As we age, our skin loses some of its natural firmness and elasticity. This causes it to sag. This sagging can also occur as the result of significant weight loss. Saggy skin and fat most commonly occur around the mid-section, thighs and buttocks. In addition to the skin and fat sagging in these areas, cellulite may also develop. If you have stubborn areas of sagging fat and skin, you may be a good candidate for a body lift.
What is a Body Lift?
A body lift is a cosmetic procedure that reduces sagging fat and skin by improving the shape and tone of the underlying tissue. Excess skin and tissue are removed during the procedure. Unlike other procedures that are intended to treat just one area, a body lift is performed to improve contours of the lower back, flanks, buttocks, upper thigh areas and abdomen. A body lift is an overall body contouring treatment that is made up of numerous procedures.
How is a Body Lift Performed?
The exact procedure for a body lift can vary based upon the exact nature of the issues being treated. Because the surgery is intended to overall improve body contouring, it is likely that your surgeon will conduct several procedures. A body lift commonly includes a tummy tuck, lower back and buttock lift and possibly liposuction of the hips, sides and thighs. IV sedation or general anesthesia is used, so you are asleep during the procedure. Your surgeon will strategically place the incisions to try to camouflage the resulting scars as much as possile. Excess skin and fat are removed. The muscles in your abdomen and lower body will also be tightened as much as possible. All the incisions are then carefully and meticulously closed using sutures.
Am I a Candidate for a Body Lift?
A body lift procedure is not intended to be used as a substitute for healthy weight loss. You need to be in good overall health and free from serious illnesses or disorders that could cause delayed healing or increased bleeding. Patients who are good candidates for a body lift are of a healthy weight and have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of excess fat and saggy skin through exercise and a healthy diet.
Recovering from a Body Lift
The body lift procedure is major surgery, and you should expect a few weeks of downtime before being able to return to work and strenuous physical activity. The exact length of downtime will vary depending on the nature of your procedure. You may experience some post-surgery discomfort, bruising and swelling. Depending on the extent of the surgery it may be necessary to use drainage tubes. Discomfort can be managed with medications your surgeon will prescribe. Your surgeon will also give you detailed aftercare instructions that, when followed closely, decrease healing time and minimize scarring. You may need to wear some type of compression garment for up to six weeks. Once healed, patients are very happy with the results.