What is a Body Lift?
Substantial weight loss, pregnancy, and age can cause your body to change in appearance…and not always for the better. The abdominal skin can become loose and saggy, while the rear thighs and buttocks descend and droop.
A body lift is a procedure to circumferentially remove excess skin and fatty tissue all the way around the lower abdomen, flanks and lower back.
The surgical scar is hidden below the pant line, running around the body along the lower abdomen, flank and lower back, just above the buttocks. There is an additional incision around the belly button.
A body lift is done under general anesthetic and takes 5 hours, followed by an overnight stay in the hospital. The procedure begins with liposuction to remove the excess fat. Following this, the skin is excised to elevate the buttock and lateral thigh. Often liposuction of the mid back is done at the same time.
Two drains are then placed while the back incision is closed. Next, the abdominal portion of the procedure begins. This is very similar to an abdominoplasty involving additional excision of skin along the flanks. If the abdominal muscles are spread (a rectus diastasis), they are tightened, and the excess skin is removed.
Two additional drains are placed under the abdominal skin. A compression garment is put on at the end of the procedure.
Here are some things to expect following your surgery:
- While in hospital, you are encouraged to begin walking as soon as possible as well as begin drinking fluids and slowly starting solid foods.
- A urinary catheter is inserted at the beginning of the procedure and removed the following morning.
- Once you are comfortable walking, drinking, eating, and getting to the bathroom you can be discharged home.
- The drains are typically in place for 2-5 days.
- The dressings are changed daily and the compression garment is worn for 4 weeks.
- Patients typically require 2 weeks of downtime and should avoid strenuous exercise for 6 weeks.