Post-Bariatric Body Contouring
in Boston MA
A body lift, otherwise known as a belt lipectomy, is performed to remove loose and sagging body contours by eliminating loose skin and related fat deposits resulting in a more toned and youthful appearance. A body lift includes the lower torso and upper legs including the abdomen, waist, inner/outer thighs, buttocks, and/or hips. It may be accompanied by liposuction if necessary. For those who have undergone bariatric procedures for weight loss, it can be a significant change in diet and lifestyle to keep the weight off.
Reasons for Considering a Body Lift in Boston
- Toning of mid-body contour
- Removal of sagging skin
Who would be a good candidate for body lift surgery?
After a person has lost a significant amount of weight it is almost impossible for their skin to tighten down to the new underlying slimmer contours — the elasticity has been compromised by being over-stretched for too long. That can be truly discouraging for a person who has had bariatric surgery or simply done the hard work required to lose a lot of weight. That’s where a body lift with Dr. Lin can come in.
To have a body lift, a person should have lost between 30 to 50 percent of his or her peak body weight. There should be loose, drooping skin and tissue across the abdomen, probably the thighs, buttocks, breasts, upper arms, and other areas. Your weight should have been stable for a period of time, usually two years, to ensure you will not regain weight after this surgery. This also allows your skin to adjust as much as it can before any surgery is considered.
These are involved surgeries targeting multiple areas, so patients need to be in good overall health, both to handle the stress of the surgery and the subsequent recovery. You shouldn’t smoke, as this can interfere with your incision healing.
Good candidates also need to be realistic about what these procedures can achieve. Yes, your contours will be slimmed to your new smaller body shape, but there will be some lengthy incision scars. Body lifts also involve a difficult and long recovery potentially.
What are the benefits of having a body lift after major weight loss?
As mentioned above, it can be depressing for a person to lose a large amount of weight and then be saddled with loose, sagging skin across much of their body. This surgery with Dr. Lin allows your skin to match your new slimmer contour. This makes it fun to buy clothes. It brings a host of daily activities and sports back into your life, which, even after losing the weight, you have probably been avoiding due to your loose, sagging skin. Just exercising without the sagging skin is easier, as you’ll no longer develop rashes and infections.
From a logistical standpoint, a body lift combines procedures on multiple areas into a single surgical session. This saves money, and your recovery, while still involved, is much easier than having multiple recoveries.
While it is somewhat of a side benefit, the removal of extensive excess, sagging skin will also provide a small additional weight loss.
Body Contouring Procedure
This procedure can take 3 to 6 hours. It involves making an incision that follows the contour of the upper and/or inner thigh, to the waistline. This can extend around the waist and lower back when indicated from the front of the abdomen. To adjust the buttock and thighs, additional incisions are made at the crease of the buttocks. Throughout, any excess fat is removed. Finally, the skin is contoured and sutured into the new configuration.
Body Contouring Recovery Process
Recovery time is dependent on the extent of the procedure. The first one to two hours following surgery are spent in the recovery room. In order to speed up the healing process, rest and limited movement are advised. Bandaged are placed to reduce swelling and provide support. Drains are placed to prevent fluid collections. Patients may report pain following surgery which can be treated with oral medication. Although the occurrence of complications is rare, patients can reduce the risk of developing potential problems by carefully following the post-operative instructions.
What results can a body lift achieve?
A body lift can basically match your skin to your new slimmer contours. This surgery removes the excess sagging skin and stubborn fat deposits. It can repair overly stretched or separated muscles. Body lift patients are pleased with their firmer, smoother skin, and their overall new look. Gone is the sagging skin and the rashes it can create. These procedures can give a patient a real boost in confidence, making the work of bariatric surgery or involved weight loss all worth it. Of course, you will have scarring at your incision locations, but these will fade with time. Regardless, most patients are more than willing to have the tradeoff of some scarring to be rid of their loose draping skin.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“My experience with Dr. Lin was truly amazing. From the moment I met him I knew that he was the right surgeon for me. He is by far the nicest, most approachable and down to earth surgeon I have ever met. He is kind, caring, humble, takes time to listen to you, and explains everything/addresses concerns.” – Katherine D.
How long will my results from a body lift last?
These are permanent changes made by Dr. Lin. The excess skin he trims away is gone for good. So are the stubborn pockets of fat he removes with targeted liposuction. Separated stomach muscles are permanently returned to their former position in the middle of the abdomen. Nonetheless, with time and gravity, the skin may loosen again over time and require additional tightening procedures in time.
As long as you maintain your new healthy weight, incorporate exercise and better nutrition into your life, and stay as active as possible, you’ll enjoy the results of your body lift for the rest of your life.
