Body Lift Basics

Published: September 28, 2021
Category: Dr. Christine Stewart, Body Lift, Plastic Surgery, Liposuction

The rewards that come with extreme weight loss are substantial. Less joint pain, decreased risk for heart disease, reduced cholesterol levels, and a serious boost in self-confidence are just a few of the immense benefits of significant fat loss in an obese individual. Yet, with these rewards can also come a large amount of excess, loose skin that is not only unattractive but uncomfortable as well. A Body Lift is a highly effective way to remove this sagging skin so a patient can see the true shape of their weight loss success!

body contouring patient

What is a Body Lift?

When obese people lose a significant amount of weight, they are typically left with an overabundance of loose skin, especially in the midsection. This skin is incapable of entirely shrinking down to the body’s new slimmer size and dimensions. Dealing with the extra skin can be very frustrating as it can limit a patient’s mobility, cause irritation and soreness, and even result in fungal infections between the skin folds. Sagging skin can also make patients feel tremendously self-conscious and prevent them from enjoying all of the wonderful benefits of their weight loss victory!

Body Lift surgery, sometimes called “belt lipectomy,” can help a patient improve the shape and contour of their body by safely removing excess skin that results from dramatic weight loss. The surgery is customized to the unique needs and “problem areas” of each patient. It can even combine other procedures, like Liposuction, to further enhance a patient’s results. A full Body Lift procedure generally focuses on removing excess skin from the waist, hips, thighs, buttocks, back, and abdomen to reveal the leaner form beneath.

body lift before and after photo

The incision for a Body Lift procedure is typically a circumferential incision around the waist. This can be adjusted to match a patient’s specific needs and be designed to lift different areas of the body. Scars are unavoidable with a Body Lift, but your surgeon will strive to make them as discreet as possible.

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Body Lift Surgery?

Good candidates for Body Lift surgery are generally patients who have lost a significant amount of weight on their own or through gastric bypass surgery and now have loose or sagging skin. Like any surgery, a Body Lift candidate should be in good health before and after their procedure and abstain from smoking. Other factors that make someone an ideal candidate for Body Lift surgery include:

  • The patient has lost a significant amount of weight through diet, exercise, or gastric bypass surgery.
  • Gastric bypass patients who are at least twelve months out from surgery and have maintained a stable weight for at least six of those months.
  • The patient is experiencing excess skin around the stomach, back, buttocks, and/or thighs.
  • The patient feels self-conscious about excess skin and is suffering physical discomfort.
  • The patient agrees to maintain a steady weight for at least one year after their Body Lift  surgery.

body lift surgery candidate

What is the Recovery from Body Lift Surgery Like?

A Body Lift is an extensive operation. The procedure itself typically takes 4-5 hours for your surgeon to perform. Recovery takes longer than other procedures, such as Tummy Tuck, because the surgery can have several focus areas and is more comprehensive. Depending on the patient and the extent of their surgery, Body Lift recovery can take more than a month. Some patients may return to work in as little as two weeks, while others need six weeks or more. Regardless, it is crucial not to rush your recovery and prioritize your health and limitations at this time to ensure the best outcome.

Patients will have extensive limitations on movements and activities after Body Lift surgery. You must stay away from all strenuous activity for weeks after surgery to avoid complications and damage to your incisions. Post-care instructions must be followed to the letter after a Body Lift, and it’s imperative to stay in open and frank communication with your surgeon if you have any concerns.

Even though scarring is inevitable and recovery is extensive, most Body Lift patients find the surgery well worth it. Results from this procedure can reshape not only a patient’s body but also transform their life!  

Have you lost an extreme amount of weight due to gastric bypass surgery or diet and exercise and are now frustrated with excess, sagging skin? If so, you may be a candidate for Body Lift surgery. Schedule a complimentary consultation with an Edina Plastic Surgery board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options. Call (612) 688-3177 or CLICK HERE to get started!

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