Many people consider body lift to tighten skin after a weight loss journey, childbirth or ageing. Whatever the reasons may be, it’s important that you understand what the procedure involves and have realistic expectations about the results. If you are the right candidate for the procedure, it can help improve your quality of life, allowing you to perform physical activities, such as walking and sport, easier and to feel more comfortable with your body overall.
When considering body lift procedure, you can choose to do lower body lift, upper body lift, or both, depending on your needs. But what is the difference between the two?
Lower body lift:
You might have heard of the terms like a “truncoplasty” or “belt lipectomy” in the past – these are alternative ways to refer to a lower body lift procedure. It is a treatment suitable for those patients who find themselves with loose and heavy excess skin after weight loss. The body contouring surgery as such can take several hours and can be performed in conjunction with other procedures, depending on your personal objectives.
We will take time to discuss beforehand about your goals and expectations for this surgery, and how much fat and skin you want to remove. Every patient is different, so you will need to have a pre-operating consultation with us first.
The technique used to reduce the lower abdomen is similar to an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, where the existing navel is repositioned, the excess skin that exists on the lower abdomen is removed, and the skin of the upper abdomen is pulled down and joined to the lower fold on the abdomen. Excess skin and fat on the sides of the hips are also removed, in which the skin over the outer sides of the thighs is tightened. This may leave a scar around the hip area.
In order to lift and tighten the buttocks and thighs, excess skin and fat in the lower back is also removed, and the scar is placed on the upper part of the buttocks, which dips into the cleft, thus the circle of lifted skin is completed. Some patients choose liposuction to be performed together with the lower body lift to enhance the shape and contour of a certain body area. A buttock flap may also be used to enhance the size and shape of the buttock.
Lower body lift surgery may take four to six hours and is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital. After the procedure, you will be required to stay in hospital for a few days. Patients who have a lower body lift require drains to be inserted during the surgery, to prevent the accumulation of fluids and blood within the surgical wounds. Once the amount of drainage output and pain subsides, you will be released from the hospital and sent home. This can take a few days. Make sure you have someone to look after you following the surgery, and who can drive you home. You will be provided with a supportive garment that will help decrease the bruising and swelling, which must be worn for six weeks after the surgery.
Upper Body Lift:
Sometimes, after a major weight loss which is achieved with bariatric surgery, or diet and exercise, we may have a lot of loose and excess skin in our upper body area. This can interfere with daily life and make us feel uncomfortable. Upper body lift procedure can help you address that.
Your body shape, the nature of your weight loss journey and your personal objectives will determine the amount of skin that will need to be removed. In some cases, it may be things like skin folds and rolls on the upper back, under the arms, and the side of the chest. Having excess skin in these areas can cause discomfort, making it difficult to wear bras and everyday clothing. An upper body lift can have dramatic results and make a huge difference in how your clothes fit and how you feel about your body.
As upper body lift is considered to be a form of body contouring surgery, it requires incisions to be made to remove excess skin. This may result in scars, however, we will do our best to ensure scars are hidden in visible areas, such as the armpit region or under the bra line. Your scars will also usually fade over time. The length and pattern of the incision will depend on how much skin is being removed — this will be discussed during the consultation process.
Normally, upper body lift surgery takes a few hours and is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital. You will be required to stay in hospital for one to two days following your surgery to recover. Your surgeon will provide you with a supportive garment that will help decrease the bruising and swelling, which must be worn for a few weeks after the surgery.
If you’re considering upper or lower body lift, you can learn more about it by reading the information on our website, or contact us to make an appointment, and we will have a consultation with you to determine what this procedure can do for you and whether you’re a suitable candidate.
FRACS (Plastic Surgery) – Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Past President : ASAPS ( Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons)
Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
PhD (Eyelid Surgery) – University of Louisville, USA