Body lift surgery is an extremely effective procedure for patients with excess skin resulting from weight loss. Depending on the location of the excess skin, patients may choose to undergo either an upper, mid, or lower body lift. For patients with significant amounts of excess skin through out the midsection, lower body, and extremities, a combination of these techniques called Full Or Total Body Lift Surgery may be the best option.
Types of Body Lifts
The type of body lift surgery you choose will greatly depend upon the location of the excess skin on your body, as well as your overall aesthetic goals. Your cosmetic surgeon can focus on a specific part of your body, as is done in an Arm lift or a thigh lift, or take a more inclusive approach and treat a larger area all at once.
These "full-scale" kinds of body lift surgery include the upper, mid, and lower body lift and serve to eliminate excess skin over large areas of the body. Even more complete are the body lifts that create an entirely new figure. These procedures are commonly referred to as Total Body Lift Surgery. Although recovery from total body lift surgery is more involved than that of smaller-scale body lift techniques, experienced cosmetic surgeons are often able to achieve the best results with this kind of treatment.
Lower Body Lift
Many patients find that the majority of weight lost occurs in areas such as the buttocks, hips, and thighs. Extreme weight loss can leave large folds of skin that cause chafing and discomfort. A lower body lift can not only remove this excess skin, but also lift the buttocks and add flattering contours to the patient's body.
The lower body lift procedure begins with the surgeon making an incision around the belt-line of the waist, across the lower abdomen, and down the inner thighs. Excess fat and skin are then removed before the incisions are closed and covered with bandages and a compressing garment. Because it is difficult to effectively tighten the lower body and not the abdomen, many patients choose to combine lower body lift surgery with an Abdominoplasty [ Tummy Tuck] or a mid body lift.
Mid Body Lift
Mid body lift, also called torsoplasty, treats the abdominal region in addition to the body parts addressed by a lower body lift (thighs, hips, buttocks). Many patients prefer this method of body lift surgery to a lower body lift alone because the surgeon is able to create a smooth, continuous contours from the abdomen all the way down to the thighs.
To complete the torsoplasty, excess skin is removed via incisions similar to those used in lower body lift. The cosmetic surgeon uses the incision around the waist to access the abdominal muscles. The muscles are then pulled together and stitched into place to create a trimmer waistline and a flatter stomach. The incision is then closed and bandaged.
Total Body Lift Surgery
Total body lift surgery is helpful for patients who have lost skin elasticity all over their body. Excess skin can cause severe chafing and discomfort, as well as prevent patients from wearing clothes in a smaller size. Total body lifts address every part of the body that commonly accumulates fat and surplus skin: arms, breasts, abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks can all be recontoured to achieve a smooth, trim, and lifted appearance.
You may hear total body lift surgery referred to as an upper and lower body lift. In an upper body lift, the arms are treated with an arm lift and the breasts are contoured with a breast lift. These two surgeries can be performed separately or during a mid or lower body lift.
Though a total body lift is the most comprehensive way to rejuvenate your figure after massive weight loss, you need to take into account the extended recovery period required for such complex surgery. You should be prepared to remain at home for up to six weeks after your total body lift surgery and to follow all instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon. Once the swelling has gone down and the scars begin to fade, most patients are extremely satisfied with their new appearance.