Are you thinking of a Body Lift?
A Body Lift is a surgical operation that consists of removing extra skin and fat of the stomach, buttocks, back and shoulders. A body lift improves 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. The operation can reduce the volume of a stomach that is prominent and hanging down but also to reduce larger skin lobes on the sides of the body and on the back. It is important however to keep in mind that the operation is extensive and leaves behind a scar around your body. If you are thinking of such an operation the information on this page might assist to grasp a basic understanding of the procedure, in what cases it can help, how it is performed and what results to expect. You might not find all the answers to your questions as many things are individual in regards to plastic surgery. Please ask the doctor if there is anything else you wish to know in more depth.
Is a body lift the right plastic operation for you?
A body lift is particularly suitable for those men and women who are fit or moderately so, but worried about fat compilation on the stomach or loose, hanging skin that a changed diet or exercise doesn´t seem to improve. The operation has been helpful for example to women who have had many children so that the skin has stretched excessively that it cannot go back to former condition. Also, it has proven helpful for people who have lost a considerable amount of weight for example after intestine reduction. The skin of people starts losing its elasticity after 40 years of age and that sometimes causes excessive loose skin around the mid body.
People who plan to lose a considerable amount of weight should postpone a body lift until the goal has been reached. The same applies for women who plan on having more children whereas the pregnancy can be too difficult for muscles that have been made shorter. A body lift can improve your look and self-confidence but it does not necessarily alter your look completely or change the way other people perceive you. Before you make up your mind you need to evaluate your expectations and discuss with your doctor.
The majority of body lifts that are performed every year are highly successful. A good result is to be expected when a skilled plastic surgeon with an extensive experience of such procedures carries out the operation. Still, the patient needs to be aware of the main risk factors.
Problems after surgery are unusual, but infection or bleeding can occur occasionally. An infection can be treated with antibiotics but the patient can expedite recovery by getting out of bed as soon as possible and move about moderately. It is also important to follow the doctor's instructions as carefully as possible, both before and after surgery Top of page
To decide a surgery
During the first visit to the doctor your general health condition is evaluated, how much excessive fat has accumulated on stomach and back and he condition of your skin us evaluated. It is best to inform the doctor whether you smoke and be honest about the intake of medicine, vitamins, supplements etc. Be open about your expectations with the doctor. He will be open with you about the advantages and emphasis of the surgery. The doctor will discuss your option with you and together you will come to a conclusion on how to beautify the outlines of your body. During your first visit the doctor will tell you about the anesthetic, where the operation takes place and the cost.. Top of page.
Preparation for surgery
The doctor gives you advice on how to prepare for the operation regarding food and drink, smoking and medicine. It usually applies that you need to fasten from midnight the night before the operation. Stop smoking at least four weeks before the operation. Avoid sunlight before the operation, especially on the stomach as it can affect your recovery. If you catch a cold or some sort of infection shortly before the operation it has to cancelled. Arrange for someone to pick you up at the health clinic and be there for you for at least one or two days after the operation. Don't forget to take an elastic strap with you to use after the operation. Top of page
Operating room, anesthetic and the operation
The body lift operation is performed at a hospital or a health clinic and the patient is expected to stay there for one night. Before the operation you will have a intravenous sedative and then you are anesthetized. A regular body lift takes about three to five hours depending on how extensive it is. Usually, the doctor makes one long incision from one hip bone to the other, just above the pubic bone. Then another incision is made to lose the navel from the skin around it. Next, the doctor loosens the skin on the stomach to reach the stomach muscles to stretch them and stitch them up again. This strengthens the stomach and reduces the waistline. Then the skin is pulled down and excessive skin is removed. The navel is replaced on a new location. Similar procedure goes for the back without any muscles being stretched there. Finally, the incisions are stitched up, bandages are put on and two drain tubes are placed in the incision to release excess fluid from the operation area. Before going home you put on the girdle and use it for the next two to three weeks to support the stomach. After that you should us support pants for about six weeks. Top of page
After the operation
In the first days after the operation your stomach and probably the back as well will be swollen and you will find some pain and discomfort that can be controlled with painkillers. The doctor will advise you on how you change bandages and when you are safe to have a shower. Even though you can´t probably stretch out completely in the beginning you should try to get on your feet and walk around as soon as possible. Stitches do not need to be removed as they disintegrate in time but the doctor would like to see you about 7-10 days after the operation to remove the drain tubes and evaluate the recovery. It is recommended to use special healing salve on the scars for about two to three months after the operation, but the doctor will give you names of good brands for salves. Top of page
It can take up to few weeks until you feel that you have recovered completely. If were moderately fit before the surgery with strong stomach muscles you feel recover more quickly than otherwise. Some people can go back to work in two weeks but other people need three to four weeks to rest and regain their strength. Physical exercise and workout can help you to recover. Even people who have never worked out should start to reduce swelling and strengthen the muscles. Still you should avoid strenuous exercise until you feel that you are ready and remember not to carry anything heavy for about six weeks.
The scar might start to look worse for the first three to six months while it is healing, but that is natural. You should expect that it takes up to nine months for the scar to become more even and lighten up. It will never fully disappear but cannot be seen when you are wearing bathing suits or bikini.. Top of page
The new look
A body lift can cause an incredible change for people with lose stomach muscles and skin on stomach and back. I most cases the result is visible for years, especially if you watch your diet and exercise regularly. If you have realistic ideas about the result of the operation, and if you can cope with the idea of a scar on your body for the rest of your life and are ready to give the body the time it needs to heal then a body lift could be just right for you.