Our skin is the first “suit” we ever have, and the one we will keep for life. And just like any other kind of suit, our skin can adjust in ways over time that lead to it not fitting to our bodies as well as it used to.
When skin loses elasticity or becomes excessive, a body lift can restore it to its desired shape and tightness. You might think of it as special tailoring to help one feel more comfortable in their own skin again!
What Can a Body Lift Help?
Many factors in life can affect the shape and elasticity of your skin. Some come from life events, while others may be genetic and completely unavoidable.
Factors that may contribute to sagging or irregular shaped skin include:
- Sun Damage
- Your Family’s Genetics
- Dramatic Weight Loss
The last factor can be particularly devastating for individuals who have worked so hard to lose weight. While they have undoubtedly had an extremely positive impact on their health by doing so, this is not fully reflected in the excess skin drooping from their bodies.
While a body lift can be performed in many needed areas, they tend to be performed where loose skin most often concentrates:
- The Abdomen – Not only in the very front, but also around the sides and somewhat into the lower back area.
- The Thighs – The inner and outer areas, as well as the total circumference.
- The Buttocks
- The Groin
Who are the Best Candidates for a Body Lift?
We should first note that a body lift deals only in tightening and removing excess skin. Removing excess fat is the job of liposuction, and there are many cases when liposuction alone can contour the body and the overlying skin is elastic enough to cover it well. There are also cases, however, where liposuction might be recommended in addition to a body lift for best results.
In general, a good body lift candidate is one who possesses substantial looseness of skin in one or more specific areas. The skin itself should be the primary issue.
A good candidate should also be living a healthy lifestyle (and if you have recently lost weight, this is likely not a problem!). You should not be expecting any significant changes in body shape in the future, however. If you are planning to have a child, you will want to discuss whether it would be best to postpone this type of procedure.
When you come in for a consultation, we will discuss in-depth your goals for having a body lift, as well as your medical history, general lifestyle, and current health. Photos and measurements will also very likely be taken, and the full variety of options—with potential risks and benefits—will be reviewed.
In the end, we want to recommend the best course of action for every patient’s needs, and wish to make sure everyone leaves with full confidence and clear direction in the choices they want to make.
What Happens in a Body Lift?
A body lift is a surgical procedure. Depending on the location it is being performed, it may involve lengthy incisions and sutures.
Incisions will remove the excess skin and contour what remains to tighten it over the frame of the body. These changes are reinforced with deep suturing, and additional tools such as skin adhesives, clips, and tape may also be used. Incisions and sutures are placed in positions that can easily be covered by clothing, undergarments, and swimsuits, whenever possible.
The initial results of a body lift are immediately visible, but the overall procedure may need to be performed over the course of several sessions.
The full recovery process from a body lift can take a few months. The first several weeks are the most important, requiring rest and likely the need to wear special compression bandages or a drainage tube.
After several weeks, sutures will be removed but recommended activities will still be limited. Strenuous exercise is prohibited for at least a month.
The final settling and positioning of your soft tissues will happen over a few months, but we will monitor your progress with regular check-ups to ensure everything is performing as it should. The process is lengthy, but those who enter with the right attitude and expectations find it well worth it.
For more information on body lift procedures and additional options that may help you achieve your ideal goals, contact our Fort Lauderdale office at (954) 380-8411 or request a consultation using our online form. Dr. Learn is happy to talk with you!