Excess skin and drooping of the buttocks, thighs, and abdomen can be treated with a body lift. In this procedure, a “belt” of skin is removed around the lower abdomen and extending around the back. The buttocks, abdomen, waist and thighs are tightened and lifted.
What Is Surgery After Massive Weight Loss
Dramatic weight loss, aging, or sun damage may result in loose and sagging skin. This excess skin can make it difficult to find clothing that fits well or cause rashes. A body lift can help remove excess skin and improve the contour of the body. A body lift can help lift and reduce the skin in the abdomen, thighs, groin, and buttocks. Body contouring can also be done on the back and arms.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Patients who have reached their ideal body weight, have maintained that weight for at least 6 months, and are in good general health are good candidates for these procedures. For patients who have had bariatric surgery, will need to have their nutritional labs checked prior to surgery.
How is the Procedure Performed?
Prior to surgery, the areas of skin to be removed are marked while you are standing up. The procedures are performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical center or hospital. The excess skin is removed and the tissues are tightened and repositioned. The incisions are closed with sutures and dressings. Drains may be placed. You will wear compressive garments after surgery.
Limitation, Risks, and Complications
Body lift procedures are not intended only for removal of excess fatty tissue. If there is good skin elasticity, liposuction can be done to remove the excess fat.
Thigh lifts are best for removing extra loose skin between the legs. It is not meant for reduction of a large amount of excess fat. If you have a lot of excess fat, you may benefit from a weight loss program, weight loss surgery, or liposuction prior to undergoing a thigh lift. Risks include poor wound healing, bleeding, infection, fluid collections, wound separation, asymmetry, deep fatty tissue may die (fat necrosis), skin discoloration and/or swelling, spitting sutures, poor appearance of scars, numbness or changes to sensation on the skin, and need for additional operations.
If you have swelling in one leg, pain in the legs, shortness of breath, chest pain, or abnormal beating of the heart, you should immediately go to the emergency room.
What to Expect During Your Consultation Visit
During your initial consultation with your surgeon at Hill Country Plastic Surgery, we will discuss your concerns and goals before recommending treatment options that are tailored specifically to your needs. Prior to your consultation, we recommend that you review the procedures on our website so you are familiar with the terms we will be using during our discussion.
Once we identify your concerns and surgical goals, we will discuss all of the treatment options that are available to you. Every patient is unique and we will develop a tailored surgical plan that addresses your specific goals. In addition, we will thoroughly review your medical history, surgical history, medications, allergies, family medical history, and other important details. It is very important that we obtain accurate information in all of these areas as it may impact the outcome of your surgery. Other information we will need to know is your current weight loss program if any, and how long your weight has been stable. If you had prior weight loss surgery, information from your bariatric surgeon will be reviewed. We will examine and measure your body to help with developing a personalized treatment plan.
While discussing different treatment options, we will perform a physical exam and take measurements that are necessary for planning for your surgery. Pre-operative (before surgery) photos will be taken either at your initial consultation, or during your pre-operative visit.
After your consultation, you will receive access to your notes on the patient portal in addition to information about your specific surgery. If you have not activated your patient portal, this can be done at your appointment by asking any of our staff to assist you. If you have questions after your appointment, you can contact our office or message us through the patient portal. Some patients will require medical clearance from their primary care physician or a specialist or additional tests before undergoing surgery.
Once you have determined that you would like to have surgery and have completed any clearances and tests that were requested, contact our office at (210) 658-3555 to schedule a pre-operative appointment with one of our surgeons.
Surgery After Massive Weight Loss FAQs
When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
On average, patients can return to full activities, including working out at the gym, 6 weeks after surgery.
How long is recovery?
You will be able to return to light duty at 2 weeks and to full activities at 6 weeks. We recommend that you wear your compression garments at all times for the first 6 weeks except when showering.
How long before I see my results?
Results are visible immediately after surgery but the full results will not be seen for many months. For the first three days after surgery, you will be swollen and after that, the swelling starts to resolve. You won’t see a significant amount of the swelling go down until around 3 weeks. It may take years to see the results of the surgery and up to two years to see the final outcome.
How much is a body lift?
The price of a body lift is dependent on how much skin and fat need to be removed. Sometimes, liposuction is recommended to remove excess fat from the treated areas.
Will insurance cover a body lift?
A cosmetic thigh lift is body lift is not typically covered by insurance. Sometimes removal of only the abdominal skin is covered by insurance but tightening of the abdominal muscles is not covered. We recommend you call your insurance carrier for more information.