As more people safely undergo bariatric surgery and lose large amounts of weight, the need for body contouring is increasing. A post bariatric body lift will use several surgical techniques to supplement or “finalize” the cosmetic improvements achieved through weight loss. When body weight drops significantly, excess skin is often left behind, causing discomfort, hindered activity, and cosmetic problems. The body lift procedure removes and lifts excess skin in order to remedy such problems.
Who Can Benefit From a Post Bariatric Body Lift?
Those who experience functional and cosmetic problems resulting from massive weight loss will benefit most from a body lift. Patients are usually advised to wait until their body weight has stabilized. This may require waiting 18-24 months after bariatric surgery. To undergo a body lift, patients should also be in good mental and physical health.
Insurance may even cover some cases such as when the patient’s ability to walk is hindered. However, most surgeries of this type are considered elective and are therefore not covered.
The post bariatric body lift is a major operation. Those who will benefit most are willing to accept scars in order to attain improved body shape and contour.
The surgery is usually done in stages, combining multiple liposuction and excision operations on the central body. The back, lower abdomen, inner and outer thighs, and buttocks are addressed in a circumferential fashion. When possible, incisions are made in natural body creases so they remain inconspicuous after surgery. The redundant skin on the body is removed or lifted and the incisions are closed with sutures.
Objectives of body lift surgery may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Recreating the waist line
- Flattening the tummy
- Removing lower back rolls
- Redefine the thighs and buttocks
- Recreate or relocate the navel
Body Lift Recovery and Results
Recovery from a body lift will often involve significant fatigue. The first 24 hours will require bed rest and patients are advised to walk after the second day (with assistance if needed). Compression garments are worn for about 6 weeks. Drains are put in place immediately after surgery and will be removed during recovery as they become unnecessary.