A well-toned body with smooth contours often is a sign of fitness achieved by healthy diet and exercise. But exercise cannot always achieve results for individuals who have loose, sagging skin and uneven contours. Aging, sun damage, pregnancy and significant fluctuations in weight as well as genetic factors may contribute to poor tissue elasticity and can result in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and loose upper arms.
If you desire a firmer, more youthful-looking body contour, then a surgical body lift may help achieve your goals. In general, a body lift reduces excess fat and skin resulting in smoother skin and contours. These physical changes to the body can improve your body image and enhance self-confidence.
What is a body lift?
A body lift is surgery performed to correct excess loose and sagging skin and irregular contours of the:
- Abdominal area, locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area
- Buttocks, that may be low, flat or shaped unevenly
- Groin that may sag into the inner thigh
- Thigh, including the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or circumferentially
- Upper arms, including the armpit region
Surgical body lifting improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin. Excess sagging fat and skin is removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. In addition, a body lift can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface, commonly known as cellulite.
Body Lifts can reduce excess sagging tissue and recontour one or multiple areas of the body. Incision patterns vary based on the area or areas to be treated, degree of correction and patient and surgeon preference. One common techinque of lower body lift uses incisions “outlined” similar to a bikini pattern to tighten the abdomen, groin, waist, thigh and buttock.
A complete lower body lift treats the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips, and thighs in one procedure. A circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat and repositions and tightens tissues. A combination of liposuction and surgical body lifts may be necessary to achieve an improved contour. Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.
Body lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and body lift techniques may be recommended.
My body lift
If it’s determined that a body lift might be a good option for you, an individualized plan will be customized based on your specific condition(s). Conditions that may be improved by a body lift include:
- Dimpled or uneven soft tissue (cellulite)
- Lax, loose skin
- Excess fat and tissue
- Sagging body contours
Many conditions can contribute to tissue that is weak and lacking in tone or firmness, and to uneven or sagging body contours. These most commonly include:
- Weight changes, especially substantial weight loss, such as occurs following gastric bypass surgery
- Stress on the skin and underlying tissue that may result from pregnancy
- The natural aging process causing skin and tissue to lose elasticity and tone over time
- Sun damage and other environmental factors that contribute to premature aging of the skin
- Heredity or the genetic make-up that determines one’s body type and skin qualities including cellulite
- Childhood and teenage obesity resulting in premature loss of youthful skin tone
There is no other method of body contouring that can restore body shape, skin appearance, and skin tone as effectively as a body lift. Body lifts are surgical procedures and they require incisions; in some cases, incisions may be extensive. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits.
Other body contouring procedures may be performed separately or in the same surgical session as a body lift, including liposuction and tummy tuck, breast lift, or male or female breast reduction. However, not all patients are good candidates for combined procedures. Your case will be evaluated on an individual basis.
A Consultation is the Best Place to Start
consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn not only if a tummy tuck might be right for you, but also how abdominal contour surgery or a tummy tuck can improve your body image and abdominal contour. A consultation is designed to fully educate you about tummy tuck in a non-pressured environment, and will include:
- Discussion of your goals and evaluation of your individual case
- Options available in tummy tuck surgery
- Likely outcomes of tummy tuck and risks/potential complications
- The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon
If you are interested in receiving additional information or setting up an initial consultation, please contact Weniger Plastic Surgery at (843) 757-0123.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.