Restore Your Confidence after Weight Loss
A body lift is a surgical procedure designed to correct excess and sagging skin around the entire trunk. The resulting scar is low, and similar to an abdominoplasty in the front of the abdomen, but continues all the way around the abdomen like a belt. In circumstances where there is a more profound amount of excess skin in the abdominal region, patients may elect to have a fleur-de-lis body lift, where there is also a vertical scar in the midline of the abdomen joined to the belt incision. Examples of this can be found in the body lift before and after gallery.
Most patients who get a body lift procedure have lost weight in excess of 50lbs, with some reaching numbers several times that. After losing this significant amount of weight, the skin loses its ability to “snap back” into place, and the remaining skin can look deflated, saggy and may have significant stretch marks.
After the hard work and time committed to losing significant amounts of weight, a plastic surgery procedure to remove this excess skin can be the icing on the cake to let patients live the life they want and wear the clothing they want.
The body lift procedure involves removing the excess skin, and often tightening the loose abdominal muscles that have been stretched by childbirth or carrying the deep, visceral, fatty deposits for years before weight loss.
While liposuction is often also performed at the time of body lift, it is important to remember that body lift and liposuction are not weight reduction operations. Rather, they are surgical procedures aimed at improving the contour of the abdomen and buttocks.
Before recommending a surgical procedure, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will see you to determine the best procedure to meet your goals, budget and timeline. The ideal patient is at a stable and maintainable weight after their weight loss. Depending on how you lost your weight, your surgeon may recommend special pre-operative lab work to make sure you are properly absorbing vitamins and minerals before surgery. This is more often an issue in patients who have had a surgical weight loss procedure such as a gastric bypass, band or sleeve.
Patients do not necessarily need to be at an “ideal body weight” for surgery, but their weight needs to be stable and maintainable. Your surgeon may recommend waiting if your weight loss is not at a stable plateau.
Our Albuquerque board-certified plastic surgeons have authored several book chapters on procedures such as body lift, and fleur-de-lis body lift and are considered experts in the field of body contouring after massive weight loss.
To find out if you are a candidate for a body lift procedure, please call our office to make an appointment for your personal consultation.
Body Lift and Other Procedures Following Massive Weight Loss
After massive weight loss, achieved via a weight loss procedure like gastric bypass or through diet and exercise, many patients are bothered by the residual deflated and hanging skin at their abdomen, buttocks and often other areas like the arms, thighs, upper back and neck. Our surgeons will often recommend to “stage” these operations to achieve better healing. This can mean several operations, typically spaced out by around 3 months. Often the journey of body contouring after weight loss can last a year or more to get perfect results.
Our surgeons will talk with you in detail during your consultation to discuss what areas bother you most, and what procedures are recommended to performed in what order.
If there are significant fatty problem areas left despite weight loss, these can often be addressed by first performing a thorough liposuctioning of the area, followed by a period of time to let the swelling reside. Once all swelling is gone, which can take 3-6 months depending on the area of the body, your surgeon will then discuss a secondary procedure to come back and remove the deflated skin.
It is important to remember during your consultation that an area with significant fatty deposits may require more than one operation to get the best results. This is usually approached by first removing the fat and then coming back to remove the skin. The reason for this is that liposuction can cause swelling, and if there is a fresh healing incision in the area of liposuction, that swelling can make the incision heal poorly. Examples of this can be found in our before & after gallery.
Albuquerque Body Lift Surgery Options
In body lifting, the goal is to tighten the skin of the abdomen in front of the body, and lift the sagging buttocks skin the back. Some patients also will require muscle tightening to achieve a flatter profile view of the abdomen. The body lift procedure does slightly flatten the buttocks tissue, so if a prominent and curvy buttocks region is one of your goals, your surgeon may recommend the body lift first with plans to come back and do liposuction of another problem fatty area to harvest fat and inject it around the buttocks as a Brazilian Butt Lift.
Recently, Exparel (an emulsified Marcaine solution) has gained popularity in post-operative pain management. Exparel is not an opioid and provides an extended numbing effect of the surgical area. Discuss with us in your consultation to determine whether you are a good candidate.