Body Lifting and Contouring Surgery for Massive Weight Loss Patients
A full body lift can help patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and now have excess loose skin and saggy tissue. People who have lost a lot of weight through diet & exercise or post-bariatric (weightloss) surgery often find that their skin does not return back to normal. After being stretched, excess skin and fat have no natural way of re-shaping to your new slimmer form. Underlying muscles can be toned and strengthened, and your fat can be lost but other than surgical removal, there is no way to tighten large amounts of loose sagging overlying skin.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Doyle has over 30 years of experience performing body lifting procedures with meticulous skill and expertise.
What is a body lift?
A body lift is the combination of several different plastic surgeries that can help to remove the excess skin, stretched muscles, sagging buttocks and even excess fat left behind after substantial weight loss. It is a popular body contouring procedure for patients looking to complete their weight loss journey by removing large skin folds and stubborn fat from the hip, outer thigh, lower abdomen and upper buttocks areas. A body lift may be the ideal solution to contour your body and remove excess skin.
After significant weight loss, body lift surgery can remove the excess sheets of skin, conceal stretch marks, lift sagging buttocks and remove excess fat. Which procedures we will use for your full body lift will be determined by your specific needs. It also depends on whether you’re having a lower, middle or upper body lift.
A body lift is not an operation to cure obesity. If you are more than 50% over your ideal body weight then we would suggest that you first follow a weight-loss program or undergo weight loss surgery before we can perform this procedure. Once you are near your ideal weight, the body lift can be performed, allowing you to wear clothes that were previously unsuitable.
What are the different types of Body Lifting surgery?
The full body lift combines multiple procedures to target specific problem areas so that you can enjoy the results of your significant weight loss.
- A Lower Body Lift usually includes a tummy tuck, thigh lift and a butt lift
- Upper Body lifts vary depending on your needs but can include an arm lift, removal of extra skin on the chest and back and breast surgery for women
- A Full Body Lift involves a combination of both upper and lower body surgeries, commonly performed months apart so that your body has time to heal
Who makes the best body lift candidate?
Patients who have significant soft tissue looseness in one or more areas of their body are suitable for the body lift procedure. Other suitable candidates involved those who are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper fitness and nutrition and who are non-smokers.
Once you have lost your significant amount of body weight, it should remain off for at least six months not only to ensure that you will maintain your new healthy lifestyle but also to get a good idea of just how much excess skin will need to be removed. It is also vital that you have realistic expectations of how you want your body to look. Women who are still considering pregnancy should wait until afterwards to have a body lift.
Suitable candidates for a full-body lift are those who:
- Have lost a large amount of weight and kept it off. You should have a stable weight for at least six months so that you know exactly how much residual excess skin needs to be removed.
- Have a large amount of loose skin. The full body lift is best performed on those with enough excess skin to lift, remove and tighten.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking makes recovering from any surgery far more difficult. If you want a full body lift then you must quit smoking at least six weeks before and after your procedure.
- Have manageable chronic health conditions. Diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and other serious medical conditions may affect your body’s ability to heal as well as increase your risk of complications while undergoing surgery.
What can body lifting do for me?
This procedure allows our clients to enjoy the benefits of successfully reaching their weight loss goals. It is a great achievement and this final piece of the puzzle allows them to wear clothes that were previously unsuitable. The effects are generally long-lasting, provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
A full body lift can remove excess folds of skin, cut out stretch marks, lift sagging buttocks as well as remove excess fat. The exact surgical contouring procedures that we will use for your full body lift will depend on the extent of what needs to be done.
Body Lifting Surgery Before and After Images
How is a full-body lift performed?
A full body lift requires a general anaesthetic and takes anywhere from four to seven hours to complete. It’s all dependent on what needs to be achieved in your unique circumstances.
To complete a body lift, an incision is made at the waist or just below it. The length of the incision depends on how much skin needs to be removed and where the excess skin is located. In most instances, the incision is circumferential and extends from the front of the body to the back.
Once the incision is made, an apron of excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is lifted and tightened. A full body lift targets areas such as the buttocks, stomach, hips and thighs. There may be a need to combine the body lift with liposuction to achieve the desired outcome and improve the natural contours of the body. Supporting sutures are also added deep under the skin for additional support.
