The body lift procedure is a highly effective way to achieve a smoother, firmer figure after extreme weight loss. If you have lost a considerable amount of weight and have excess, hanging skin and some areas of stubborn fat, body lift surgery may be the right option for you. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Douglas Steinbrech, M.D., F.A.C.S. is board certified and specializes in arm lift, tummy tuck and body lift procedures.
The Body Lift Procedure
The body lift procedure is a complex plastic surgery that reduces excess skin and fat while tightening the midsection, upper thighs, stomach, buttocks and groin. In some cases, patients have pockets of unwanted, stubborn fat in addition to loose skin, and Dr. Steinbrech may include liposuction with the body lift treatment to address this. The surgery improves skin tone, elasticity and the appearance of cellulite by treating the underlying tissues. The body lift offers substantial benefits for individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight after pregnancy, dietary changes, exercise or bariatric surgery. This procedure is also approved for patients who have loose, inelastic skin due to genetics, medical conditions or aging.
Dr. Steinbrech customizes each surgery to meet the personal requests and desires of his patients, and he often combines the body lift surgery with a breast lift, facelift or arm lift to produce a balanced and attractive silhouette. The body lift is a contouring surgery that has transformed the lives of many individuals for the better. However, in addition to the many benefits that are available through the use of body lift surgery, it also poses some risks. The body lift surgery requires three to eight hours to complete under general anesthesia, and the recovery period for this complex surgery is extensive, lasting for approximately four to six weeks. Understanding the potential complications and risks can minimize the medical risk factors that may arise and can help to promote a safe and successful body lift.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Dr. Steinbrech will complete your body lift surgery in a hospital in the New York, NY, area or in an accredited outpatient surgical center under general anesthesia. The amount of time needed to complete the body lift will depend on the extent of the surgery. Each body lift surgery involves the repositioning and tightening of the abdominal muscles and tissue that support the abdomen and lower body. The remaining skin is tightened and repositioned before being sutured in position. During lower and full body lifts, the navel is commonly adjusted and moved to a position that appears more natural. Common body lift treatment areas include the abdomen, middle and lower back, waist, hips, groin, inner and outer thighs and the buttocks.
The lower body lift involves the use of a belt-like incision to remove excess fat and loose skin from the thighs and buttocks. When additional tissue needs to be removed from the abdominal area, a horizontal incision is also created above the pubic area. In some instances, Dr. Steinbrech will also use liposuction to remove fat from the abdomen.
Dr. Steinbrech sometimes recommends a full body lift, which treats multiple areas with an incision that encircles the ribcage to remove layers of excess fat and skin while tightening and repositioning underlying muscle and tissue. The doctor may also complete liposuction during the full body lift to remove pockets of fat before he tightens and sutures the skin to create a more contoured shape.
The body lift surgery will improve skin tone and remove excess skin from multiple areas on the body in one procedure, which produces outstanding, smooth results from the abdomen to the thighs.
Body Lift Surgical Recovery
The body lift is a major surgery, and it requires a one- to three-night stay in the hospital and a four- to six-week recovery time. Intravenous pain medications are used to relieve pain and discomfort after the operation. Surgical bandages are placed over the incisions, and compression garments are worn over the body to control swelling. Drainage tubes are usually inserted near the incisions to prevent post-surgical fluid accumulation.
Prescription pain medications are provided at discharge along with the home care instructions. It is important to follow all of the care instructions very carefully to maximize your recovery time and to prevent possible complications. Drainage tubes are removed two to four weeks after the surgery, and patients are usually permitted to resume light activity four to six weeks after the surgery. However, heavy lifting and exercising must be avoided for a minimum of eight weeks.
Swelling will gradually diminish during the first eight weeks, with approximately 90 percent of the swelling fading in three months. Abdominal incision scars may take up to 18 months to lighten and flatten. The body lift scars are not expected to go away, but they will lighten and can be easily covered with clothing.
Body Lift Possible Risks
Body lift complications can be reduced if you share your complete medical history with Dr. Steinbrech and follow his medical recommendations and pre-surgical and post-surgical instructions. The most common risks involve seromas or fluid accumulation under the skin and temporary, or possibly permanent, numbness. Excessive bleeding, infection and blood clots are less common risks associated with the body lift surgery.
