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Body Lift Following Extreme Weight Loss

The plastic surgery procedure known as a body lift is aimed
to tone and shape various areas of the body, including the
breasts, buttocks, thighs and abdomen. The total body lift
combines two procedures: the lower body lift, or belt lipectomy,
which targets the stomach, buttocks, thighs and back; and
the upper body lift, which involves the breasts, mid-back, and

There are several reasons for having a total body lift, such
as to tighten skin following extreme weight loss; to remove
cellulite, and excess fat and skin; and to re-shape the skin of women following pregnancy. 


What Surgery Is Right for Your Body Type?


Who Is a Candidate For Body Lift Surgery?

Certain physical requirements are recommended for people who want to have a body lift. Ideally, the person should be following a regular diet and exercise program, and have maintained the same weight for at least three months (preferably up to a year).
People who have had weight loss procedures such as a gastric bypass or Lap-Band surgery are advised to wait for a year after the surgery.
Women should not have a body lift if they are considering having children.

Choosing a Surgeon for your Body Lift Procedure

The total body lift is a fairly new form of plastic surgery, and so the number of plastic surgeons who are experienced in this procedure is still limited. Both the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons offer information and training in body contouring for patients who have had weight loss procedures.
When choosing a plastic surgeon, you should:

  • Check out the surgeon’s educational background, including certification and experience in body lift surgery.
  • Find out where the surgery will be performed, and make sure that it is fully accredited, the length of the procedure and the type of anesthesia that will be used.
  • Ask to see pre- and post-operative photos of the surgeon’s patients.
  • Ask the surgeon which techniques he/she will use for your surgery.
  • Make sure you understand the pre-and post-operative instructions, which should including recommendations on medications and eating.
  • Understand the surgeon’s policy on repeating an unsuccessful surgery, or having additional surgery if it is necessary.

Understanding the Procedure for Body Lift

The procedure may be done in a hospital of a facility that is accredited for this type of plastic surgery. Most body lift surgeries last from 4-7 hours, during which the patient will be fully anesthetized.
The initial incision for the upper body lift begins at the bra-line, where skin is removed. Back fat rolls are removed and the waist is trimmed down.

For the lower body lift, the first incision is made over the buttocks and outer thighs. A tummy tuck and liposuction are often combined with the body lift procedure.

Follow-Up Procedures

The total body lift, which involves the upper body lift and the lower body lift, can be done in a single surgery or in separate procedures. Since there are more risks associated with doing several surgeries all at once, many surgeons prefer to do the surgeries at different times.
There are several possible follow-up procedures that can be done after a body lift. Two of the most common are the inner thigh lift (medial thighplasty), and the arm lift (brachioplasty).
Post Surgery: What To Expect After Body Lift Surgery
If you have body lift surgery you can expect your recovery time to last for up to three days.
It’s common for patients to experience a considerable amount of pain, which can be treated with IV medication initially, and with oral medication later on. Comprehensive instructions for what to do and eat after surgery will be given to patients, in order to minimize complications.
For the most part, you won’t be able to participate in your regular pre-surgery activities until you have recovered to a considerable degree. In general, it takes about 4-6 weeks to get back to your regular activities, and about 6-8 weeks before you can return to any former exercise regimen.

Risks and Side Effects of Body Lift Surgery

As with all types of surgery, there are various risks and possible side effects that may arise following the procedure. After having body lift surgery, a number of patients experience complications such as fluid accumulation under the skin (seromas) and small areas of separation on the skin.

The Cost of Body Lift Surgery

The cost of body lift surgery depends on a number of factors, such as type of procedure and the length of recovery. The average cost of a body lift, including the fees for the surgeon, the anesthesia, and the hospital, ranges from $12,000 to $50,000.

Insurance does not usually cover plastic surgery that is done for cosmetic reasons. If your surgeon determines that there is a medical necessity for the surgery, your insurance company may cover a percentage of the total cost.



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