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Body Contouring Surgery After Dramatic Weight loss

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Body Contouring Surgery After Dramatic Weight loss

A body lift is a surgical procedure designed to sculpt, contour and shape your body.

If you have undergone dramatic weight loss through diet, exercise or bariatric surgery, you may be experiencing:

  • excess sagging and stretched skin
  • fat loss and
  • poor skin elasticity

Perhaps you’re feeling like you’ve come so far with your weight loss goals yet you’re faced with new challenges related excessive loose and sagging skin that just won’t go away.      Excess skin can cause ongoing physical issues like skin infections and general discomfort which can interfere with your everyday activities including exercies.   Patients often tell us that they wish to put their weight loss journey behind them once and for all so they can move on with their lives and embrace their new streamlined shape.

Through a combination of specialised procedures, involving removal of excess skin and fat along with skin tightening,  body lift surgery can dramatically improve the overall shape and appearance of your body.

What are the different body lift procedures?

  • Lower body lift – loose sagging skin of the tummy, pubic area, outer thighs, buttocks, hips, and waist is correct.
  • Panniculectomy  – removal of the hanging pannus or apron of skin from the lower tummy
  • Extended tummy tuck – often includes abdominal muscle repair and tightening, removal of excess skin and fat to reshape the waistline and occasionally lifting the mons pubis region.  Liposuction may be added to contour the waist and love handles
  • Brachioplasty or arm lift
  • Thigh lift
  • Breast lift/Breast Reduction
  • Face and Neck lift

Your can find information about other body contouring procedures in our service menu.

What is a lower body lift?

A number of factors including genetics, weight loss, sun damage, pregnancy and age-related changes can leave your skin with poor elasticity, excess skin and pockets of body fat. A lower body lift (LBL) also referred to as a circumferential belt lipectomy is a procedure that helps to shape and contour the lower abdomen and hip roll areas of the body that are problematic.

As with many other plastic surgeries, a lower body lift can be completely customised and tailored to the unique needs and goals of the individual patient.

What areas will a lower body lift treat?

A lower body lift procedure is targeted at lifting the buttocks, hip, abdomen, and thighs usually via an extended tummy tuck combined with muscle repair and removal of excess skin around the entire circumference or belt of the torso.  Typically the anterior and lateral thighs can also benefit from re-suspension and tightening of the abdominal and lower back skin.

Can I combine a lower body lift with other procedures?

Dramatic weight loss often requires multiple body contouring procedures that can be performed in stages and with various combinations.   For instance, a lower body lift may be performed with a breast lift or breast reduction but this will depend on your general health and fitness and overall safety risk of extending an already long procedure. There are also restrictions placed by private health insurers when surgeries are combined so be sure to check with our team.  Dr Cheng will discuss the option of combination surgeries during your consultation.

Who is a candidate for a lower body lift?

The best candidates for a lower body lift are patients who:

  • have experienced dramatic weight loss from bariatric surgery or diet/exercise
  • have loose or sagging in multiple areas including face, arms, neck, breasts, abdomen, back, buttocks and thighs
  • have reasonable skin elasticity
  • your weight has been stable for at least 6 months
  • be in good general health (able to undergo general anaesthesia)
  • are Non-smokers – smoking limits the amount of oxygen in bloodstream, which slows the healing process
  • have realistic expectations

Remember, a body lift is not a weight loss solution. Any patient who is considered to be obese should consult their GP or health care professional for a weight loss program before undergoing this surgery.

Learn more about your BMI (Body Mass Index) and plastic surgery here.

Will my private health insurance cover post weight loss plastic surgery?

Providing you meet the 4 key medicare criteria for dramatic weight loss and you have GOLD TIER hospital cover you may receive healthfund rebates from your private health insurance and medicare.

Refer to Dr Cheng’s explanation of the key medicare criteria and referral requirements here.

What is the recovery like from a lower body lift?

A lower body lift procedure in its entirety can take two to five hours to complete. Dr Eddie Cheng will work to place your incisions so that your scars can be hidden by underwear or clothing where possible. Although these scars will not disappear completely, patients notice they fade considerably over time.

Immediately after

Directly after the procedure, you will be numb, have some swelling, bruising and some discomfort. Dr Eddie Cheng will give you detailed instructions and once you are able to, you our nurse will fit you with your compression garment to wear for the next 6 weeks following surgery.

Recovery time will vary depending on what procedures you have.  Often week 1-2 is the most uncomfortable and slowest due to the need for surgical drains.  You wil

6 Weeks and beyond

After your six-week recovery, you can expect to see a flatter tummy, lifted buttocks, contoured hips and firmer thighs.

The effects of a lower body lift are incredible when patients maintain their weight, follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. If you gain weight after a lower body lift, your skin that has been tightened may stretch, undoing lower body lift improvements. Further, weight loss can also loosen and sag the newly tightened areas of skin.

Keep in mind your final results in terms of scarring and shape may take up to a year to be realised.

Lower body lift from AR Plastic Surgery

Dr Eddie Chang is one of Australia’s leading specialist plastic surgeons and performs many lower body lifts each year. If you are already feeling the benefits of losing weight, this is just the next step along the journey to have you feeling truly amazing. Book a consultation with the team at AR Plastic Surgery in Brisbane and see how we can help transform your body.

Key Questions about Body Contouring Surgery After Dramatic Weight loss

Before Procedure

How much weight can be removed with a lift procedure?

A thigh lift, arm lift, or body lift should not be thought of as a weight loss procedure. However, because they do remove excess skin and other tissue including some subcutaneous fat you will lose some weight. A full body lift, which is a combination of a tummy tuck, thigh lift, and buttock lift, may remove as much as 10 kilos for someone who has a large amount of redundant skin after losing a large amount of weight.

Who is a good candidate for a Lower Body Lift?

Good candidates for Lower Body Lift surgery are patients who have excess skin and tissue which shows much laxity along the abdomen, lower torso, buttocks, and upper thighs. The typical patient having a Lower Body Lift is a person who has experienced massive weight loss and now has a more normal Body Mass Index (BMI). To be considered for surgery a patient should be in good health, a non-smoker and no pre-existing medical issues.

During Procedure

Where are the incisions made for a body lift?

The incision for the body lift is a circumferential one which is located around the lower abdomen and above the buttocks.

After Procedure

Is the body lift a painful procedure?

Patients may experience some discomfort after the body lift procedure, however, medication will be prescribed to keep the pain manageable.

What are the risks or possible complications of the body lift?

The potential risks or complications associated with the body lift may include bleeding, infection, scarring, and delayed wound healing.

How long is the recovery following a Lower Body Lift?

As with any plastic surgery, the recovery following a Lower Body Lift is a gradual process. After 3-5 nights in the hospital patients will go home. During the second week following surgery, patients may begin to lightly progress their activity and will be able to take care of themselves. Most patients will take two to three weeks off from work, depending upon their occupation.

When can I shower after a Lower Body Lift?

If you have drains and or a pain pump inserted after the body lift procedure, you will not be able to take a full shower until these are out.

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