The Top 7 Questions About Body Lift Surgery

Published: June 21, 2022
Category: Body Lift

Working hard to lose significant weight to improve your overall health is a huge accomplishment! Whether you’ve achieved this goal through diet and exercise or were assisted by bariatric surgery, your success should be celebrated. Even so, many people find they are left with a dissatisfying amount of excess skin around their abdomen, buttocks, and thighs after completing their weight loss journey. This loose, sagging skin may rob them of the joy and pride they deserve to feel in themselves after their hard work. Fortunately, Body Lift surgery can help reveal a patient’s new, slimmer profile and allow them to celebrate their renewed health, energy, and confidence after extreme weight loss.

“After losing a substantial amount of weight, many people struggle both physically and mentally with the loose, hanging skin and folds that are left behind,” says Dr. Nathan Leigh, a board-certified plastic surgeon, and partner at Edina Plastic Surgery. “This excess skin hides their accomplishment, and they can feel like their true self is hidden by the larger frame they formerly filled out. This skin can be incredibly discouraging because how wonderful that patient feels on the inside is not what they see reflected in the mirror. Body Lift surgery removes this excess skin and restores a tighter, more youthful contour and appearance to the lower body. The results can be life-changing for patients.”

#1 – What can a Body Lift achieve?

A Body Lift can dramatically reshape your body by removing excess skin and stubborn pockets of fat that frequently result from extreme weight loss. The surgery typically includes the abdominal area, hips, buttocks, and upper thighs. Body Lift is a customized surgery. In some cases, the procedure addresses the midsection’s entire circumference with incisions extending all the way around the lower abdomen and lower back.

“Like Mommy Makeover surgery, a Body Lift improves multiple areas of concern simultaneously,” explains Dr. Leigh. “It is completely customized for the patient’s unique body shape and needs. The goals of a Body Lift are to tighten the abdominal skin and muscle through an extension of Tummy Tuck surgery and to incorporate a lateral Thigh Lift and Buttocks Lift for comprehensive rejuvenation of the entire lower body.”

#2-Who is the best candidate for Body Lift surgery?

The best candidate for a Body Lift procedure has skin laxity that extends around the lower body. This excess skin commonly results after massive weight loss, such as gastric bypass surgeries, but it can also result from large pregnancies or even a genetic predisposition for lax skin. Patients who have had massive weight loss by bariatric surgery should be at least one year out from their surgery and should have maintained their weight, within 10-20 lbs. of their goal weight, for at least six months.

#3 – Can other procedures be performed with Body Lift surgery?

“Adding Liposuction to a Body Lift surgery can significantly improve a patient’s overall result because it allows your surgeon to contour your body, not just remove excess skin,” says Dr. Leigh. “Performed alone, a Body Lift will remove loose skin and some unwanted fat. Performed in conjunction with Liposuction, a Body Lift will sculpt smooth, attractive contours and help you achieve a more balanced appearance to the body as a whole.”

The effects of massive weight loss aren’t limited to the lower body. An Arm Lift may also be an option for patients hoping to reduce excess skin and fat between the underarm and elbow.

Arm Lift surgery, or Brachioplasty, addresses drooping tissue on the underside of the upper arms, often referred to as “bat wings,” explains Dr. Leigh. “Incisions are placed along the inside of the arm or along the back of the arm and may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow. The arms can also be treated with Liposuction for additional contouring. Combining an Arm Lift with a Body Lift can transform the upper and lower body in one surgery. Some patients even take this further by adding Breast Enhancement surgery to their Body Lift procedure.”

#4 – Can a Body Lift help you lose weight?

A Body Lift is not intended for weight loss. Your plastic surgeon will want you close to or at your ideal weight before considering this procedure. Being within a healthy weight range before surgery can make your recovery easier, improve how your incisions heal, reduce the risk of certain complications and even decrease your downtime.

#5 – Where are the incisions for Body Lift surgery made?

“The length and type of incisions used in Body Lift surgery will depend on the amount of excess skin that will be removed and the location of that skin,” says Dr. Leigh. “An in-depth consultation is required before your surgery to map out the ideal placement of these incisions. Advanced surgical techniques frequently allow incisions to be strategically placed, so they are hidden by most clothing and swimsuits.”

#6 – What is recovery like after Body Lift surgery?

Rest is essential after Body Lift surgery. A patient will be tired after anesthesia and may feel dizzy and off-balance when standing or walking. Pain medications and other prescriptions will be given to you after surgery and should be used as directed by your plastic surgeon.

It’s normal to experience one or more of the following in the weeks after Body Lift surgery:

  • Swelling Bruising 
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Redness around incisions
  • Skin tightness
  • Numbness 
  • Constipation while taking narcotics

“To reduce post-surgical risk and accelerate recovery, Edina Plastic Surgery uses a pain management protocol that allows early walking,” shares Dr. Leigh. “Many patients transition to over-the-counter pain medications after the first week, and some find that they need none at all by this point. Steri-Strips are placed over the incisions, which are closed with absorbable sutures. Drains are usually used in this operation and will be removed based on output, normally about one to three weeks after the procedure. I advise patients to take two to three weeks off work and wait two to three months before resuming all normal activities.”

#7 – What results can I expect after Body Lift surgery?

Body Lift surgery leaves a significant scar, but it’s important to remember that it is through this scar that your results are possible,” says Dr. Leigh. “At Edina Plastic Surgery, we generally begin a scar therapy treatment program three weeks after your Body Lift. We’re also lucky to have our medical spa, Skin Artisans, directly next door. Their providers offer many in-office treatments that help minimize the appearance of scars and improve the overall health and appearance of your skin.”

Although you will be swollen after Body Lift surgery, you will see immediate results in your body’s overall shape and contour. As swelling subsides, a whole new profile will emerge, and a slimmer, more contoured you will be revealed! The improvements from a Body Lift are generally long-lasting. As with any body contouring procedure, you must be dedicated to the result and use a common-sense approach to diet and exercise to maintain your new figure. A healthy lifestyle can help you enjoy your Body Lift results for as long as possible.

Schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss Body Lift surgery with Dr. Leigh or another board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery by calling (612) 688-3177, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE!

Schedule A Consultation