Full Body Lift
A body lift is combination procedure that offers the most dramatic results for resculpting the lower half of your body. By combining an Avelar tummy tuck with a thigh and buttock lift, you can get the results you want in one surgery session. The body lift is ideal for those who have lost significant weight or has had multiple pregnancies and have excess skin. If you want to see a significant change in your lower body and want to have less recovery time than would be required with the individual procedures, the body lift may be right for you. Areas that can be enhanced include the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks.
A body lift is not a substitute for weight loss. The objective of the surgery is to improve the contour of the body by flattening and narrowing the abdomen, tightening the buttocks and trimming excess fat from the thighs.
The best candidate for a body lift is the individual who has maintained a stable weight and exercises regularly. Candidates who have had gastric bypass, Lap-Band or other gastric restrictive procedures should wait at least one year after weight loss surgery. Age, obesity and smoking habits are some of the factors the cosmetic surgeon considers when evaluating a candidate for this procedure.
Before Body Lift Surgery
Prior to body lift surgery, a complete medical history is taken in order to evaluate the general health of the patient. A careful examination is also conducted. The cosmetic surgeon and patient discuss together what can realistically be expected. Photographs may be taken before and after surgery to evaluate the amount of improvement. The type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, and possible risks and complications are also discussed. Preoperative instructions may include the elimination of certain drugs which contain aspirin in order to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed prior to surgery to prevent infection. The patient may also be advised to bathe with an antiseptic soap for several days prior to surgery.
The Full Body Lift Procedure
A body lift is usually performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia with the patient asleep. The procedure takes about 4-6 hours depending on the patient. Premedication may be administered to relax the patient. First the buttocks and thigh areas are liposuctioned to remove excess fat and shape the body. A belt like incision is made across the back just above the buttock and around the thighs. Excess skin is removed and the incision is closed with adhesive skin closure strips. The patient is then turned over and the Avelar tummy tuck portion of the procedure is performed. The abdominal area is liposuctioned to remove excess fat and flatten the tummy. A “u” shaped incision made below one hip bone and across the pubic area to under the other hip bone and connects to the incisions on the thighs. Another incision is made around the navel. The skin is separated from the abdominal wall and lifted up to the breast bone exposing the loose tissue that covers the abdominal muscle. Often lax abdominal muscles are sutured with dissolvable sutures in order to tighten loose or stretched out muscles. The skin is then lowered over the abdomen and excess skin and fat is removed. The navel is reconstructed and sutured back in. The incisions are closed with adhesive skin closure strips. Firm elastic bandages are then applied to the area.
Following Body Lift Surgery
Patients may go home after the surgery. Pain or discomfort from the surgery is controlled with oral medication. Adhesive skin closure strips will fall off approximately one week after surgery. Special compression garments are worn for several weeks. During this time, patients must refrain from heavy lifting, straining or over-activity. Although patients are usually up and around the day of surgery, the cosmetic surgeon decides when normal activities may be resumed. This decision is based upon the extent of surgery and the patient’s progress. Bruising and swelling which occur around the treated area will disappear within a few weeks. Scars from the procedure remain but fade significantly in time.
Each year thousands of body lifts are successfully performed. The amount of improvement is individual and depends upon the extent of surgery and the patient’s skin tone, body build and healing process. Complications connected with the procedure are rare; however there are inherent risks connected with every, surgical procedure. Possible risks and complications should be thoroughly discussed with the cosmetic surgeon prior to surgery. Patients can minimize complications by carefully following directions given by the cosmetic surgeon.
Most insurance companies do not pay for body lifts if it is performed for cosmetic reasons. Some insurance companies do pay benefits if the patient has severe laxity of the abdominal wall with back pain and/or umbilical or ventral hernia. Each insurance carrier is different, and it is recommended that individuals check with their own agents to determine if there is coverage.
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Please note that plastic surgery results can vary for different patients. Every patient is a unique individual and every surgery has unique aspects. Therefore no two surgical procedures will get the exact same results - even if patients are fairly similar and even if the procedures are performed by the same Plastic Surgeon.