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 completed in conjunction with a body lift.
Reasons for Considering a Body Lift:
- Reshape mid-body contour.
- Correct sagging skin and fat due to aging or excessive weight loss.
- Remedy weight gain and stretched skin caused by multiple pregnancies.
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. Adjustments to the buttocks and thighs require an incision at the crease of the buttocks. Excess skin is then removed, followed by the underlying fat deposits. Finally, the skin is pulled taught and sutured into the new configuration. 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. Tubes are often placed to drain excess fluids. The scars resulting from the incisions are permanent but are carefully placed so as to minimize visibility. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication. Recovery time varies with the extent of the procedure. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions that are given after the surgery.