A circumferential body lift is a procedure that removes skin and subcutaneous fat in the abdomen as well as skin in the waist and buttock areas, resulting in a smoother, more youthful body contour. It is essentially a tummy tuck performed all around the body to tighten and contour the abdomen, lower back, outer thighs and buttock. During this procedure, not only will the skin be lifted and tightened with a circumferential incision, but liposuction will also reduce the fat in these problematic areas. Both men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight, have found changes in their torso with aging, or women who have undergone pregnancy may seek this procedure.
If you have excess belly fat and lax skin around the abdominal area, upper thighs, and lower back that have not responded to diet and exercise, a circumferential body lift may be right for you. Most commonly, men and women who have had massive weight loss find that the skin doesn’t have the elasticity to respond to the loss of weight. A body lift may also benefit you if you have stretched/separated abdominal muscles, usually as a result of pregnancy or significant fluctuations in weight. A circumferential body lift is designed to re-contour the torso, making the abdomen flatter as well as lifting the buttock and outer thighs.
A good candidate for a circumferential body lift is someone who is near their ideal body weight. If you plan to lose more than 20 pounds, you should wait to have your body lift, as the weight loss could cause additional lax skin. During your consultation with Dr. Stiller, he will discuss your ideal body goals with you and review all options to best create a plan that is unique and specific to you.
A circumferential body lift procedure begins with Dr. Stiller performing liposuction to help contour and remove excess fat from the abdomen, outer thighs and flanks. This is done by inserting a small tube called a cannula, which is attached to a suction device. Dr. Stiller will then make a horizontal incision from one hip to the other on both sides of the body to tighten and remove excess skin. This tightens not only the abdomen but the lower back and raises the buttock. The incision is usually placed just above the pubic area and along the lower back to be easily be hidden by swimsuits and underwear. Another incision is made around the belly button to free it from overlying tissue.
If necessary, the stomach muscles may also be tightened along the midline to repair any muscle separation. This is done by suturing the fascia and removing the extra tissue. The belly button is repositioned to the correct position by creating a new opening in the skin. Once this is complete, Dr. Stiller pulls down the outer skin over the abdomen, trims away the excess tissue, and sutures the incisions closed. Drains are not needed for this procedure, as the lymphatic system is kept intact.
A circumferential body lift is an outpatient procedure, so after a short period of recovery time, you will go home the same day. Recovery after a body lift can vary between patients however, most patients recover very well. When you wake up from surgery, you will be in a full body compression garment, which we strongly advise you wear 24 hours a day for the first 2 weeks, followed by 2 more weeks of wearing the garment during times of activity. For the first 2-3 weeks, you can expect bruising, swelling, and a feeling of abdominal tightness and you may notice it feels difficult to completely stand up straight.
Most patients take about 2 weeks off work, however, some may take longer or return sooner depending on the physical demands of their job. As the body heals, patients can usually return to normal exercise around 6 weeks.
You will be provided with detailed post-operative instructions upon completion of your procedure. If at any time you should have any questions or concerns after surgery, please contact our practice immediately.
Body lift results can vary, so it is important to be patient. Most patients notice a significant difference in the first 3 months as the swelling continues to improve. However, it is normal to experience numbness of the lower central abdomen and back for several months. You will have a scar on your lower abdomen and lower back which may appear pink and raised 2-3 months after surgery. As time goes on, the color will begin to fade and the scar will flatten. If your stretch marks were located in areas of loose skin, they will be gone. However, there may still be stretch marks in areas that are not excised. After your body lift, you will lose inches and have a slimmer waist but a body lift is not a substitute for weight loss. Maintaining a steady weight can help you keep your results.