Also known as a circumferential abdominoplasty or belt lipectomy, this procedure basically does everything that an extended abdominoplasty does only with the removal of any excess skin on the lower back and elevation of the buttocks. The width of the belt of the tissue to be excised depends on the amount of fat and extra skin you have.
The reason people seek this procedure is often due to having a large area of sagging skin from massive weight loss. This procedure is commonly performed after bariatic surgery, or after a dietary weight loss because of morbid obesity. Morbid obesity causes excessive stretching of the skin around the trunk, lateral thighs, lower back, buttocks, hips and flanks. A body lift, or circumferential lipectomy, can perfectly recontour the trunk and remove any excess skin at the same time.
This may vary from surgeon to surgeon. It usually involves making a circumcision at or below your waist, removing excess skin, and closing the incision with tension to create a tighter skin. The scar is usually hidden where you wear your underwear (your bikini line or just above the pubic hair area) and will extend to your hip bone and around, again dependant on your individual procedure and preferences. Make sure you discuss all these details with your surgeon so you know exactly what to expect.
Q. Why have a body lift / circumferential lipectomy?
A. It is usually considered for massive weight loss patients. It is an ideal procedure for those with excessive, sagging skin that will not budge no matter how much exercise or strength training you do. You should only undergo a body lift once you have reached or have almost reached your ideal weight to avoid having to deal with even more excess skin once you have.
Q. How does a body lift differ from liposuction?
A. Liposuction removes small areas of fat. It does not remove skin, which is what the body lift is able to do. Liposuction can be performed in conjunction with a body lift to create better shape, tone and contour. Your surgeon will be able to recommend what procedures are right for you.
Q. How long does the procedure last?
A. It depends on what procedures are included in the body lift and what your individual circumstance is. Depending on how much skin is to be removed, and whether or not liposuction is included, etc., it can take anywhere from between three to seven hours.
Q. What is the recovery time and when can I go back to my regular activities?
A. A body lift, or circumferential lipectomy, is major surgery and will require quite a lengthy recovery period. Most people may start doing light physical activities at around two weeks, but it is suggested you will need between four and six weeks before you can resume your normal routine and this is with restrictions. It can take up to six weeks to three months before the swelling fully resides and you are recommended not to resume exercising until at least six to eight weeks. You are likely to have bruising for at least a few weeks. Each person is different and it is all dependent on how you feel and your doctor’s suggestions. You should definitely ensure you have assistance in place for the first two weeks as moving will be difficult and often painful. It is recommended you take at least two to three weeks off work.