when bathing), until Dr. Gabbay determines that you have healed sufficiently.
For the first two days after the surgery, you will not be able to bathe, however, once the dressings are removed (typically the third day), you will be able to shower from then on.
As with most surgeries, you will swell and bruise. These symptoms are temporary and will subside after a few weeks.
You should arrange for someone to help you take care of your children after surgery, as you will need to rest to ensure that your incisions heal properly. You will not be allowed to carry heavy objects (nothing over 5 pounds) during your initial recovery period.
After your surgery, you will be allowed to take walks to keep your body active, but you should not participate in any strenuous activity during your healing period. Most people require 4-6 weeks of recovery time before participating in normal activities. For regular exercising, it may take two months of healing and recovery.
Depending on the type of surgery you had, many people return to light work (no reaching or lifting) after 2-3 weeks, although some patients may need to take six weeks off.
You will benefit from a body lift procedure if you:
- Have significant soft tissue looseness in one or more areas of your body
- You are not a smoker
- You have realistic expectations
- You will be dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle after your surgery
- You are in good physical condition
- You have good general health
During your consultation, Dr. Gabbay will discuss:
- Why you want a body lift
- What you are expecting from a body lift
- All of the body lift options available for surgery
- Your medical history
- Any allergies you have
- All of the current medications you are taking
- Any previous surgeries or pre-existing conditions you have had
- Your exact measurements and skin tone
- The risks and complications involved with a body lift
- What to expect from your body lift
Before you go through body lift surgery your weight must be stable.
Women who are considering future pregnancies should postpone having a body lift because the pregnancy would diminish the results.
A body lift is beneficial to both men and women.
The chest, back, and upper arms are included in upper body lift surgery to correct skin laxity in the upper body. Dr. Gabbay tailors each upper body lift to meet his patient’s individual needs.
In some cases, a combination of liposuction and surgical body lifts may be necessary to achieve an improved contour.
People who are not candidates for a body lift include:
- • An overweight person—In most cases a person must establish a stable weight for eighteen months before going through a body lift.
- • A physically unfit person—A person who smokes, uses drugs, or is an alcoholic is not a candidate for a body lift.
- • A person who suffers from chronic medical conditions—A person who has chronic diseases such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and cardiac issues should not have a body lift
- • Psychologically impaired people—Any person who has a psychiatric disorder is not a candidate for a body lift.
- • People who do not want scars—A body lift surgery involves numerous scars and although they are placed in inconspicuous locations that can be hidden with clothing or normal anatomical folds, scarring will take a long time to heal and the scars may never totally disappear.
A primary issue with body contouring after massive weight loss is the excessive amount of skin. This procedure requires multiple incisions to remove the excess, to obtain a better shape and contour. Scars are an inevitable result of these incisions. Most patients prefer inconspicuous scars to excessive skin and fat however.
Results may be fully visible after the swelling has abated and in most cases, 75 percent of the swelling dissipates at six weeks and 90 percent is gone by three months.
After your body lift surgery, you must arrange for someone to take you home and care for you at least the first few days following your procedure.