In cases where there are large volumes of excess skin, the lift may need to take place in stages over several years. This means that only one to two areas of the body will be addressed at once. A personalised approach will be discussed during your initial consultation with Dr Doyle so that you can plan accordingly.
What happens during Body Lifting Surgery?
Once you are prepped for surgery, you will be given a general anaesthetic so that you are asleep for the whole procedure. It can also be performed under local anaesthetic with intravenous sedation. Dr Doyle will recommend the best option for you.
Once you are sedated, the incisions will be made and the excess skin will be removed. The remaining skin will then be repositioned into its new position. The belly button may also have to be repositioned just depending on your case. After all of this, the incisions will be closed with sutures and dressing will be applied along with small drainage tubes to remove any excess blood or fluid that may collect
What happens after body lifting surgery?
A body lift involves the surgeon removing your extra skin and fat as well as lifting and tightening your remaining skin usually through cutting off excess tissue and combined with liposuction. Depending on the extent of your surgery, the recovery may take a few hours to a few days. You will be sent home with compression garments that will prevent your skin from moving or swelling too much during your healing process. Surgical drains may be needed too. These prevent fluids from building up.
What can I expect after surgery in terms of recovery & results?
Following a body lift, patients will need to spend a night or two in the hospital. This ensures your recovery progress can be monitored and any drains can be removed before you are discharged. Most patients are able to return to work after about 10 days but this will vary. While most of your routine can be resumed after two weeks, any exercise, particularly strenuous exercise, needs to be avoided for six weeks.
During your recovery period, it’s highly recommended that you get as much rest as possible and avoid smoking and any medications that could thin your blood. You will also need to wear a compression garment for at least six weeks to reduce swelling.
You will see a noticeable difference directly after your body lifting surgery. However, it can take up to two years for the final results of your procedure to fully develop. Some scarring will also remain but strategic placement of the incisions will minimise visibility. Following the right aftercare and wound management instructions will also ensure that scarring is kept to a minimum.
Patients must be prepared to lead a healthy lifestyle should they wish to maintain the results of their body lift. Any severe weight gain can reverse the outcome of your surgery.
What is body lift recovery like?
Body lifting involves a number of procedures and for this reason, it is quite difficult to predict exactly how much downtime you will need. You should plan to take around one month off work and try to take it easy for the next few months after that. Cutting and removing excess skin is quite traumatic and you will need to ensure that your sutures are protected and infection avoided.
When will I see the results of my surgery?
Within 6 – 8 weeks, most of the main potential problems should have passed. By three months, you should be able to resume more strenuous activities. You will not be able to see the full results of your body lift until the swelling goes down. This can take between 3 – 6 months. This is how long it should take for your scars to fade, which can also be assisted by a scar treatment after the incisions have healed.
How much does full body surgery cost?
The final cost of a full body lift will be different for every patient. Your specific goals, anaesthetist, surgeon and hospital fees will all be taken into account when determining a final cost. If certain criteria are met, the procedure will attract a Medicare rebate. Some of the requirements include reaching a specific BMI and how long you’ve maintained a healthy weight. Dr Doyle can provide you with a more accurate estimate during your personalised consultation.
You can access our list of pricing resources to find about more about the cost of body lift surgery:
Will Medicare cover my Body-Lift?
There are some Medicare item numbers that may assist with excess skin reduction surgery (Lipectomy) for massive weight loss patients. You must meet strict criteria but gaining a Medicare item number may help be eligible for Private Health Insurance Subsidy.
Next Steps for Body Lifting Surgery on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Queensland
Dr Doyle offers a great solution when you are burdened with excess sheets of skin and stretched muscles, sagging buttocks and excess fat. Many people have travelled a long distance for Dr Doyle to perform this surgery following significant weight loss.
For more information on the full-body lift procedure, please contact us on 5534 2022.
About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is driven by an intense passion for helping patients achieve a happier, more beautiful self through advanced cosmetic surgery procedures.
He maintains a strong commitment to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
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- Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
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Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation
- Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is advised but not required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
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Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.
*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.