Body lift surgery is a procedure that combines abdominoplasty as well as a buttock lift. It addresses the redundant skin and fat around the lower abdomen and back after significant weight loss. The procedure is designed to recontour the abdomen and buttocks, and correcting soft tissue ptosis of the lower body. Indications for treatment are frequently due to:
- Redundant abdominal and lower back/buttock tissue
- Lower body contour enhancement
- Rashes or loss of skin integrity due to redundancy
Dr Perron is a leading body contouring surgeon who has helped a number of patients achieve a more defined silhouette that they can feel confident about.
Body Lift Surgery
The goal of reshaping any aspect of the body starts with being in good health and fitness prior to surgery. If you plan on losing weight, aim for a weight that you deem ‘ideal’ before considering a body lift. Being in shape before this procedure will ensure a better outcome and quicker recovery. If you have had a lap band, gastric sleeve, or undergone significant weight loss through any means (more than 5 BMI points), your weight needs to be stable for a minimum of three months before planning the surgery. Surgery can place an enormous demand on the body’s physiology and metabolism and being in a positive metabolic flux will ensure proper healing and an ideal outcome.
A body lift takes several hours to complete and will be performed under general anaesthetic.
During the surgery, an incision will be made around the waist or just below it. This will give Dr Perron access to any excess skin that needs to be removed and tightened. The length of the incision is mostly dependent on how much skin needs to be removed but if a full lower body lift is performed, a circumferential incision will be required. This type of incision allows for the most skin removal. In some instances, liposuction will also be required.
To ensure that your new contours are fully supported from the inside out, sutures will be applied deep within the skin. From there, the incision will be closed and you will be moved into recovery.
You will need to stay in hospital after the procedure for a few days to recover, especially if the procedure is combined with others. You will also need to wear a post-operative garment for several weeks as this will not only accelerate healing but enhance your results. You may have drains that will need to stay in place for several days after your body lift.
The recovery time for a body lift can be variable. Most people will spend a few days in hospital after this procedure to recover before being discharged to recover at home – some patients are able to return home sooner than others.
Exercise should be limited to walking, or inclined walking, during the first few weeks after surgery. From there, a gradual introduction of lower impact exercise can be introduced as directed. By making a point of walking and moving within the few days after the procedure, it can help prevent blood clots, DVTs and lung complications such as pneumonia. The compression garment that you will be required to wear should remain in place for at least six to eight weeks. It can take a few months before a final result is seen due to swelling and the area needing to heal completely.
As with any operative procedure, there are risks involved. The most common complications associated with general surgery are minor bleeding, bruising, infection, wound healing problems, and some pain. The specific risks associated with a body lift, include:
- A circumferential scar that can be noticeable
- Fluid accumulation in the areas being treated
- Irregular appearing skin
- Scarring problems that may include a red or raised scar
- Persistent swelling
- Numbness around the areas being treated
- Recurrence of skin and fold redundancy
- The need for a blood transfusion
- Loss of blood supply to some areas of the fat and skin
Not everyone is a good candidate for a body lift. Dr Perron can discuss your specific circumstances and expectations, and help you make the best decision based on your needs.
Body Lift FAQs
A lower body lift can start at about $8,000, but this is one of the more personalised surgical procedures, which means costs can differ quite vastly between patients. Along with hospital and anaesthetist fees, what a patient hopes to achieve will determine the final cost of this surgery. It’s not common for Medicare or private health insurance to cover the cost of cosmetic surgery. However, if the removal of excess skin is for reconstructive purposes and is deemed medically necessary, some of the costs could be covered. You can speak to Dr Perron about this possibility during your consultation.
While patients will see a noticeable difference directly after their surgery, it will take time and patience for the final results to appear. In some instances, patients only see the full results after a year or two. However, body lift results are permanent, provided the patient leads a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t gain a significant amount of weight after surgery. There are also a number of exercises that you can engage in that will keep your body in shape after your procedure.
Since a fairly large incision is required to complete this procedure, some scarring can be expected after surgery. However, by following Dr Perron’s wound care and scar management instructions after surgery, it is possible to reduce the visibility of scarring. Surgical scars do fade over time anyway, however.
Pain and discomfort are to be expected after the procedure because this is major surgery. However, you will have the necessary medication available to you to assist with pain management. There are also additional steps that you can take to better manage your discomfort levels, which Dr Perron will take you through during your consultation.
Patients considering a body lift should have achieved or be close to their ideal body weight. If you are planning to grow your family in the future, it is highly recommended that you wait until after your final pregnancy to schedule surgery. Another pregnancy won’t affect your ability to carry a child, but it will affect your results.
Since any excess skin will have been removed, the position and size of the buttocks will be different. If patients wish to achieve fuller looking buttocks, excess fat can be used to perform a hybrid butt lift, which involves injecting processed fat into the buttock area.
As the name suggests, a lower body lift focuses on areas below the waist, including the abdomen, thighs and buttocks. A full body lift, on the other hand, will include the lower body lift areas as well as the chest back and breasts.