Whether you’ve accomplished significant weight loss via bariatric surgery or used more traditional methods, dropping pounds is hard to do. Often, it’s the vision of a smaller, slimmer body that powers patients through those difficult times until they can achieve their weight loss goals. Unfortunately, when the weight is gone, the body rarely looks as expected. Massive weight loss leaves large quantities of loose skin behind.
We tell our post-bariatric patients that weight loss is only the beginning of the journey to a trim body. A surgical body lift picks up where your weight loss efforts ended, shaping and contouring the body through the removal of excess skin. Call Farber Plastic Surgery at 561-503-2700 to learn more about post-bariatric surgery, and surgical body lifts in Boca Raton, FL.
Excess Skin After Weight Loss- Why Does It Happen?
Skin is an amazing protective layer that covers the body. As you gain weight, your skin expands, stretching to accommodate additional fat. We often compare the skin to a plastic bag. If you fill the bag past its capacity, it will stretch and expand to accommodate the additional contents. Remove the items inside, and the bag will have likely lost its shape. It’s still a bag, and it still holds things, but it may be stretched out in some areas and lose its sleek appearance.
The skin has some ability to contract, but in cases of massive weight loss, the amount of extra skin exceeds the body’s ability for contraction. Exercise can build muscle, but it won’t tighten loose skin. Cutting calories burns fat, but the skin will still remain.
The loose skin problem doesn’t stop with appearance. Excess skin can cause rashes and infection. It leaves patients feeling disappointed by their body appearance and less motivated to exercise and maintain healthy habits. It is also heavy, contributing to back pain and impeding exercise.
Loose skin won’t go away on its own. Surgical excision is the only way to remove large quantities of excess skin. The procedure we use for this skin removal is called a body lift.
What Is a Body Lift?
A body lift is similar to a tummy tuck, a procedure that lifts and shapes the abdominal area. While a tummy tuck is abdomen focused, a body lift extends its scope to include the sides and the back area. We like to think of it as a lift for the entire mid-section, front to back and side to side. A body lift’s effects are experienced 360 degrees around the body beginning at just below the chest and extending down to the buttocks and pubic area. It removes excess skin, improves body contours, and tightens musculature, revealing the smaller body you worked so hard to achieve.
A body lift is often combined with other body shaping treatments like an arm lift or thigh lift. Liposuction can enhance results by removing some of the stubborn fat that remains. Like all the treatments performed at Farber Plastic Surgery, your body lift will be customized to your individual needs.
Meet Dr. Farber
Dr. Scott Farber is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 10 years of experience who is dedicated to providing each patient with high-quality, personalized care. A Southern Florida native, Dr. Farber is well-versed in the latest surgical and non-surgical procedures and techniques.
What Happens During a Body Lift Procedure?
A body lift is performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Farber has privileges at two local area hospitals, Boca Raton Regional Hospital and West Boca Medical Center, where he performs body lift procedures.
On the day of surgery, you’ll check in at the hospital and meet briefly with Dr. Farber and your board-certified anesthesiologist before the procedure. Dr. Farber will make surgical markings, special marks to help him position incisions during the procedure. We’ll also have a few minutes to answer final questions.
Body lift incisions are similar in shape to bikini lines. An incision is made around the body and a triangular piece of skin and tissue is removed from both the front and backside. Underlying tissues are lifted and supported and skin is redraped to cover the areas of tissue removal.
After the skin removal is complete, the tissues are sutured closed. Deep sutures will help hold contours in place during healing. The area is bandaged and often covered with compression garments.
After the body lift is complete, you’ll awake from anesthesia and move into recovery. After a short stay, patients return home. We offer of the services of our skilled recovery nurses for post-treatment after care.
Recovery After a Body Lift
As you prepare for your procedure, we’ll give detailed information about expected timelines so you can arrange for necessary help and time off from work.
Recovery is a process. You’ll feel progressively better each day until you’re back to most daily activities. Take it slowly and give your body the time and rest that it needs. Plan on missing 1-2 weeks from work. Most patients are cleared to resume exercise 6 weeks after surgery.
Will I Have Scarring After a Body Lift?
Some scarring is inevitable after this procedure. We carefully place each incision to minimize visibility and use specialized suturing techniques. Most patients find that the improvement in body contour and shape drastically outweighs any visible scarring that remains.
If you’re worried about scars, let Dr. Farber know. He can show you before and after photos so you know what to expect and can provide detailed information about careful incision placement and scar healing. There are also several post-treatment scar treatment options available to minimize the appearance of scars.
Am I Ready for a Body Lift?
A body lift is a culmination procedure, best saved for the end of a weight loss journey. We tell our patients to lose weight first, and then to see us about body contouring and skin removal. Ideally, a patient should be close to their target weight and stabilized. The ability to maintain a healthy weight is essential to long-lasting results from your procedure.
A body lift is an extensive surgical procedure and patients should be in good overall health. If you have medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, you’ll need to work with your doctor to control and regulate these conditions before surgery is a possibility.
Call our friendly staff in Boca Raton at 561-503-2700 or leave us a message through our website today to discuss how a body lift can free your fit figure from the excess skin that is part of your past. We’re happy to answer any questions and even schedule your consultation.