Excess skin can feel like emotional and physical baggage. It can prevent a person from feeling confident in their new body and limit their physical activity—making it more difficult to continue their fitness journey. If you’ve reached the point in your weight-loss process to consider a body lift, you probably have questions about the procedure.
What exactly is a body lift? A body lift surgery is an involved procedure that removes and tightens skin from the lower body, specifically the hips, buttocks, groin, thighs, waist, and abdomen. It’s sometimes referred to as a belt lipectomy because the incision circles around the body like a low-slung belt.
It may sound like an extreme step, but sagging skin is one of the unfortunate side effects of losing large amounts of weight. A body lift surgery is the most effective solution to rid your body of this and start to feel better about your new look.
Body Lift Surgery
With all of the amazing benefits of a body lift, some patients might be nervous about the scarring. During your consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss which type of incision techniques will work best for your situation. Your surgeon will make incisions that encircle your entire body like a belt. The exact pattern of the incisions depends on the location of the excess skin that’s being removed. In other words, scarring could be a smooth, even “belt” or one with twists and turns.
In most cases, the goal is to place the scar so that it won’t be visible while wearing a swimsuit. Your scar may look scary at first, but it won’t be fully healed for at least a year. During that time, it will fade. Raised portions will also flatten and become smoother. There are several foods that can help to minimize scarring before you get your surgery. We also recommend Silagan to help fade scarring.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Body Lift?
Just having a little bit of loose skin won’t qualify you for a body lift. Remember, it’s a major surgery that comes with a list of possible complications. People who have lost large amounts of weight—in some cases, 100 pounds or more—are left with loose hanging skin that can affect their mobility and quality of life.
Candidates for this surgery must be near their ideal weight and in generally good health. They must also show commitment to improving their health through diet and lifestyle changes.
Smoking may disqualify you for the surgery due to increased risks.
Women considering pregnancy should wait until they have given birth before having a body lift.
Results and Recovery
The road to full recovery after a body lift is a long one. Swelling will go down within the first 4 to 6 weeks, and patients will begin to see major improvements in the shape and size of their body. However, full recovery can take up to 2 years.
Most body lift patients are still working to reach their ideal weight after surgery. Being able to move and exercise without excess skin getting in the way will make it easier to increase fitness levels.
What is the Cost of a Body Lift?
A body lift is major surgery with an equivalent price tag. Because it’s considered elective surgery, your insurance may not cover the costs. In the 2018 Statistics Report of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a lower body lift was estimated at around $8,000. But the price could be much higher, reaching $20,000 or more.
Factors that affect cost include:
- Difficulty of your procedure
- Unseen complications
- Additional fees such as medications, lab and anesthesia
For those that need the procedure, cost is secondary to the freedom the surgery brings. Saying goodbye to pounds and pounds of sagging excess skin is like getting a new lease on life.
Having a body lift marks a major milestone in a person’s weight-loss journey. Qualifying for the procedure means that they have worked hard and stayed true to their program.
If you need more information about body lift surgery, contact Dr. Fischer at the Advanced Center for Cosmetic Surgery. We’d love to share in your accomplishment and help you to reach your next goal.