Age, weight fluctuations, and massive weight loss are all factors that contribute to loose and excess skin around the abdomen and lower torso.
Excess skin and fat deposits after massive weight loss can hang and drape, causing discomfort, difficulty fitting into clothes and skin irritation and can be removed with surgery. A body lift procedure removes excess skin and fat, altering the contour of multiple areas of the lower body, including the abdomen, buttocks, and outer thighs. By removing excess skin and fat, the additional weight associated with these areas may be relieved and can improve some patients’ comfort and reduce the risk of skin irritation and infection.
A body lift procedure can address the following issues:
- Loose skin resulting from significant weight loss
- Skin sagging associated with ageing
- Textural skin inconsistencies
- Uneven fat distribution
- Diastasis recti (muscle separation associated with pregnancy)
This surgery can be ideal for patients who have undergone significant weight loss and are seeking to remove the resulting excess skin. It can also be beneficial for people wishing to reduce loose skin resulting from pregnancy or ageing. These concerns can be applicable to a wide variety of people, and for this reason, this procedure is suitable for both men and women of different ages.
If you are considering a Body Lift to address the aforementioned issues, an initial consultation will be necessary to address your specific goals and how the procedure can help you achieve them. This will assist you in deciding if the surgery is right for you. During the consultation, your medical history, current medications, and reasons for wanting the procedure will be discussed, in addition to your desired outcomes.
Every procedure is customised to suit the patient’s needs and goals. A physical examination will be necessary to determine your suitability as well as how best to approach the surgery for your specific situation and preferences. After the in-depth consultation and examination, you will have a clear idea of what to expect from the surgery, including the benefits and risks.
Reforming and improving any part of the body begins with maintaining good health and fitness. If you have undergone gastric sleeve surgery, significant weight loss, or a similar weight loss process, it is necessary to maintain a stable weight for six months before undergoing a Body Lift. Ensuring your health is in good shape prior to the procedure will help you achieve the results you desire and encourage a speedy recovery.
Body lift surgery takes several hours to complete and is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital facility and requires a multiple-day hospital stay. An incision will be made across the lower abdomen extending around the lower back. The location and length of the incision will depend on the amount of skin being removed and from which areas. Excess skin and fat is removed and the abdominal muscles are repaired. Surgical drains are placed to drain excess fluid and the wounds are dressed. Pain medications will be prescribed and you will be given specific and personalised instructions for how to properly care for your body in recovery. A compression garment is worn for a number of weeks after surgery.
Risks and complications
Body lift procedures require an extensive recovery period and diligent adherence to aftercare instructions. Adhering to your specific aftercare instructions will assist the healing process and help reduce the risk of infection. During your home recovery, it is important to take adequate time to rest and recover. After two weeks, most patients can begin performing light activities, but it is still best to avoid unnecessary physical exertion. Exercise and strenuous activities should be avoided for six weeks.
Like any surgery, the procedure comes with risks. It is important for patients to weigh the risks and benefits when considering undergoing a body lift procedure.
Potential complications can include:
- Anaesthesia complications
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor wound healing
- Changes in skin sensation
- Pain and swelling
- Reoccurrence of loose skin
- Loss of blood supply to areas of fat and skin
- Irregular skin texture
- Unfavourable scarring