The body lift procedure, also called skin removal surgery, is usually done on the patient who has recently lost a large amount of weight, often with a weight-loss procedure. When a patient has been overweight for a very long time, or when the weight loss happens fairly quickly, the skin’s elasticity is insufficient and the result is excess folds of skin around the midsection.
This surgical procedure is an extension of an abdominoplasty, in that the incision is continued around the posterior (back) trunk.
In contrast to the traditional abdominoplasty, which tightens the abdominal skin in a downward direction, the direction of pull in the posterior part of the extended abdominoplasty surgery is upward, thereby lifting the buttocks and outer thighs. The procedure also removes excess fat and skin of the back, hips and flanks, that can be resistant to diet and exercise.
Body-lift can be done as a single procedure or in two separate surgeries. This is most commonly done as a single procedure, which addresses both front and back. The abdominoplasty is done first, and at a later surgery, the posterior lift is carried out. Although a single procedure is more convenient, patients should understand that two separate procedures may have certain advantages. This two-stage approach can be safer, with an easier recovery (or easier recoveries), and result in reduced hospitalization.
As with any other plastic surgery, a body-lift is not a “routine” procedure and must be individualized. To obtain information and recommendations specific to your individual situation, it is imperative to have a consultation with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.