Body lift is a cosmetic procedure to shape and tone the underlying tissue, supporting the excessive fat and skin in the region of the breast, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. Body lift involves removal of the excessive fat and sagging skin that results in poor tissue elasticity and hampers the personal appeal of the individual. The various procedures employed for body lift can be broadly categorised as:
- Lower body lift: It includes lower body parts such as tummy, thighs, buttocks, and back
- Upper body lift: It includes upper body parts such as breasts, chest and middle back
If the treatment includes both upper and lower body lift, it is collectively known as total body lift.
Ideal candidates for body lift
Body lift procedures can be performed on the following candidates:
- Those participating in exercise and dietary programs
- Patients who have undergone gastric bypass, lap band or other gastric restrictive procedures (with a minimum of 1 year gap required)
- Women to reduce excessive post-pregnancy weight
The common steps involved in body lift procedure are as follows:
- The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia.
- An incision is made over the skin; the length and pattern of which depends upon the location and amount of excess skin to be removed as well as personal preference and surgical judgement.
- The combination of liposuction and surgical body lifts are employed for toning the body.
- Deep support sutures, within the underlying tissues, help in forming new contours.
- A small, thin tube is placed under the skin for the drainage of excessive blood or accumulated fluid.
- Finally the incisions are closed either by sutures, skin adhesives or tapes.
Risks and complications
The possible risks and complications associated with body lift surgery include:
- Inauspicious scarring
- Blood clots
- Skin loss
- Skin discolouration
- Looseness of skin
- Fluid accumulation
- Induced asymmetry
- Persistent pain
- Relentless swelling of the legs
- Poor wound healing
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revision surgery
The basic post-operative instructions after body lift surgery include:
- Keep the incisions dry and clean.
- Regular dressing of the incisions to help in healing
- Regular intake of prescribed medications
- Avoid heavy activities, for a specified period during recovery, as recommended by your surgeon.
- Avoid excessive force, or motion during the healing of the surgical incisions.