What is it?

Aging skin, pregnancy, significant weight fluctuation, sun damage, and other factors may contribute to sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin, and thighs. When the resulting sagging skin extends all the way around the body, patients may experience skin irritation as well as difficulty fitting into their favorite clothes. The body lift is intended to address this problem of sagging skin. Whereas an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” addresses the stomach, the body lift simultaneously addresses excess skin on both the stomach and the back.

Who is a candidate?

  • A healthy, non-smoking patient (>1 month) with a stable weight for 3-6 months
  • A patient displeased with sagging skin around the abdomen, hips/flanks, and back (most commonly massive weight loss patients)

Technique

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and can be thought of as an extension of a tummy tuck in that it is extended to the back. The technique includes:

  • Incision made below the bikini line in the lower abdomen extending around to the back typically in a full circle
  • Removal of excess skin and fat
  • Tightening of the abdominal muscles if indicated.
  • Incision around the navel to assist tightening skin of the upper stomach area
  • Liposuction which may also be done simultaneously to address areas of fat deposits
  • Drain placement
  • Placement of a pain pump or injection of a long acting pain reliever for postoperative pain control

Recovery

  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Result: Immediate
  • Pain: Variable. Oral pain medicine may be needed for up to 7-10 days
  • Special garment: A compression garment/abdominal binder will be placed at time of surgery and should be worn for at least 4 weeks.
  • Drain removal: Drains typically removed at 1-2 weeks.
  • Suture removal: All sutures are dissolvable
  • Activity/Shower/Driving restriction: Encouraged to walk immediately. May shower 2 days after surgery. May drive when no longer requiring narcotic pain medication. No strenuous activity/heavy lifting for 6 weeks.
  • Time off work: Expect to require at least 2 weeks off of work depending on job demands.
  • Follow-up: You will be seen in office following surgery at 1 week, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months, and 6 months or as needed

If you would like to learn more about body lift surgery, please fill out our contact form and we will be happy to assist you! Alternatively, you can call to schedule a consultation to see Dr. Galanis in Beverly Hills at 310-858-8930 or in Chicago at 844-GALANIS (844-425-2647).