A body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is a procedure to raise and reshape unsightly, sagging body contours. During the aging process, skin loses some elasticity, causing the mid-section to lose its natural shape and firmness. This procedure is designed to remove loose skin and related fat deposits, thus, providing a more youthful appearance. A body lift can be applied to the lower torso and upper legs including the abdomen, waist, inner/outer thighs, buttocks, and/or hips. Liposuction may also be used in conjunction with a body lift.
Reasons for Considering a Body Lift:
Reshape mid-body contour.
Correct sagging skin and fat due to aging.
Remedy stretched skin caused by multiple pregnancies.
Remove excess skin after significant weight loss (e.g. following gastric-bypass surgery).
The precise procedure varies with each patient, depending on the body type and desired surgical outcome. Generally speaking, the body lift procedure entails making an incision that follows the upper and/or inner thigh, to the waistline. In more extensive surgeries, the incision goes completely around the waist and lower back. Excess skin is then removed, followed by the underlying fat deposits. Finally, the skin is pulled tight and sutured. The entire procedure can last from 3 to 7 hours. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
Generally, post-operative instructions require plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Bandages are applied right after surgery to minimize swelling and provide support. Drainage tubes are placed to remove excess fluids. The scars resulting from the incisions are permanent but are carefully placed so as to minimize visibility. Patients sometimes report pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication. Recovery time varies with the extent of the procedure. Complications can occur secondary to the significant length of the incision and the duration of the operation. It is important to discuss the risks of the procedure with your plastic surgeon prior to proceding with surgery. You can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions that are given after the surgery.