A body lift refers to a combination of procedures that aim to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks for a more contoured appearance in the lower body. This comprehensive treatment plan is designed to lift and tighten the hip and lateral thigh regions by addressing lax skin that may have developed from pregnancy, massive weight loss, or the natural loss of shape that occurs with the aging process. When a body lift is performed simultaneous to an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, it is commonly referred to as a belt lipectomy.
After listening to your concerns in a consultation, plastic surgeon David Bottger, MD can create a personalized body lift treatment plan based on which areas you would like to improve. Following the removal and tightening of excess skin in the lower body, many patients report a newfound sense of confidence in their smoother and more defined contours. Body lift patients also typically experience relief from discomfort caused by large excess skin folds, such as chafing and skin irritation.
Who is a Good Candidate for Body Lift Surgery?
A body lift can be a highly effective cosmetic surgery to restore tone and shape to regions of the body affected by sagging skin and/or excess fatty deposits. Liposuction is often utilized during a body lift when redundant fat is compromising a sleek, sculpted look in targeted areas. Good body lift patients typically:
- Exhibit loose skin or poor skin elasticity in the thighs, buttocks, and/or abdomen
- Have realistic expectations about what the procedure can and cannot accomplish
- Wish to improve more than one region of the body
Those considering body lift surgery should also be at or near their ideal weight, and healthy enough to undergo the recovery process. Many patients who benefit from a body lift have typically undergone massive weight loss or gastric bypass surgery and wish to address the resulting excess skin. Dr. Bottger will help you determine the most appropriate treatment for your needs and goals after he evaluates your concerns in person.
What Does the Body Lift Procedure Involve?
Depending on which areas of the lower body experience skin laxity, a body lift treatment plan is usually customized to incorporate multiple procedures, such as thigh lift surgery, abdominoplasty, and/or liposuction. Most body lifting procedures are performed under general anesthesia and require an overnight stay in the hospital. Surgical times vary based on the extent of concerns and the complexity of your treatment plan.
The trunk or buttock lift procedure involves an excision of skin and underlying fat in the lower back, buttocks, and lateral thigh region, yielding restored shape in sagging buttocks and lateral thighs. Liposuction may be performed in conjunction with a trunk lift to optimize contours. Fat grafting can also be performed concurrently to maximize buttock contours. When an abdominoplasty is performed, the trunk lift incision is extended to the anterior bikini line region for the removal of excess fat and skin, as well as the tightening of the abdominal muscles.
What is Recovery from a Body Lift Like?
The nature of the recovery period will depend on the complexity of your body lift. After surgery, bandages or compression garments will be worn around the treated areas to help the skin conform to your new contours. Drainage tubes are placed after a body lift and remain for approximately one week. One of our nurses will teach you how to care for your drains while at home. Sutures are deep to the surface and used to close incisions, dissolving on their own. Steristrips are also placed on the skin’s surface and fall off after several weeks. Return to work in an office setting is expected after approximately two weeks, but strenuous work duties may require slightly more downtime. Significant exercising and weight lifting can be resumed in approximately eight weeks.
Will I Have Noticeable Body Lift Scars?
Most surgical procedures typically leave some extent of scarring, and good body lift candidates do not mind accepting post-surgical scars for the improved shape and tone of their lower body. The size and pattern of the incisions made will depend on where excess skin removal is desired, therefore the exact shape of your scars will vary from patient to patient. Incisions are usually made in a bikini-like fashion circumferentially around the buttocks and pelvis. Dr. Bottger makes scars as inconspicuous as possible by placing incisions in the natural folds and contours of the skin when the opportunity allows. Body lift scars can usually remain hidden beneath a bikini or underwear.
Are There Potential Risks or Complications with a Body Lift?
The risks of body lift surgery are consistent with the risks that normally exist with any cosmetic surgery, which include but are not limited to infection, bleeding (hematoma), skin necrosis (loss), numbness, and unfavorable scarring. Contour irregularities are also possible, highlighting the importance of selecting a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in aesthetic surgery to perform your body lift. Although complications are always a possibility, your safety and well-being is maximized when you are under the care of a surgeon accredited by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
How Much Does a Body Lift Cost?
A body lift alone costs approximately $14,000 depending on the amount of excess skin to be removed and the overall extent of the procedure. Other factors that can affect the price of a lower body lift include:
- Additional ancillary procedures included in your treatment plan
- Whether liposuction in addition to excess skin removal is necessary
- The overall complexity of surgery
When Dr. Bottger evaluates your concerns in a consultation, our patient care coordinator will be able to provide a more accurate and personalized estimate of your surgical fees. Our payment options include plastic surgery financing from CareCredit®, a leading healthcare lending company commonly utilized for aesthetic treatments and procedures. After being approved, qualified patients can select the most ideal short- or long-term payment plan, many of which offer low- to no-interest options provided that the sum is paid within the promotional period. If you have any questions, our office team would be happy to help walk you through the application process.
For more information on the body lift procedure, please contact David A. Bottger, MD. Dr. Bottger serves the Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr areas, as well as West Chester.