A body lift after major weight loss can be a truly transformational surgery. Depending upon which doctor you consult, the term “body lift” may refer to any number of various surgical techniques. Some plastic surgeons use the term when speaking about a circumferential body lift, while others use it to apply to all the “lifting” procedures that can be performed after massive weight loss. However, a body lift usually refers to surgery that corrects loose abdominal muscles and skin, as well as sagging skin from thighs and buttocks that typically remains after major weight loss.
Though it may seem excess skin is the main concern after major weight loss, the problem often goes deeper. When a person is obese, they carry fat within the abdomen that stretches the abdominal muscles. If you have lost a significant amount of weight from bariatric surgery, the areas around your stomach may have redundant skin as well as overstretched muscles as a result of both intra and extra abdominal fat loss.
Though abdominal exercises can help strengthen the muscles, they are often not enough to return those muscles to their original shape or reduce remaining excess skin. A special tummy tuck procedure, called a circumferential abdominoplasty, can remove the excess skin from the flanks and abdomen. During this process, your plastic surgeon is also able to tighten the abdominal muscles, ultimately lifting the outer thighs and buttocks as well.
Other procedures may be performed to reduce excess skin from the body, addressing areas including the inner thighs (or thighplasty), the arms (brachioplasty), the back (backplasty), or the breasts (breast reduction, mastopexy, or breast augmentation). The benefits of these auxiliary post-weight loss surgeries can be significant. For example, a thighplasty is designed to remove the skin from the inner thighs down to the knee area to allow you to fit into pants more comfortably. Occasionally, our patients opt to combine post-weight loss surgery with facial procedures to optimize their final overall results.