As a person ages, the skin on the body starts to sag and lose volume due to the aging process and gravity. The wrinkling and loss of skin tone can occur throughout the body including areas such as the legs, chest, and trunk. This is one of the reasons that interest in body contouring procedures has increased and this includes the procedure known as a lower body lift. Let’s examine what in involved in a lower body lift and how it is performed by a surgeon.
In general, a lower body lift is the removal of excess skin and it can include a tummy tuck along with a butt lift and thigh lift. A lower body lift is an elective surgery which means there is not a medical emergency involved with the treatment. The procedure normally involves the removal of skin along with the re-draping and resuspension of the body tissue for a more youthful appearance to the treated area. Some examples of changes made to specific body parts include the tightening of the abdominal wall muscles and the removal of excess skin from areas as varied as the butt, abdomen, and thighs. The removal of excess skin gives the body a tighter look. Plus, the surgeon can also perform liposuction to give the body a more balanced look between the thighs and torso.
When it comes to a lower body lift, an ideal candidate is a person who has excess skin along the lower abdomen, wrinkled skin or cellulite along the butt and thighs, and relaxed abdominal wall muscles People who are not ideal candidates include someone with failure of the kidneys or liver along with a person who has cardiac issues or severe respiratory illnesses.
Besides reshaping and rejuvenating the look of the lower body, a lower body lift can also improve the body image of the patient. A tighter and refreshed look to the body increases both the self-esteem and self-confidence of a person and gives them a better overall feeling about their appearance in front of others. Beyond the self-image benefits of the surgery, patients can also enjoy a greatly reduced amount of discomfort that comes from living with excess skin on the body.
The possible risks associated with a lower body lift include bleeding, an accumulation of fluid in the surgical area (edema), changes in skin sensation, blood clots, swelling, infection, scarring, and some remaining loose or saggy skin.
While these are common risks, they do not happen to everyone as each person is different so the risks will not be the same for everyone. The risks also depend on the amount of work performed by the surgeon and how carefully the patient follows the aftercare instructions provided by the doctor.
A lower body lift can take several hours to complete, and the total time depends on the amount of work performed by the surgeon. The actual procedure varies per person but here are some general steps that the surgeon will perform.
The surgeon will make surgical markings on the sections of the skin that are scheduled to be excised. Then, the medical team will move the patient to the operating room. Once the surgery begins, the doctor will remove the excess skin in the designated areas while making sure to minimize any blood loss. Drains will be used to remove any excess fluid and the surgeon will also close the wound using sutures or surgical staples. A surgical dressing might be applied to the treated area after the closing of the wounds.
While patients need to avoid strenuous activities after the surgery, they do need to move around in order to lessen the chances of a blood clot. They also need a friend or family member to stay with them for a few days to assist with the start of the recovery process. Any pain and discomfort can likely be controlled with pain medication prescribed by the surgeon.
The results can include the removal of excess skin and a tighter and firmer look to the body. The incision that is used for the procedure is often placed in a lower area of the abdomen such as the pubic area. It also runs higher on the thighs and then continues along the lower back (above the butt). Any scar that results from the procedure can usually be hidden by wearing a swimsuit or underwear.
While the results of a lower body lift are visible almost immediately, it can take around two years for the final results to develop and appear. The final results should be long lasting as long as the patient follows the post-op instructions provided by the surgeon and also maintains a healthy lifestyle and a stable weight.