A body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is performed to remove excess skin or fatty tissue on the body that results from age or extreme weight loss. More extensive than just a tummy tuck, the body lift is performed on the lower torso and upper legs and resculpts the abdomen, hips, back, buttocks and outer thighs.
Candidates for Body Lift
People who have lost a large amount of weight, either through gastric bypass surgery or intestinal bypass surgery, or change in nutrition and fitness habits, may have excess skin on their bodies and are excellent candidates for a body lift. Other people who are unable to lose 30 or 40 pounds through diet or exercise may also opt for body lift surgeries. A body lift is also an option for normal-weight women who have given birth and want to remove remaining skin and tissue after losing post-pregnancy weight.
The Body Lift Procedure
The steps of the body lift procedure differ depending on the needs of the patient. In most cases, however, the surgeon will operate on the stomach first, removing excess skin from the belly button to the pubic area and then tightening the abdominal wall muscle. This is the area that is most often loosened by pregnancy or excessive weight loss. The fat and skin from above the belly button is pulled down and sutured in place, and the belly button is pulled out to its normal position.
The procedure continues with the buttocks and thigh areas, with the incisions being made as inconspicuous as possible. In cases that require the removal of fat, liposuction is often involved. The entire body lift procedure takes 3 to 7 hours and is performed under general anesthetic.
- Fluid accumulating under the skin (seroma)
- Small skin separations
- Reduced sensation in the treated area
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Unfavorable scarring
- Skin discoloration
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications