If you are considering a body lift, then you’ve likely lost a significant amount of weight. Whether it was through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery, from all of us at Cosmetic Surgery Associates, we would like to say congratulations! However, we also understand that it may be difficult to enjoy this accomplishment if you have a significant amount of excess skin left on your body that won’t tighten to your new slimmed contour. You may still be struggling with a lot of the same problems that you had prior to losing the weight: difficulty finding clothing that fits, feeling embarrassed in social situations, and dealing with skin infections. A body lift is frequently the next step for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight in order to help them finally feel comfortable and confident.
At Cosmetic Surgery Associates, Dr. Richards, Dr. Jabs, and Dr. Magge all have extensive training in performing various body lift procedures and techniques to meet our patients’ needs. Our offices are conveniently located in Bethesda, MD to serve patients from the greater Washington, D.C. area. Please contact us today to request a consultation.
About Body Lifts
Body lifts are operations designed to remove excess skin and improve the body’s contour following significant weight loss. The standard body lift is performed to remove, lift, and tighten skin on the abdomen, lower back, buttocks, and thighs. However, additional procedures may be performed on the arms, chest, and upper back to meet all of the patient’s needs.
Body lift procedures are not designed to remove excess fat from the body. If the patient has excess bulges of fat that are not responding to diet and exercise, then they may be a good candidate for liposuction in addition to a body lift.
Body lifts are some of the most extensive body contouring procedures that our doctors perform.
However, not everybody is an ideal candidate for a body lift. Some patients may not require such an extensive procedure and may be better suited for abdominoplasty or a thigh lift, just to name a couple alternatives. At the time of the consultation, one of our doctors will meet with the patient personally to lend their expertise and recommend the best procedure for their case.
Cosmetic Surgery Associates is located in Bethesda, MD. However, we are proud to host clients from the Washington, D.C. area and beyond. Easily get in touch with us online and we will contact you to schedule a consultation.
Body lifts are most often performed on patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and have excess skin on multiple parts of their body that cannot be fixed through diet and exercise alone.
In general, candidates for a body lift have lost over 75 pounds However, patients who have lost less weight will also be considered. It is important that the patient is at a healthy and stable body weight prior to undergoing a body lift. Future significant weight fluctuations could reverse results, so patients should request a consultation when they have come close to or have met their weight loss goal. It is important that the individual is committed to a healthy lifestyle prior to surgery.
As with any procedure we perform at Cosmetic Surgery Associates, patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. At the time of the consultation, our doctors will help the patient determine whether or not a body lift is the right procedure for them.
Body Lift Techniques
Depending on the patient’s body type and areas of concern, they may benefit from a standard body lift or a specific lift technique.
Our doctors are skilled at performing a variety of different body lift techniques; below are a few of the most common. However, this is by no means a comprehensive list of the techniques that can be applied for our body lift patients.
Lower Body Lift
A lower body lift is the standard body lift technique. It is performed to remove excess skin from the abdominal area (locally, around the sides, and on the lower back, as necessary), buttocks, and inner and outer thighs. This procedure is generally designed to not only remove excess skin, but also improve the contour of the mid and lower body. It can also help lift the buttocks.
The lower body lift procedure utilizes a circumferential incision, which is an incision that mimics the placement of a belt or the bikini line. To address the thighs, it may also require an incision around the groin and/or hips. Patients can learn more about thigh lifts by clicking here.
Patients who have significant excess skin sagging from their upper arms may be good candidates for an arm lift. An arm lift will help give tone and contour to the upper arms. However, it is not a substitution for working out the upper body and will not improve the appearance of existing musculature. The standard incision runs from the armpit to the elbow, where any resulting scar will be least visible. An arm lift can help patients feel more comfortable wearing sleeveless tops.
The breasts may begin to sag as a result of weight loss, but this can also occur due to age, pregnancy, or genetics. Breasts that are sagging cannot be fixed through diet and exercise. The only way to raise female breasts is by performing a breast lift. While this procedure will not change the volume of the breasts, it will raise them to a more attractive, youthful position. There are three different incisions that can be utilized depending on the degree of sagging, also known as the degree of ptosis: crescent, vertical, and anchor. A chest lift can be performed on men who have experienced significant weight loss and, as a result, sagging chest skin. The incisions used in these cases can vary from an incision around the areola, and incision in the chest crease, to an anchor incision.
Upper Body Lift
An upper body lift is a technique that consists of an arm lift, chest lift, and back lift. This is not performed as frequently as a lower body lift, but can help address excess skin due to weight loss above the abdomen. Upper body lift incisions are the same incisions utilized in an arm lift and breast/chest lift, plus an additional incision across the mid-back that can be concealed with a bra strap or swimsuit.
In preparation for body lift surgery, it is important that the patient commits to a healthy lifestyle. This means that they should develop a healthy eating and exercise regimen. In addition, they should be non-smokers or quit if they do smoke.
In the weeks leading up to surgery, patients should avoid alcohol.
They may need to alter some of their medications, so it is important to inform our doctors of any medications at the time of the consultation. In addition, they should avoid anti-inflammatory medications for at least two weeks leading up to the surgery date. These medications can cause excessive bleeding and lead to complications.
Recovery from a body lift can be a significant procedure in itself. Prior to the day of surgery, patients should make arrangements for an adult to pick them up, drive them home, and spend at least 24 hours with them to help with anything they may need. Please also fill any prescriptions provided by our doctors in advance.
Body lifts are most frequently performed under general anesthesia and can take up to 8 hours to perform, depending on the techniques that will be utilized. It may be performed as an outpatient or inpatient procedure.
While the patient is still awake, the doctor will mark where the incisions will be so the patient knows what to expect. Then, one of our highly trained anesthesiologists will administer the anesthesia to ensure patient comfort throughout the surgery. If the patient requires liposuction, then this will be performed at this time. Next, the doctor will make the appropriate incisions. If discussed, he will tighten the underlying musculature structures with sutures. Excess skin will be removed and the incisions will be closed with sutures. The patient will be bandaged and taken into a recovery room for monitoring until it is safe for them to be discharged.
Depending on the techniques utilized, patients may need to take anywhere from 2-8 weeks off from work to rest and recover. During this time, they can expect to experience some swelling, bruising, bleeding, and discomfort. Discomfort can be controlled with medication prescribed by our doctors.
The patient will be provided with bandages to help minimize the aforementioned side effects. They can also help speed up recovery by getting plenty of rest, taking frequent, but easy walks, and wearing their compression garments at all times, besides in the shower. (Do not take a bath until instructed.) They will be instructed on how to change their bandages and empty drainage fluids as necessary.
Follow-up appointments are necessary to ensure that the patient is healing as expected. During these appointments, our doctors will give the patient further recovery instructions.
Patients interested in a body lift, or any of the other aforementioned procedures, should begin by contacting our office for a consultation. Our staff will be more than a happy to schedule a consultation at your convenience.
During the consultation, patients should be prepared for the following:
- Discussing their concerns
- Going over the procedure in detail
- A physical examination
- Photographs for further analysis
- Discussing their medication, alcohol, and drug use
- Filling out information on medical history
- Bringing in any requisite information from their primary care doctor or bariatric surgeon
- A recommended preliminary procedure outline
At the end of the consultation, the doctor will be able to provide the patient with a price estimate. However, it is important to keep in mind that this price can widely vary due to the customized nature of body lifts. Contact our office in Bethesda, MD to request a body lift consultation.