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Treatment guide

Full Body Lift

A full body lift is a major medical procedure that involves the surgical removal of excess soft tissue and skin, most commonly in the lower back and abdominal region. The operation may also be referred to as an upper and lower body lift or a circumferential body lift.

The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.

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QUICK DETAILS

WHO IS THIS FOR

  • Individuals who have lost a considerable amount of weight either naturally or after bariatric surgery

  • Women who have excess sagging skin after pregnancy or because of the ageing process

  • People with rolls of fat ("back rolls") around the lower back area

SUCCESS

A full body lift is likely to be most successful when you are stabilised at or close to your optimum weight. The operation is best done when you are both physically and emotionally healthy.

RECOVERY TIME

The amount of time you stay in hospital will depend on the number and type of procedures. However, you should also expect to add at least six weeks of home recovery time following a complete body lift.

TREATMENT DURATION

Because full or circumferential body lifts can combine a number of individual procedures (e.g. tummy tuck, breast lift, thigh lifts), treatment time varies from patient to patient.

POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS

  • Excess fluid build up over the treatment area

  • Excessive bleeding or blood clots

  • Temporary or permanent tingling or numbness.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

How does it work?

A full body lift offers you a permanent way to recontour the body after extensive weight loss either from dieting or after bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or gastric band surgery). When men or women lose a large amount of weight, they are often left with unsightly folds of excess skin, random pockets of fat and cellulite, and depleted muscle tone.

In order to create a more defined silhouette, a full body lift targets the trouble spots via a range of procedures. Depending on the patient, a full body lift may include various stages such as buttock and thigh lift, arm lift (brachioplasty), tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), and liposuction. Women might also choose to include a breast lift (mastopexy) as part of their treatment. Your surgeon will discuss any adjunctive procedures and steps to help you decide on the course of treatment that is most appropriate for you as an individual.

How does a full body lift work?

1. Initial consultation First, you will have an initial consultation so that you and your surgeon can determine your best course of treatment. We at Qunomedical will liaise with the clinic on your behalf. At this point, the doctor will require some information from you, including your medical records, if you have any allergies, and if you take medications regularly. A few pictures of your body will also be required to define what treatments are needed.

You will be given extensive advice on preparation, and you will discuss what treatments you will undergo and in what stages. While a full body lift typically includes a series of treatments, including buttock and thigh lift, arm lift (brachioplasty), tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), and liposuction, it is not possible to undergo all of them at the same time. You will be advised on what treatments you need and in what stages they will be performed. A maximum of two treatments can usually be performed in one session (e.g. arm lift surgery and tummy tuck).

2. Treatment On the day before your operation, you will be admitted to the hospital. On the day, you are often given a premedication to prepare you for the anaesthetic. It will make you feel more relaxed and slightly drowsy. Once in theatre, your surgeon will quickly run through the basic details of your full body lift treatment. A general anaesthetic will be administered and you will be carefully monitored throughout surgery.

Full body lift surgery usually starts with the placement of a number of incisions. These are placed across the abdomen in an apron shape. They allow your surgeon to access excess fat and skin and reach areas that require correction. The skin is then trimmed in preparation for repositioning. Once the skin is back in position, the abdominal area is tighter and more aesthetically pleasing. Underlying muscles and tissue are repositioned to offer better support, and small fatty deposits can be surgically removed at the same time. Liposuction is sometimes preferred when there are stubborn pockets of fat. If necessary, the navel can be repositioned for a more natural look.

Depending on the procedures you selected, your surgeon may perform a buttock lift or an arm lift, which is normally last. Using the same methods, an incision is made along the lower edge of the arm where it will be less noticeable. Excess skin and fat are trimmed and removed before the skin is stitched into place.

3. Recovery Your surgeon will apply dressings or bandages to the incisions once the procedure is complete. You will also be given instructions on medications you will need to take to aid your recovery, how to care for your surgical sites and when to follow up with your doctor. Six weeks is the average time patients spend at home after a body lift procedure.

Are there different types of body lift?

Yes. No two patients are the same, so the type of procedures chosen can vary. For example, some patients may require brachioplasty or liposuction while some don't. Others may find that a lower or upper body lift is sufficient to deal with their target zones.

Lower Body Lift

A lower body lift may include flankplasty or recontouring of the flanks and waistline, liposuction, a buttock lift, and a tummy tuck. A lower body lift is ideal for those who have an apron of excess skin over the abdomen, sagging thighs and buttocks or an undefined waistline.

Upper Body Lift

Men in particular often find that an upper body lift adequately deals with any sagging skin and excess fat. A typical operation may include the removal of fat rolls from the back and brachioplasty to recontour arms. Women can have their breasts lifted and excess skin trimmed from the arms and sides as part of an upper body lift.

What should I expect?

On average, patients stay at home for six weeks to recover from surgery. It is one of the major plastic surgery procedures, and so a certain amount of pain is inevitable. Your surgeon and GP will both prescribe pain management medication which you should take only according to their instructions. At first, there will be extensive bruising and swelling, but this will diminish over a period of six weeks.

You may require a home help or carer immediately after surgery and you can talk about available help at your initial consultation. You should avoid alcohol and nicotine after your full body lift, and you should keep lifting to a minimum. You may be advised not to exercise for the first few weeks.

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As I was continuing to lose weight I had a large stomach, a lot of skin and it was hard for me to do certain things and I had a lot of people who were former patients saying “you’ve got to check out Cosmed. They’re here, you’ve got to get a consult, you’ve got to at least talk to them and whether you have surgery or not that’s your business.” From that point on my best friend and I both got consults that day and we both came down to tour the building at the same time and both of us knew tha... Show more

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