What is body contouring?
A body lift – or “body contouring” – is a service provided by Four Peaks Plastic Surgery that combines various plastic surgery techniques. A full lower body lift may treat the pannus (an apron-like fold of skin in the abdominal region), buttocks, hips, waist, and thighs. A circumferential incision is made around the entire body during a body lift procedure. Body contouring is not intended to be a weight loss alternative to diet and exercise. Rather, this procedure is used to remove excess skin and fat deposits after an individual has sustained significant weight loss.
Who needs a body lift?
Patients who have loose, sagging skin or unevenly shaped contours may benefit from having a body lift. This procedure is especially common for patients who have lost weight after bariatric surgery. Depending on the severity of the sagging, a body lift may be considered either an elective or necessary procedure. For patients with severely sagging skin, rashes, sores, infection, and chronic discomfort, a body lift may be a medically necessary procedure. Good candidates for body contouring:
- Are patients who have maintained a stable weight for at least one year.
- Have loose/sagging skin in multiple areas of the body.
- Are in good health with no chronic conditions that may impair post-op healing.
- Are non-smokers.
- Have reasonable body image expectations and post-op goals.
- Are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including good diet and exercise habits.
How Body Contouring Is Performed
Body lift surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia. Once anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Faibisoff will make a circumferential incision that goes around the body, following the natural curves of the hips, buttocks, and suprapubic region. Excess fat is removed, and the skin is tightened and repositioned around the patient’s midsection. Sutures are used to close the incisions. Drains are often used for a short period after the procedure to help prevent fluid buildup.
While the results of a body lift are immediately evident following the procedure, it can take one to two years to see the final results of the procedure. A lower body lift is a major procedure that requires long-term commitment from the patient.
What should I do to prepare for a body lift procedure?
The medical staff at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery will provide you with all the information you need to prepare for your body contouring procedure. As with any plastic surgery, it’s important to stop smoking at least several weeks before the procedure. You should also avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, and ask your surgeon about any herbal supplements you use. Your surgeon will give you detailed information at your pre-op appointment. For more information about preparing for plastic surgery, download Your Guide to Cosmetic Surgery: 17 Plastic Surgery FAQs.
What is the recovery process like?
Recovering from a body lift procedure can be challenging. However, your health care team at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery will provide you with all of the information, resources, and support you need for the recovery process. Expect to spend at least two to four weeks away from work following your body contouring procedure. Full healing and scar fading can take several months.
How long will the results last?
Body lift results can last a lifetime. Though natural sagging and changes in skin elasticity will occur in old age, the positive changes of a prior body lift procedure will still be evident many years after the fact. You can help ensure the best outcome for your body lift procedure by following your surgeon’s post-op guidelines and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle for life.