When the Excess Skin Becomes Too Much to Deal With

Published on September 27, 2017

People who lose a significant amount of weight, whether through diet and exercise or through bariatric surgery, are often left with a byproduct problem on their hands: excess skin. Excess skin can occur due to pregnancies or our natural aging process.

The most prevalent cases are those involving massive weight loss; skin becomes loose and saggy when its elasticity has been compromised due to all the stretching and loosening. This excess loose skin is found mostly in the abdominal area and the upper legs. Often, there will also be stubborn fatty deposits and cellulite that refuse to go away. Altogether, this leads to a problematic situation where it can be difficult finding clothes. The excess hanging skin may be displeasing to the eye, may cause self-consciousness, and may lead to general discomfort and lowered self-esteem.

Luckily, there is a solution: body lift surgery.

What Is a Body Lift and Who Is It For?

A body lift is a combination of an abdominoplasty (aka a tummy tuck), a back or buttocks lift, and thigh lifts. The aim is to remove excess skin and stubborn fat and give shape and contours to those areas of the body. Tissue is lifted in order to get rid of the sagging appearance.

The procedure is also known as a belt lipectomy because it involves the removal of the excess skin around the belt area through an incision running all along the waist region. A body lift is not simply a cosmetic procedure. While it is accepted that large sagging folds of skin look undesirable, they can also cause rashes and difficulty in movement. A body lift can be a healthy choice to consider, especially if there is a considerable amount of drooping tissue that is causing problems.

During the procedure, the patient is under general anesthesia to help avoid any pain or discomfort. The surgeon makes a series of incisions along the waist, the thighs, the buttocks, and the groin area. Then the excess skin is removed and liposuction is performed to take out unwanted fat and to shape the area. The skin is pulled tight and sewn back together using a suture technique, which ensures that the new form will be kept.

A person must have a significant amount of loose skin in order to be considered for the procedure. One of the conditions a person must fulfill before getting the surgery is that they must have maintained a stable weight for at least one year prior. The surgeon will make sure that there are no existing health conditions that may make the procedure risky.

Results of a Body Lift

Recovery time is quite short, usually around one to two nights. In certain cases, a thin tube may be inserted under the skin to help drain fluid and blood. Results are immediately noticeable; however, full results may take up to a year to reveal themselves as the tissues settle. It takes at least four to six weeks before normal activity can be resumed, and swelling takes about three months or so to fully subside.

Schedule a Consultation

Find out more information about the body lift procedure and whether or not it’s right for you – contact our office and make an appointment for a consultation. When you speak with double-board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Leo Keegan during a consultation, you’ll be able to ask any questions you may have.