Body Lift

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What is a Body Lift?

A Body Lift is a very popular and commonly performed form of cosmetic surgery for people who desire improvement in the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin. Excess sagging fat and skin are removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity.

A well-toned and smoothly contoured body is often a sign of fitness attained by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly; however, sometimes exercise alone doesn’t achieve the desired results for those who have loose, sagging skin and uneven contours. Aging, sun damage, pregnancy, significant fluctuations in weight, weight-loss surgery, along with genetic factors may contribute to poor tissue elasticity and may result in sagging of the buttocks and thighs.

If you desire a firmer, more youthful-looking body contour, then a surgical Body Lift may help achieve your goals by improving the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin.

Your Body Lift Consultation with Dr. Rivela

The success and safety of your Body Lift procedure depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
  • The options available in Body Lift surgery
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Dr. Rivela may also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Examine and measure your body, including detailed measurements
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of Body Lift surgery and any risks or potential complications

Your Body Lift Procedure

The patient will be given general anesthesia and the 3-5 hour procedure will be performed in the hospital where a one-night stay can be expected. During a Body Lift, excess sagging fat and skin are removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. Additionally, the procedure can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface, commonly known as cellulite. The surgery will leave extensive scarring in areas where the skin has been removed, but the incisions are placed in areas where they are usually covered by clothing.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery, medications to apply or take orally, how to reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health and when to follow up with Dr. Rivela.

About the Procedure

  • AnesthesiaGeneral
  • Location of operationHospital or surgery center
  • Length of procedure3-5 hours
  • Length of stayYou are able to go home the day of, or stay the night if needed

Your Body Lift Recovery

Discomfort after: You may feel discomfort after surgery, but any pain can be controlled with medication which may be required for 5-14 days. You are asked to rest for the first 2-4 weeks after surgery until swelling has subsided.

Swelling and Bruising: The areas lifted can be bruised, swollen, and sore after surgery and this can last for a month or more.

Bandages: Bandages will be removed in 2-4 days, but a surgical compression garment may be worn post-procedure to help support the muscle tightening. After your Body Lift is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect, but these will be removed in 5-10 days. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing.

Go out in Public: Most patients feel presentable in a bathing suit within 6-8 weeks; however, be certain to wear sunscreen (SPF 15-40) for at least one year on any scars that may be exposed to the sun.

Work: If you are returning to work, you will be physically able within a week. You will start feeling comfortable to go out in public in 1-2 weeks.

Exercise: You are instructed not to participate in strenuous activities for 6-8 weeks after the procedure.

Driving: May be resumed in two weeks.

Final Result: The results of a Body Lift are instantaneous, but the final result will not be seen until swelling has reduced and the patient has healed.

Body Lift FAQs

What is a Body Lift?

A Body Lift procedure is a body contouring cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin and other tissue that may have sagged or drooped and pull or move remaining tissue into a more natural position. Often, these procedures are necessary after a large weight loss has left behind a lot of loose skin that sags or hangs in folds. Body Lift procedures include a thigh and buttocks lift.

How much weight can be removed with a lift procedure?

Any lift procedure, including a Body Lift, should not be thought of as a weight loss procedure. But since a Body Lift will remove excess skin and other tissue including some subcutaneous fat, you will lose some weight. A full Body Lift, which is a combination of a tummy tuck, thigh lift, and buttock lift, may remove as much as 20 pounds for someone who has a large amount of redundant skin after losing a large amount of weight.

Will health insurance cover a body lift procedure?

Usually, health insurance will not cover any medical treatment done strictly to enhance appearance. In some cases, however, where large amounts of redundant folds of skin left by massive weight loss (such as after bariatric surgery) cause recurrent infections, a health insurer may cover the procedure. You will have to determine what your insurer will cover and you may have to go through an appeals process.

Are their different types of thigh lifts?

Yes, You can have an inner thigh lift that raises sagging skin on the insides of the upper leg or an outer thigh lift that raises and pulls the outer sides of the thigh upward.

Are there any lift procedures that do not involve extensive scarring?

No, not really. Most lift procedures involve rather long incisions. An inner thigh lift may have a scar that extends downward to the knee. A full Body Lift can have an incision that completely encircles the body. However, Dr. Rivela will position the incisions so that they are as hidden as possible under clothes or a bathing suit.

How much does a body lift cost?

The cost varies greatly. Out-of-pocket cost will be fairly substantial for multiple areas of body contouring surgery. The cost will include the surgeon’s fee, use of the operating room facility, services of a board-certified physician anesthesiologist, compression garments and all follow-up care. You should expect an additional fee for overnight nursing care for the first night after your surgery. The cost depends on the time required for the procedures and this will vary from patient to patient.

Which is the best type of surgeon to do the lipo procedures?

A plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the best choice. Plastic surgeons, like Dr. Rivela, perform these procedures on a frequent basis and, most importantly, have the experience to manage you pre-operatively and post-operatively. You should study a physician’s before and after photographs to evaluate their artistic skill with body lifts.

Are there any risks or complications with a body lift?

Yes, as with all surgical procedures, but even more so with body contouring after massive weight loss. Complications include wound breakdown, fluid accumulation, skin loss, infection, bleeding and blood clots. The rate of these complications is approximately 25-30%, depending on the health of the patient and the amount of weight loss. This is why an experienced plastic surgeon, like Dr. Rivela, is the wisest choice for this type of procedure.

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