Body lifts are often performed to improve the contour of the hips, thighs, and buttock area. Upper body lifts are also helpful in enhancing sagging arms, shoulders, and chest areas.
While some women turn to body lift surgery to reverse some of the changes brought by pregnancy and childbirth, most women and men consider this comprehensive body contouring procedure after significant weight loss, when sagging, hanging skin is hiding the new contours you worked so hard to achieve.
Knowing what to expect from a body lift is essential. This is invasive surgery, after all.
So, what is in the details? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
What to Expect Before Surgery
Before a body lift surgery, you’ll have an appointment with the surgeon to familiarize yourself with the procedure.
During the consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss whether a body lift is an appropriate procedure for you. The doctor will conduct some assessments to ascertain your suitability. They will conduct health assessments and take measurements and photos of your body to compare with your after results.
The health assessment can involve pre-op lab tests to check your health status. You may need to begin some medications and stop others as you prepare for your body lift.
Some medicines to avoid are aspirin, herbal medicine, and anti-inflammatory drugs — this should be within two weeks before the surgery.
Also, avoid smoking before a body lift because it may result in slow healing and other complications.
While the doctor will discuss the possible outcomes and complications, you should also prepare a list of questions to ask them. And don’t forget to organize how you’ll get home. This surgery, while it is outpatient, is performed under general anesthesia. Therefore, you will need to have someone drive you home and keep an eye on you at least one day after the procedure.
What Happens During the Procedure?
On the day of surgery, the surgeon may take additional pre-op pictures and mark incision placements on your body.
You are then prepared for surgery. For your comfort throughout the surgical procedure, medications are administered.
A general anesthetic is frequently administered, so you are unconscious throughout the surgery.
Incisions Are Made
Which incision method will suit your demands? The best will be predetermined by you and your surgeon. However, a body lift incision usually wraps around your body like a low-slung belt.
Extra Skin Is Removed
The remaining extra skin is then moved into place. As in a tummy tuck, the underlying abdominal muscles may also be tightened. Additionally, it can be necessary to realign the belly button.
Fat Is Reduced
Even though many patients choose this procedure after weight loss, chances are there are still localized pockets of fat that resist normal diet and exercise. These pockets can be addressed during a body lift.
Closing of Incisions
Sutures are used to close incisions, and surgical tape or skin adhesive are typically used to provide additional support.
Small tubes may be temporarily inserted beneath the skin to help drain any extra blood or fluid that may gather. Then, dressings or bandages are placed.
What Can a Body Lift Do?
A body lift enhances the underlying tissue’s shape and tone, which supports skin and fat. The procedure(s) can improve a bumpy, uneven skin surface by removing extra skin and fat.
How Long Does It Take for A Body Lift to Heal?
You’ll be ready to get back to your regular routine (including most jobs) after two to three weeks; however, you should wait at least four to six weeks for more demanding activities. Based on your particular operation, your surgeon will create a post-operative rehabilitation plan just for you.
Does a Body Lift Hurt?
Pain is a typical adverse effect after surgery, especially after a significant body lift treatment. The early postoperative period is usually when the pain is the most severe; it is localized to the parts of the body that had surgery.
How Long Does a Body Lift Take to Complete?
It usually takes six to eight hours to complete a lower body lift. And general anesthesia is always used. So, you’ll be asleep the entire time (sometimes, an epidural is beneficial in helping with post-operative pain).
What Is the Total Cost of a Body Lift?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that the typical cost of a lower body lift is $7,924.
What Are the Risks of a Body Lift?
Body lifts include risks and potential problems, including:
- Unfavorable scars and skin discoloration, much like with any invasive or surgical surgery
- An excessive hematoma or bleeding
- Necrosis of skin or fat (tissue death)