Body Lift / Thighplasty
There is no question that diet and exercise can do wonders in contouring the body. However, sometimes when childbirth, major weight loss, or aging have overstretched the tissues and muscles, surgical assistance is the only way to get the body back into shape. A body lift (also called a “lower body lift” or “belt lipectomy”) offers a dramatic transformation of the mid and lower body. Body lift surgery can re-sculpt the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs to redefine your silhouette and create a more naturally pleasing silhouette.
Who Can Benefit?
Pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing can sometimes leave permanent, negative effects on a mother’s body. Overly stretched abdominal skin, weakened core muscles, and fat accumulation can completely alter your figure so that it looks nothing like its pre-baby state. A body lift can help post-pregnancy mothers in need of surgical attention for the entire midsection and thighs to achieve a more youthful and toned figure.
Individuals who have endured bariatric surgery and/or significant weight loss often have excess, sagging skin and pockets of stubborn fat. These are particularly common in the waist, hips, and buttocks. Toning these areas with diet and exercise is nigh unto impossible for many individuals due to the ordeal that the body has gone through to achieve weight loss. The body lift procedure is ideal for this situation and can help you complete your transformation by reclaiming your body and sculpting your figure to better reflect your weight loss successes.
Aging is no friend when it comes to one’s appearance. From minor wrinkles, aches, and pains to major skin sagging and fat deposits, we see that the older we get, the more age takes its toll on our bodies. Some individuals may benefit from body lift surgery, which can remove sagging skin, tighten the body tissues, and recreate a more youthful body shape. After surgery, your body will look less “droopy” and more attractively youthful.
What Do You Desire?
A Tighter, Firmer Abdomen
One of the primary areas of focus in body lift surgery is the abdomen. This area of the body can be significantly and adversely affected by pregnancy, aging, genetics, and weight fluctuations. Many individuals are dissatisfied with their perpetual stomach pooch, flaccid stomach muscles, stubborn belly fat, and sagging abdominal skin. The body lift includes a tummy tuck to tighten, firm, and recontour the abdomen so that it looks more youthful and trim.
The coveted “hourglass” body shape is far less common than the “pear” shape or bottom-heavy figure. If your hips are wider than your shoulders, your figure may look naturally disproportionate or unbalanced. Love handles and excess fat and skin on the hips can aggravate this and cause the hips to look even wider, especially for women whose hips have already been widened by bearing children. A body lift slims and improves the contour of the hips so that they are leaner and more balanced.
A More Lifted Buttocks
As the buttocks naturally pack on excess fat, the backside can quickly become a problem area. Our career-driven culture that focuses heavily on desk or computer work can also contribute to the buttocks becoming saggy and losing shape. Body lift surgery incorporates a buttock lift and helps the buttocks become more lifted, shapely, and firm.
So-called “thunder thighs” and “saddlebags” are often distinguished by their excess skin, stretch marks, and flab or fat. Patients who would like slimmer thighs may also benefit from undergoing a body lift. The body lift procedure includes a thigh lift and removes excess skin and fat from the thighs so that they appear slim and slender.
An Overall Better Body Shape
Some people struggle with just one trouble area and can undergo an isolated procedure to improve their body contour. However, many more have multiple problem areas, especially in the lower body. This is especially common among individuals who have achieved major weight loss. Body contouring after weight loss or for those who have multiple trouble areas is often best achieved with a body lift. The body lift procedure targets the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs simultaneously and re-sculpts a more aesthetically pleasing and toned body shape.
Addressing Your Concerns
Because a body lift targets so many areas at once, the recovery is longer than some other plastic surgery procedures. Most patients should plan to be out of work for three weeks, although some may be able to resume limited work functions by two weeks after surgery. After your surgery, your incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, and you may be given surgical drains to minimize fluid buildup. Compression garments will help provide support and reduce swelling and scarring. Some pain and discomfort may be present during the initial recovery period. Swelling and bruising typically last for two to three weeks. It is recommended that you have a companion be with you for approximately two weeks after surgery to help you around the house and take care of your needs. Dr. Messa will provide you with careful and detailed postoperative instructions that you should follow to reduce your risk of complications. To further reduce your risk of injury or complications, avoid exercise for at least six weeks or until Dr. Messa has given his approval.
Scars As with any major surgery, the body lift procedure is likely to leave scars where the incisions are made. These scars will typically be in the lower abdomen and extend around the outside of the hips. Body lift scars can be hidden by most clothing and usually heal well when compression garments are worn during recovery. The extent of scarring will be affected by your body’s ability to heal. Scarring will usually fade over time and can be minimized by avoiding sun exposure to the affected area.
Cost A body lift requires a significant amount of skill, expertise, and dedication on the part of your surgeon, and the cost of your procedure may reflect this. The price of body lift surgery is decided on a case-by-case basis and will be influenced by factors including surgical location, technique, facility and surgical fees, and the cost of anesthesia. Details about the anticipated cost will be provided to you well before your procedure.
Pain Because body lift surgery is extensive and will require healing, patients may experience some pain or discomfort during recovery after body lift surgery. Temporary pain medications are prescribed to alleviate discomfort as the body tissues heal.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A BODY LIFT?
A body lift combines a tummy tuck, buttock lift, and thigh lift. This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the entire midsection. The skin closure is then tailored to enhance the patient’s figure. Dr. Messa uses carefully honed techniques that he has developed over the years to provide the best surgical results with the lowest risk of complications.
WHERE WILL THE SURGERY TAKE PLACE?
Body lift surgery is typically performed either in our state-of-the-art surgical suite or a licensed hospital.
WILL A BODY LIFT DO ANYTHING FOR SAGGING BREASTS?
A body lift focuses on the midsection and lower midsection. If you desire a breast lift as well, talk to Dr. Messa about the possibility of combining breast lift surgery with your body lift.
IS A POST-BARIATRIC SURGERY PATIENT A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR BODY LIFT SURGERY?
Body lift surgery is an excellent procedure for many post-bariatric surgery patients. Its benefits are specially designed to help such patients get rid of sagging skin and achieve a more natural-looking body shape. Before you pursue this procedure, however, be sure that your weight loss has stabilized and that your bariatric surgeon has indicated that another major surgery would be safe at this time.
WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF UNDERGOING A BODY LIFT?
While a tummy tuck, thigh lift, or buttock lift can be performed for patients with isolated body contouring needs, the body lift remedies all these issues at once. Rather than undergoing multiple surgeries, each with their subsequent recovery and associated fees, a patient can have a single surgical session and achieve more immediate results with just one surgical recovery at a reduced financial expense.
WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT FROM A BODY LIFT?
A body lift can transform the figures of patients who have experienced massive weight loss and have excess, hanging skin. Results are equally as dramatic in patients who desire a body lift to tighten the abdomen and correct sagging skin in the thighs and buttocks left by pregnancy or aging. Results may take several months to become truly appreciable but will ultimately reveal a far slimmer, better-contoured, and more youthful waistline and lower body.