Body Lift Basics
A Circumferential Body Lift is a procedure which removes the excess skin and fat from the abdomen, outer thighs, lower back and buttocks. It is essentially a tummy tuck all around the body to tighten and contour. During this procedure, not only will the skin be tightened with a circumferential incision, but liposuction will also reduce the fat in these problem areas. Both men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight, find changes in their torso with aging or women after pregnancy seek this procedure.
Body Lift Benefits
- Tightened and firm skin
- Reduction of excess skin and fat
- Contoured appearance of certain areas of the body
- Improved abdominal tone
- Enhances self confidence
Is a Body Lift Right for Me?
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. A Body Lift is designed for re-contouring the torso making the abdomen flatter as well as lifting the buttock and outer thighs.
To be a good candidate, however, you should be near the weight you are comfortable with. 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, Dr. Stiller will ask you what bothers you about your body and best explain the right plan for you.
A body lift procedure begins by Dr. Stiller performing liposuction to help contour by removing excess fat. 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 remove excess skin and tighten. This allows the abdomen to tighten as well as tightening the lower back and raising 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 placed around the belly button to free it from overlying tissue.
If necessary, the stomach muscles are also tightened along the midline to repair any muscle separation. This is done by suturing the fascia and excising 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.
Body Lift Recovery
Recovery after a Body Lift procedure can vary between patients. Our anesthetist provider will perform a long acting nerve block during surgery to help control pain for the few first days however, everyone's discomfort can vary. You will be given a pain regimen to help manage your pain and get you through recovery as easy as possible.
When you awake, you will be in a compression garment which we advise to wear the first 2 weeks all the time followed by 2 more weeks during times of activity. You can expect bruising, swelling and a feeling of tightness for about 2-3 weeks where you may notice it is difficult to completely stand up straight.
A Body Lift is an outpatient procedure, so after a short period of recovery time, you will go home the same day. You will need a person 18 years old or greater with you the day of surgery.
Most patients take about 2-3 weeks off work however, some may take longer or return sooner depending on the physical demands of their job. As the abdomen heals, patients can usually return to normal activity around 6 weeks.
Body Lift Results
Body Lift results can vary between patients, 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 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, they may still be stretch marks in areas that are not excised. After your Body Lift, you will lose inches and have a slimmer waist however, a Body Lift is not a substitute for weight loss. Maintaining a steady weight can help keep your results.