Full Body Lift Surgery For the Removal of Excess Skin Due to Extreme Weight Loss

A Follow-up Procedure to Bariatric Surgery
By Houston, Texas Plastic Surgeon & Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr. Mark Schusterman


Body Lift Surgery is a solution for anyone who’s lost 60 to 350 pounds and is left with excess skin on their face, breasts, back, trunk and thighs. Extremely obese individuals often experience a loss in skin elasticity due to the prolonged periods of stretching from the increased volume of weight.

Candidates for body lifts include patients who have undergone bariatric surgery (gastric bypass surgery, gastric banding, intestinal bypass surgery, lap banding) to combat obesity since their original size hindered mobility and exercise. Bariatric surgery is a common procedure in which the stomach and intestines are modified to make weight loss an achievable goal.

Whether through surgery or improved nutrition and fitness habits, shedding significant amounts of weight leaves you with pounds of loose skin. The only way to tighten the skin is through surgery, which unfortunately leads to scarring.

The severity of scarring depends on the amount of excess skin that is removed. For a full body lift, long scars will remain on the inside of the legs, underneath the arms, across the stomach, and extending across the hips. If you have only a small amount of loose skin, the scarring would probably not be worth the surgery results.

Full Body Lift Surgery involves all of the following contouring procedures:

 

Problem Solution
Loose abdominal skin Tummy Tuck
Loose arm skin Arm Lift (brachioplasty)
Loose breast skin Breast Lift (mastopexy)
Loose inner thigh skin Inner thigh lift
Loose thigh and buttock skin Outer thigh and buttock lift

 

Surgical Body Lift Procedure

Dr. Schusterman evaluate the entire body to determine the extent of the incisions and duration of the surgery. General anesthesia is used for the operation, which can last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours depending on the amount of excess skin removed. During the surgery, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is typically performed first, after which excess skin is removed from the legs, arms, and breast area.

Recovery Time

Modest amounts of pain, bruising, and swelling are present after the procedure. Length of recovery will depend on the extent of the surgery and patients may stay in the hospital up to a week. Below is an average recovery schedule:

Post-Surgery Schedule Timeframe
Pain controlled with medication 5 to10 days
Tubes and drains left in skin 1 to 2 weeks
Swelling subsides 2 to 6 weeks
Return to work As early as 2 weeks, 4 to 6 weeks recommended
Resume exercise 6 to 8 weeks
Fully healed scars 6 months to 1 year

 

Full Body Lift Results

The results achieved with a body lift are permanent but remain sensitive to diet and exercise. The problem will never be completely eradicated, but an improvement in skin tightness will be evident. Even after contouring, patients with previously loose skin will experience loosening and sagging much faster with age than their peers.

Your Life after Body Lift Surgery

Body lift surgery can have very positive outcomes for both the body and mind. Loose skin can be a physically uncomfortable reminder of the excess weight you once carried. By removing this extra weight, you will feel more comfortable with your body image and shape, fit into clothes that make you feel attractive and boost your new self-confidence even more.

For further information regarding the removal of excess skin with full body lift surgery, call the Museum District Aesthetic Plastic Surgery office at 713-794-0368 or fill out our contact form.