Frequently performed after significant weight loss, body-part lifting involves the removal of extra skin and fatty tissue through procedures designed to improve contours while hiding the necessary incisions in the best locations possible. These procedures are most commonly performed under general anesthesia and may require a short hospital stay. Lifts of this nature are necessary when the skin no longer has its original resiliency and smoothness and has lost significant elasticity and when the removal of fat alone (such as with liposuction) would result in very wavy and rippling skin contours. The trade-off with these types of operations is a longer surgical mark for a more pleasing overall shape and form. Body lifts are individualized to the specific problem area and recovery periods vary accordingly.
What Is a Body Lift?
A body lift is the term used to describe a combination of surgical procedures that improve the contour and tautness of the abdomen, buttocks and thighs. This particular procedure combines the results from three separate surgeries, the tummy tuck, butt lift and thigh lift, to achieve drastically improved results.
All three of these procedures are very popular, each achieving thousands of procedures each year. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2020:
- 97, 988 tummy tucks were performed
- 9,275 thigh lifts were performed
- 2,872 butt lifts were performed
While body lifts use slightly different techniques for each individual, these procedures are very well understood and often routine for surgeons like Dr. Terrasse who are well educated, trained and experienced in aesthetic surgery.
What Does a Body Lift Treat?
As our bodies age, our skin begins to sag. This is an unfortunate part of the aging process, but it can be caused by other factors like pregnancy, weight fluctuation and lifestyle choices. But regardless of the cause, a body lift focuses on reducing the skin laxity that has developed from those factors. The skin around the abdomen, thighs, butt and even some neighboring areas can be tightened by removal of excess tissue and repositioning the remaining healthy skin and underlying tissues through the techniques used in this procedure.
Am I a Candidate for a Body Lift?
If you are experiencing skin laxity in any of the areas around your abdomen, butt or thighs, then you are likely going to be a good candidate for this treatment. The best candidates are:
- In good general physical health
- Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle
- Finished having children
- Free from medical conditions that make surgery too risky
It is also important that you have a positive mindset and realistic expectations regarding what can be achieved with these procedures. Dr. Terrasse will access your specific concerns and give you honest guidance about what is possible and whether or not major procedures should be separated in time from one another to minimize risks and improve outcomes.
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How Should I Prepare for a Body Lift?
As a surgical procedure, body lifts may require you to have some preparations done before the day of your surgery. This can include things like having lab work done, getting a full medical evaluation, adjusting prescription medication, avoiding nonprescription drugs and supplements, giving up smoking and not using aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs that. (They can actually make you bleed more during your surgery.).
What Should I Expect from a Body Lift Procedure?
The body lift can be broken down into four parts: anesthesia, incisions, correction and incision closure. Let’s break down each of the stages:
General anesthesia will be used during your procedure to ensure your comfort and to relax all of your muscle tissue (stomach muscles) that may be manipulated during the operation, depending on what Dr. Terrasse’s recommendation is for your specific conditions and health.
The most common body lift technique is to make two incisions around the midsection of the body, allowing Dr. Terrasse to remove a large portion of excess skin. These incisions are made strategically so that they can be easily hidden within bathing suit lines or underwear.
Any excess skin or tissue is removed to create the new preferred contour. In some cases, it may be necessary to use liposuction to remove excess fat in order to achieve your ideal aesthetic. Dr. Terrasse will thoroughly review all of the options available based on your physical exam and your goals.
Once the removal of tissue part of your procedure has been completed, your surgical wounds are brought tightly together by using multiple layers of sutures. In some areas and circumstances, temporary drains are utilized to minimize swelling post-surgery. The result is a much more taut appearance, even before it has had a chance to heal. Compression garments and gauze dressing are applied, and when you have awakened smoothly, you are brought to a recovery area for a period of time before you are advance to a room where you stay overnight. Most body lifts or major abdominoplasty patients spend at least one night under observation in the hospital for your safety and comfort.
What Should I Expect During Body Lift Recovery?
As part of your preoperative appointments with Dr. Terrasse, you will be given a how-to guide on caring for your surgical site at home. You will also be given medication as needed. While most individuals control discomfort at first with prescription pain relievers, with several days you will convert over to over the counter medications like Tylenol and then anti-inflammatory products.
Having individuals that can assist you at home for a few days after the surgery is essential for a safe post-operative course, so planning ahead is critical to be able to rely on others who may need to make arrangements to travel or adjust their work schedule to help you out and bring you to post-operative office visits for wound checks and dressing changes and drain removal.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Body Lift?
You can expect to experience an immediate improvement in the contour and skin of the area around your abdomen, thighs and or buttocks—depending on the extent of surgery performed at that setting. The results are evident right away however; the obvious state of your wounds becomes more natural over several weeks to months. The quality and permanence of a refreshed and bettered proportioned look depends, of course, on maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle and avoiding significant weight fluctuations.
Expert Body Lifts at Terrasse Aesthetic Surgery
If you are ready to learn more about how a body lift and associated component surgeries can improve your appearance, give our office a call at (847) 234-2400 to set up an appointment with Dr. Terrasse.. You can also fill out our online contact form below and a team member from our practice will reach out to you at a more convenient time. We know you need a trusted partner through this process and we are happy to be there for you!