A body lift is a similar concept to a facelift, which smoothes and tightens the skin and underlying tissues and removes unwanted pockets of fat to eliminate loose skin. However, the most common reason for a body lift is not aging, but rather skin that cannot conform to body contours because of lost or poor elasticity after weight loss, liposuction or other body-shape changes. And while a facelift may redistribute fat, a body lift will more likely remove it in conjunction with liposuction or excision (cutting the fat out).
For some patients, the underlying issue is not fat, but rather excess skin. The younger patients who benefit from a body lift are those who have gained and lost a large amount of weight. This combination stresses the skin to shapes and proportions that can only be corrected through a body lift procedure.
During a body lift your plastic surgeon reshapes your body contours by reducing fat; lifting, tightening and shaping the underlying skin matrix; and smoothing and reducing the overlying skin.
A body lift can address stretch marks, if the skin that is to be excised contains them, and cellulite. Stretch marks are the precursor to truly sagging skin, which can only be addressed with body lift surgery.
Cellulite is actually a skin issue, not a fat issue. The tethering bands of connective tissue are responsible for the orange-peel look because it’s the part of the skin that’s allowing the fatty layer beneath to bulge through. Since women experience cellulite significantly more than men, most doctors believe estrogen plays a role in its development.
Before deciding to undergo body lift surgery, your weight must be relatively stable for at least a year. Women considering future pregnancies should postpone an abdominal body lift since pregnancy may reduce the procedure’s overall results.
The results of a body lift procedure are visible almost immediately, but final results may take several months to fully develop depending on your individual needs. While scars will remain, the overall results are long lasting through maintaining a stable weight and exercise.