The Body Lift Surgical Procedure
A body lift surgical procedure is meant to tone and shape the buttocks, abdomen, breasts and/or thighs. Lower lifts (belt lumpectomies) involve the back, buttocks, thighs and tummy, while upper lifts usually target the chest, middle back and breasts. Often used to tighten or eliminate cellulite, sagging tissue and excess skin, this procedure can help those who have experienced significant weight loss after Lap Band or gastric bypass; it can also allow mothers to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies.
Different techniques are used depending on whether the patient is undergoing a lower lift or upper bodies lift; however, with each procedure, the aim is to remove excess tissue and tighten the remaining skin. Depending on which area he or she is working on, the surgeon will make strategic incisions to access the undesired tissue. Once the tissue is removed, the surgeon tightens the remaining skin and sutures it in place.
Often, surgeries are broken up to minimize potential risk as surgery may last anywhere between four to eight hours. Different surgeons have differing policies on how they choose to handle the sequencing of procedures. Some start with the lower body, and then move to the breast lift and inner thigh. After these areas are completed, the surgeon may choose to tackle the neck and face and perform an arm lift in a follow-up procedure.
After the surgery
Body lift surgery is a major procedure, requiring a lot of recovery time. Most patients spend one to three nights in the hospital post-surgery. Intramuscular or intravenous pain medications are used to relieve initial discomfort, with prescription oral medication eventually replacing these. Drainage tubes are used to reduce swelling and eliminate excess blood. Surgical dressings are most often removed after a couple of days; however, many patients are required to wear compression garments several days after that. Post-surgical activities are restricted during the recovery period; however, walking is encouraged to reduce the risk of blood clots.