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Body Lift - What Should You Know?

Reviewed by
Dr. Vijay Kumar 92% (44 ratings)
MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Mysore  •  6 years experience
Body Lift - What Should You Know?

For obese men and women, seeing the numbers fall on a weighing scale is only half the battle won. Drastic weight loss often leaves people with sagging skin and stubborn fat deposits. This can take away the satisfaction from losing all that weight and affect a person's self-confidence. It also has health risks as sagging skin and folds are vulnerable to fungal infections and cause discomfort. Exercising does not help much when it comes to this problem but thankfully, plastic surgery does in the form of a body lift surgery. 

A body lift surgery is a procedure to improve the shape and form of tissue that supports skin by removing excess fat and skin. This procedure typically addresses the abdomen, buttocks, groin and thighs and has visible results almost immediately. The procedure can be customized according to the patient's need and a patient may choose to undergo an upper, mid, lower or total body lift.

To be a viable candidate for such a procedure a person must have lost between 30 to 50 percent of their body weight and since then has stabilized their weight. Any further fluctuations can affect the results of this procedure hence most surgeons advise patients to wait for two years after having achieved their desired weight before undergoing this procedure. They must also be a good mental and physical health. In cases of weight loss through bariatric surgery, the plastic surgeon will also need approval from the specialist. For women, in addition to the above, they must also not be planning to have children after the surgery.

Like any other operation, this procedure is also associated with some risks. Some of these are:

  • Anaesthesia-related problems
  • Hematomas
  • Accumulation of blood or serum
  • Skin sensations including slight numbness.
  • Recurrent loosening of skin
  • Persistent pain
  • Asymmetrical contours

This procedure is performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The surgeon then makes a circumferential incision to remove excess skin and reposition and tighten the underlying tissues. Often, a body lift is combined with liposuction to achieve the desired contours. Finally, the incisions are closed with deep support sutures, skin adhesives, tape and clips. Most patients are advised to wear compression garments after such a procedure to support the skin ad tissues as they heal. Pain killers and antibiotics are also prescribed to be taken after the surgery.

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