What are the risks involved with a body lift?
These are comprehensive surgeries with Dr. Lin. There are some risks involved. There are risks inherent with all surgeries: excessive bleeding, poor incision healing, infection, and reaction to anesthesia. Specific to body lift surgery, these are the risks:
- Fat necrosis — Body lift surgery can disrupt the fat cells deep within your skin and tissue, cutting off their blood supply and destroying them. These cells can become stiff or irregularly shaped and may need additional surgery to remove them.
- Skin necrosis — Similar to fat necrosis, the skin cells at your surgical sites may become deformed and discolored if they are cut off from the proper nutrients. This will show itself in skin blistering, peeling, or turning black. Skin necrosis is more prevalent in smokers.
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) — Large blood clots can form in your legs and they can travel to other areas of your body such as your heart, brain, or your lungs. Proper movement and care during your recovery minimize the potential for thrombosis.
- Rectus diastasis — When muscle, fat, tissue, and skin in the midsection area are modified in a body lift, this can weaken the abdominal muscles, and they may sag or separate. This can usually be prevented with exercise, but in extreme cases, additional surgery could be necessary.
- Uneven incision healing — In some cases, the lengthy incisions involved with body lift surgery can heal unevenly. This is typically caused by placing too much strain on an incision by rushing recovery. Patience is important during your recovery.
Arm Lift Surgery
An arm lift is a procedure intended to improve the lower portion of the upper arm from the underarm region to the elbow. It serves to remove excess and sagging skin in that region. It can serve as a useful adjuvant when diet and exercise are inadequate.
Lower Body Lift
Aging, sun damage, pregnancy, dramatic weight loss, and even genetic factors may contribute to poor tissue elasticity that can result in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. Lower body lift surgery, also known as a belt lipectomy, tightens the buttocks, the backs of the thighs, outer thighs, inner thighs, the hips, and abdomen. Excess skin that is aesthetically displeasing or causes mobility restrictions is removed.
What does a Lower Body Lift Include?
A body lift may include the abdominal area (locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area), the buttocks, the groin area, and the thigh (the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or the thigh’s circumference).
Benefits of Lower Body Lift?
A lower body lift can improve the shape and tone of the underlying tissues that support fat and skin. Excess, sagging fat and skin are removed and the dimpled, irregular skin surface, which is commonly known as cellulite can be improved. Dr. Lin performs this procedure through an incision along the bikini/boxer line.
Ideal Candidate for a Lower Body Lift?
A lower body lift is major surgery, so it is important that you be of good general health. Additionally, you would be a good candidate for this procedure if:
- You are distressed by sagging skin in your lower body.
- You have experienced dramatic weight loss due to bariatric surgery or dieting.
- You have relatively thin layers of fat below the skin in the hip, thigh, abdomen, and buttock areas.
- You have overhanging skin in your lower body that restricts your mobility and/or causes painful chafing, rashes, or infection.
- You are near your ideal weight and are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle.
- You do not smoke.
- You have a positive outlook and realistic goals.
Recovery Process Following a Lower Body Lift
Dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions after surgery. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under your skin to drain any excess blood that may collect. You will be given specific instructions, along with medications to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection. You will be advised of specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, how to care for your drains, and when to follow up with Dr. Lin.
Each patient is unique and healing times can vary. It is important that you follow Dr. Lin’s post-surgical instructions. Here are a few general guidelines:
- You will need to take at least two to three weeks off from work and restrict normal activities for four to six weeks.
- You will have some discomfort. This is expected and typically is controlled with pain medications.
- You will have to wait approximately six to eight weeks before you can resume your usual exercise schedule.
- Discomfort will subside over a week or two after the surgery.
- You will need to wear the compression garment for a few weeks after the surgery and follow a special diet.
Is Lower Body Lift Permanent?
The lifting effect from lower body lift surgery is, for the most part, permanent. The contouring and tightening of your skin are permanent, but naturally, there will be some relaxation of your skin early after surgery, and your skin and connective tissues will gradually loosen as you age.
How much does a Lower Body Lift cost?
The cost of body lift surgery can vary widely. Most health insurance does not cover body lift surgery or its complications. In addition to the surgeon’s fee, body lift surgery costs may include:
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Medical tests
- Post-surgery garments
A lower body lift is a complicated procedure but our patients agree the results are worth it. Dr. Lin and his team are committed to optimizing your experience and welcome your questions or concerns.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about any of our services like Body Contouring, Arm Lift, Lower Body Lift, etc. contact us today at 617.632.7827. Our office serves Boston, MA, and surrounding areas.