The Ideal Body Lift Candidate
An ideal body lift candidate has a significant amount of loose, inelastic skin on their abdomen, waist, buttocks, hips and thighs from extreme weight loss, aging or pregnancy. In some cases, the ideal body lift patient may still have some extra unwanted fat that is resistant to dieting and exercise. The body lift fat and skin removal techniques are used to correct these troubling spots.
Ideal body lift candidates are also in good overall health, do not smoke, and have realistic goals and expectations about the potential surgery. Body lift surgery is a major procedure and it is not recommended for everyone. There may be another procedure that would be better suited in some situations. Consult with plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Steinbrech to determine the best treatment for your contouring needs.
Body Lift Consultation
During your private consultation, Dr. Steinbrech will review your medical history, listen carefully to your cosmetic goals, and examine you. Your weight must be stable for one year before the body lift treatment is completed, and you will need to be open and honest about your goals, desires, and expectations. Dr. Steinbrech will provide you with a treatment plan that is customized to match your needs and cosmetic goals.
Body Lift Cost
When a body lift is completed for aesthetic purposes, medical insurance will not cover the cost. In some circumstances, the body lift procedure may be deemed medically necessary, and health coverage may cover some of the cost.
The body lift’s total cost includes the hospital or facility fee, as well as anesthesiologist and surgeon fees. The total cost will vary because it is based on the type of body lift surgery as well as any additional procedures. The average cost for a body lift surgery is $12,000 to $50,000. Dr. Steinbrech’s medical office provides payment plans and financing options to make the body lift procedure affordable for most patients.
Body Lift Questions and Answers
What is a Body Lift Procedure?
The body lift procedure is a complicated surgical procedure that is used to reduce loose skin and tighten the mid-section of the body from the torso to the upper thighs. This treatment is beneficial for individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight or who have loose, inelastic skin due to genetics, aging or a medical condition.
Am I an Ideal Body Lift Candidate?
You may be an ideal body lift candidate if you are nonsmoker who is in good general health who has lost an extreme amount of weight and is experiencing excess loose skin and possible pockets of unwanted fat.
What Should I Expect at My Body Lift Consultation?
Dr. Steinbrech will consult with you to discuss your medical history and to learn what you would like to achieve cosmetically through the body lift procedure. Dr. Steinbrech will provide you with a recommended course of action that will best match your needs.
Where is the Body Lift Procedure Performed?
Dr. Steinbrech performs the body lift surgery in a hospital or accredited surgical center in the New York, NY, area.
What Type of Anesthesia is used During the Body Lift?
General anesthesia will be used during the body lift procedure.
How Long is the Body Lift Surgery?
The body lift procedure is completed in three to eight hours.
Where are the Body Lift Incisions?
The body lift incisions are created as inconspicuously as possible and may be hidden by clothing. The full body lift surgery may include an incision that encircles the ribcage, and a lower body lift may include a belt-like incision and an incision above the pubic area.
Does the Body Lift Result in Permanent Scarring?
The body lift incisions are permanent but they will fade significantly with time and can be concealed with clothing.
Is the Body Lift Painful?
The extent and type of body lift surgery you undergo will directly affect the level of pain that you experience during your recovery. The body lift surgery is a serious and complex surgery that will require the use of appropriate pain medications and proper aftercare.
When Can Patients Return to Work after the Body Lift?
The body lift surgery is a complicated surgery that requires a four to six-week recovery, and patients may resume light activity after four to six weeks.
When can I Resume Exercising after a Body Lift?
Strenuous exercise or heavy lifting must be avoided for a minimum of eight weeks after the body lift surgery.
Does a Body Lift Have Risks?
The body lift surgery is a serious decision, and all of the doctor’s instructions must be followed to minimize and reduce the possibility of complications. The body lift surgery includes the risk of seromas or fluid accumulation under the skin, along with possible temporary or permanent numbness in the area that is treated. Excessive bleeding, infection and blood clots are less common risks.
Call (347) 983-9560 to schedule a consultation with board certified Plastic Surgeon Douglas S. Steinbrech, M.D., F.A.C.S. Dr. Steinbrech is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in male and female aesthetics.