Lower Body Lift
Body lift surgery is designed to reduce extra sagging skin and fat around the torso region (tummy, sides and back).
The rate of obesity has been on the rise nationwide over the last few decades. It doesn’t help that fast food, sweet drinks, and tasty snacks are so convenient to get and so inexpensive these days! However, many of our patients have been fighting back. Some of our patients have lost large amounts of weight through diet and exercise alone. Others have found success with the help of bariatric surgery. Patients can lose anywhere from 50 to 100, or even 150 pounds and are able to maintain their new healthier weight and keep it off! This type of weight loss is called massive weight loss. Massive weight loss is life-changing and is to be applauded!
Frequently, patients who have had massive weight loss feel better, but still have large amounts of loose, excess skin (oftentimes with stretch marks as well). People who have lost small amounts of weight and have really good skin quality and elasticity usually will have skin that can “spring back” and reshape easier. However, when one has gone through large changes in weight, the excess skin has lost its elastic potential. We had a patient who once said that they feel like they are a thin person hiding in a coat of hanging extra skin. These patients just want to look the way they feel and want to be proud of the weight they have lost. They don’t want the hanging skin to be a constant reminder of the clothes they still cannot wear.
What The Surgery Does
Body lift surgery is essentially a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), thigh lift, and buttock/back lift all rolled into one surgery. An incision (scar) is made all the way around your waist in the front and the back. The extra skin and tissue in your abdominal, outer upper thigh and lower back area is removed. A flatter tummy, lifted buttocks and lifted thighs is contoured and achieved as a result. You are trading the presence of scars for an improved, contoured new silhouette.
Ideal Candidates for Body Lift Surgery
Body lift surgery is NOT a weight loss surgery. The best candidates for this surgery are patients who have lost all their desired weight, are currently at their goal weight, have been stable for at least half a year, but still have excess skin that is stubborn no matter how much dieting and exercising is done. You should have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or less to optimize your safety for this surgery. Again, this is not a weight loss operation, so if you still want to lose a significant amount of weight, Dr. Wong will recommend that you go ahead and do that first to have a stable ideal weight. Use the nifty BMI calculator below to see if you are in safe range.
Patients considering body lift surgery should also be in generally good health with no medical problems that could cause safety problems or impair healing. Patients should not be active smokers as that can cause problems with healing. Body lift candidates should have realistic goals of what this surgery can actually do for them. They should have good family and friend support as this is a life-changing operation. Lastly, ideal patients should be motivated and committed to leading a healthy lifestyle.
*Individual Results May Vary
What the Surgery Will Be Like
Body lift surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia in 1 or 2 surgeries. Patients who are safe candidates to do the entire body lift (front and back) in 1 surgery will typically stay at least 1 or 2 nights in the hospital after surgery. For some patients, splitting the surgery into 2 stages (1 surgery to address the front and another for the back) is a better option. In this latter option, the surgeries can usually be performed on an outpatient basis where you will get to go home on the same day.
In surgery, an incision (or scar) is made all the way around your body at the level of the waist. In some patients, a vertical scar that runs in front of the abdominal area and around the belly button is necessary to give the best results. The extra skin and tissue from your lower abdomen (tummy area), outer and upper thighs, love handles, and lower back is removed. In addition, the abdominal muscles are tightened, the buttock and outer upper thighs are lifted. The entire body lift surgery can be 8 hours long or shorter (3 to 4 hours each) if the surgery is separated into 2 stages.
You will be placed in an abdominal binder with dressings after the surgery. Drains will be placed. You are then taken to the recovery room where a nurse monitors you and once you have recovered from anesthesia (usually after about an hour).
It is extremely important that you walk after your initial recovery the same day as your surgery to get the blood circulation in the legs going and avoid blood clots from forming. Dr. Wong may prescribe you a blood thinner to help in addition to your walking. For the first couple of weeks, your abdominal area will feel sore, especially if your muscles were repaired. Dr. Wong will see you in the office within a week of your surgery to make sure you are recovering well. Early recovery time is approximately 4 to 6 weeks after which patients typically can return to full activities, exercise and work.
If you have had dramatic weight loss, Congratulations! We are excited to be a part of your success story and help you look the way you feel! Dr. Wong will work with you to re-contour your body for the best results possible.* Call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Wong today so she can optimize and personalize this surgery to you. She looks forward to meeting you!
*Individual results may vary.