Plastic surgeries become more and more common and the trend to improve our bodies with the help of surgeon’s scissors does not seem to have an end. Traditionally, plastic surgeries such as breast enhancement or liposuction are well-known, but what about a body lift?
Body lift surgery is one of the plastic surgeries that improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports skin and fat. With a body lift surgery, surgeons remove the excess sagging skin and fat, and this improves the irregular skin surface.
In this article, we will answer frequently asked questions about body lift surgery process for you to get the general idea of this procedure if you are about to have one.
What Is Body Lift Surgery?
Body lift surgery is a body plastic surgery in which excess skin is removed in some parts of the patient’s body or throughout all of it. Often it is not a matter of aesthetic searching for perfect beauty, as it happens to be with many cosmetic surgeries, but rather a necessity.
One of the primary target groups for the body lift surgery are people who underwent a dramatic weight loss either due to a rigorous diet and regular sports or thanks to bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass surgery, in which one’s stomach is downsized to accept less food than previously, leading to remarkable weight loss. They often experience having lots of loose skin after weight loss, which hang from one’s body, affecting negatively one’s struggles with weight loss or even negating the sense of such a change in the first place. Thankfully, nowadays such people can undergo a body lift cosmetic surgery and say goodbye to saggy skin after weight loss.
Typically, body lift surgery includes removing loose skin and ‘stubborn’ fat, fat which does not go away despite our best intentions.
In Brazilian body lift surgery, it is called Brazilian butt lift; surgeons perform liposuction to remove fat from some areas of the body often the stomach, hips, and thighs and then transfer that fat to the buttocks.
Male patients undergoing massive weight loss are also treated very similarly to females. However, there are some fundamental differences. Males typically have more truncal laxity, sparing their extremities. Their mons area often has heavier components causing vertical and horizontal skin laxity. In male body lift surgery, surgeons often make the anterior incision slightly higher than 5 to 7 cm so that the incision is more straight rather than curvilinear.
Types of Body Lift Surgery
There are three main types of body lift surgery. The choice between them depends on places where the excess skin is located. These are:
• Lower Body Lift – lower body lift plastic surgery is a procedure to correct deformities in the abdomen, mons, flanks, lateral thighs, and buttocks.
A lower body lift is performed often as a one large incision going around the body, followed by the removal of loose skin and fat. Remaining ends of skin are tied together to create a new shape of one’s lower body.
• Mid Body Lift – mid body lift is addressed to people who want to improve the look of not only their lower body parts but also abdomen. Mid body lift surgery resembles the lower body lift but is not focused solely on the excess skin. Additionally, it includes tightening and reconnecting (if ripped) abdominal muscles (quite like in tummy tuck). In mid body lift surgery, the surgeon aspirates the abdominal fat removes the supra-pubic skin redundancy, and remove the medial part of the abdominal skin if it is needed.
• Full Body Lift (Total Body Lift) – full or total body lift is a body plastic surgery in which the excess skin throughout the patient’s body becomes the target of a skilled plastic surgeon. This means dealing with the loose skin on not only buttocks, thighs and abdomen, but also arms and other parts of the upper body which suffer from the saggy skin after the massive weight loss. Total body lift surgery, due to its quite wide scope, is often performed in two or more parts. It is the most effective but also most expensive, and time-consuming one, not to mention a quite long recovery period.
It is worth to mention that body lift surgery of any type is often paired with other cosmetic surgeries. As an example, ‘stubborn’ fat extracted by liposuction from patient’s buttocks or lower abdomen may be reused in breast augmentation – such a procedure we know as a fat transfer.
Especially full body lift surgery before and after pictures give the idea of its effectiveness that they are often very surprising and have difficulty to believe in patient itself.
Body Lift Surgery Recovery
Body lift recovery may be a quite long process, though it depends mostly on the type of body lift and the amount of excess skin and fat removed during this body surgery. While patients after lower body lift can resume their activities after 2-3 weeks and midbody lift patients need to wait 3-4 weeks. For the total body lift surgery recovery, patients may need to wait as long as 6 weeks. During the recovery from body lift surgery, it is crucial to follow your doctor’s advice, which can be quite individual since various areas may be treated in this body plastic surgery. Especially in the first days after the body lift surgery, it is good to have somebody taking care of you because you need to rest as much as possible and avoid putting pressure on recently closed incisions.
Researches emphasize the importance of good weight status before surgery and cessation of smoking to minimize the risk of complications. Careful preoperative planning and patient selection are critical to optimizing the results of body lift surgery of post-bariatric patients.
Cost of Body Lift Surgery
Body lift surgery costs may vary greatly, depending on a few factors. First of all, body lift surgery prices change according to the type of surgery. Logically, the lowest will be lower body lift surgery cost, while the highest will be full body lift surgery cost.
There are also other factors impacting excessive skin removal cost. For example, if you undergo a full body lift, you may have two body surgery appointments separately – one for lower and one for upper parts. Finally, the cost of skin removal will depend on your plastic surgeon (the better – the more expensive) and the country. As an example, in Turkey, a body lift surgery cost will be 8100 €, while for a similar operation in the USA you are bound to pay a few thousands more on average, with only lower body lift cost being more than 7000€.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in February 2019.