A body lift is an operation that removes excess skin and subcutaneous fat from the lower body. This includes the abdominal area, buttocks, groin, and thighs. This is typically performed in individuals who’ve had significant fluctuations in weight. However, aging, sun damage, pregnancy, and genetic factors can also play a role. A body lift removes excess skin and fat where liposuction only removes excess fat.
Ideal Body Lift Candidates
The most common candidate is an individual who has undergone gastric bypass surgery in order to lose a significant amount of weight. Being healthy without other medical conditions that would slow healing is important. Being a nonsmoker is critical to the success of a body lift. It is important to talk about your expectations with Dr. Robin Evans—our board-certified plastic surgeon—and have realistic goals for your body lift operation.
How do I Prepare for Body Lift Surgery?
Being at a stable, ideal weight will give you the optimal result. Having a healthy diet and lifestyle will also decrease the risk of poor healing and other complications. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or herbal medications for 2 weeks prior to her operation. Being a nonsmoker is critical to the success of body lift surgery.
What Steps are Involved in a Body Lift?
A body lift is a large operation. It requires extensive incisions that are uniquely designed to each individual patient. A circumferential incision around the body removes the apron of excess skin and fat from both the front and rear. Excess skin and fat is also redraped in order to improve contour. Occasionally liposuction is used at the same time. The incisions are closed with multiple layers of sutures. Drains are used. Typically patients stay in the hospital after the procedure.
What are the Risks of Having a Body Lift?
Because a body lift is a larger operation there are surgical risks associated with it. There is the risk of having a general anesthetic. As well having an extensive incision does run the risk of poor wound healing. Often patients who have lost a significant amount of weight have changes to their vasculature that predispose them to poor or delayed wound healing. Drains are used to help prevent an accumulation of fluid called a seroma. Drains will typically stay in place for 1-2 weeks. Because of the length of the procedure there is a risk of blood clots. Patients will be placed on blood thinners after the operation in order to decrease the chance of pulmonary complications secondary to a blood clot.