A great body can't always be achieved through
diet and fitness alone. Heredity, weight fluctuation, pregnancy and aging
can influence the shape and tone of every body zone. From the arms,
breasts, tummy to the buttocks, hips and thighs.
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Body lifts can be a difficult surgical procedure
and also requires a lifestyle change. It is important that the patient be
at a stable weight at the time of surgery. It is also very important that
a lifestyle change be evident with a consistent and healthy pattern of
exercising and dieting that will help maintain the result long term.
A body lift is indicated when a patient has had a
massive weight loss and they end up having sagging and drooping excess skin
afterwards. The body lift can be done in stages or in one surgical
session, however; if a total body lift is being attempted - this is completed in
two separate surgical procedures.
Some people refer to the this procedure as a
"face lift" for the body.
There are various types of body lifts that are
available depending on the extent of the excess skin and fat. Body lifts reduces excess sagging
tissue and re-shapes the specific area of the body. Surgical incisions will
differ on the area treated, the amount of correction that is needed. One
universal procedure of a lower body lift will use an incision that is similar to
a bikini pattern to tighten the abdomen, groin, waist, thigh and buttock area.
A total lower body lift will
treat the following as one procedure:
The incision pattern for a
complete lower body lift is a circumferential incision which will remove a
"apron" of excess skin and fat and repositions and secures the tissues. Sometimes it is necessary to have liposuction added to this procedure to achieve
the proper contour. Surgeons use deep support sutures in the underlying
tissues to help secure the new shape with sutures, skin adhesive (such as fibrin
tissue glue), tapes or clips.
A Belt Lipectomy
- LBL or Lower Body Lift is surgical procedure that is done with an incision
that goes around the entire belt-line of the waist - across the lower
portion of the abdominal wall and down the inner thighs. A lower body
lift is also known as a "belt lipectomy" can transform a patient's mid and
The excess fat
and tissue are surgically removed and the incisions are closed. Most
surgeons use a compression garment for the patient to wear so that their new
shape will be contoured. Just getting a lower body lift and not
tightening the stomach or abdominal wall can be more difficult.
With the mid-body lift, the abdominal area is
addressed at the same time as the lower body lift (hips, buttocks and thighs). There are distinct advantages to a mid-body lift over a lower body lift, as the
surgeon is able to create a smooth continuous contour from the abdominal wall
all the way down to the the thighs.
The surgeon performs this procedure with an
incision around the entire waist to access the abdominal muscles to tighten
them. The muscles are pulled together and sutured into place to help
create a flatter stomach and smaller waistline.
Patients who have lost dramatic amount of weight
and have excess skin in which elasticity has been lost - a total body lift would
be recommended. Excess skin can cause other medical issues, including
discomfort and chafing. A total body lift will address every part of the
body that has accumulated fat and excess skin/tissue - and be re-contoured to
achieve a much more trim and lifted appearance.
The following areas are addressed with a total
can improve the shape and contour of the upper arm area with incisions that are
placed in the inner arm area. This procedure takes care of the "bat wings"
that occur from excess skin and fat. The skin quality is improved greatly
in appearance and feel. Depending on the extent of the excess skin in the
upper arm region, will predict what type of brachioplasty will be right for you
and the length of the incision. Typically a full brachioplasty incision will run
from the axillary or arm pit area down to the elbow.
The fat that is on your legs is different than
the fat that is located in other parts of your body. The distribution and
proportion of fat on the female legs is often genetically predisposed - making
it more resistant to diet and exercise. Leg fat is superficial - unlike
the abdominal area and hips, legs do not have any deep fat compartments.
This means that if liposuction is used for the leg or ankle area, it is done
much closer to the skin than any other part of the body. The area behind
the knees is full of nerves and important blood vessels, that is vulnerable to
injury. If liposuction is indicated - it should be done with great caution
in that area. The lower leg area can be tricky as what we might perceive as fat
could be muscle structure.
In women, fat is found throughout the thigh area,
specifically the inner and outer thighs, saddlebags, and hips. Some women
only have fat deposits on the outside edges of the thigh area, while others may
have fat deposits on the inner portion of the thigh. The thighs and hips
contain a large amount of an enzyme called lipase, which can cause these areas
to store fat quickly.
This is why the thighs and hips might be resistant
to diet and exercise. When liposuction is done on the outer portion of the
thighs - it is often done in conjunction with the buttocks and upper inner thigh
for a more streamline look. When liposuction is performed on the inner thigh -
the inner knee area is done at the same time.
There are some
distinct differences between the various methods of body lifts. Each
patient carries excess skin and fat accumulation differently, so there are
different methods of lifting the body after weight loss.
Some patients have might have accumulated fat and
excess skin around the abdominal wall, back, and waist - however; their lateral
thighs are in good shape. In a belt lipectomy the excess skin and fat is removed
circumferentially and the skin is sutured. In a body lift the thighs and buttock
attachments are released and these structures are lifted.
panniculectomy is similar to a tummy tuck in
that it removes a large amount of abdominal skin and tissue. A panniculectomy is designed specifically for the patients who have an very large
hanging "pannus" or "spare tire". An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is
indicated for the patients who have excess loose skin (but not a spare tire).
The procedure of a panniculectomy is limited
in that it does NOT:
tighten the abdominal muscle wall like an
abdominoplasty with muscle repair would
An abdominoplasty will only correct the looseness
and sagging tissue of the abdomen area. A body lift combines the surgical
procedure of a tummy tuck with the lifting and tightening of not only the back
skin folds - but helps lift the sagging buttocks area and the outer thighs.
A body lift is a much more comprehensive and
extensive surgical procedure with it's main goal of "lighting and tightening the
entire lower body". Most patients who are considering surgery and have
sagging or loose abdominal skin and some sagging of the buttocks can use the
procedure Extended Tummy Tuck or High Tension Tummy Tuck. For the other
patients who have had massive weight loss and have a lot of sagging or loose
lower body skin - a Lower Body Lift would be suggested.
It is important to your surgeon that your body
lift incision will be camouflaged as best as they can be. Most patients are able
to still wear most swim-suits and low rise jeans with no problem. The incision
for the lower body lift is done around the entire mid-section - the abdominal
muscles and fascia (connective tissues) are tightened and repaired - and the
excess skin is trimmed away.
This is followed by deep and superficial skin
drains are usually placed to prevent fluid collection.
Dressings may include light dressings or girdle-like pressure garment. You will
stay at least overnight at the surgery center or hospital for careful monitoring
prior to discharge.