Following extreme weight loss, excess skin may be left behind. When the elasticity of skin is damaged, even when the fat is lost and body volume is reduced, the excess skin remains and does not snap back to fit against the shape of the body. Unfortunately, there is not a good way to restore skin elasticity, so it must be surgically removed to achieve a smooth contour against the now smaller body.
How Does it Work
A body lift, also known as a lower body lift or belt lipectomy generally surgically removes excess skin and remnant fatty tissue from the area where the upper and lower body meet. During a belt lipectomy, the surgeon will create a continuous incision that run the circumference of the body around the lower line of the hips. From there, a board certified plastic surgeon can remove excess skin and fat tissue of the lower abdomen, flanks, and butt. As the skin is pulled back together, the thighs are also typically lifted by the tension upward. In addition, this can possibly provide volume to to improve the contour of one’s buttocks.
Considerations of Body Countering After Weight Loss
What is considered a body lift may vary between plastic surgeons. To some, this describes a lower body lift, or a belt lipectomy as described above. To others, a body lift is a combination of body contouring procedures selected to target specific areas the patient wishes to address. This might include an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), a thigh lift, a brachioplasty (arm lift), a butt lift, or lipectomy in various areas of the body.
You may also see plastic surgeons market a “Mommy Makeover” which is often a combination of tummy tuck and breast lift or augmentation or lift with augmentation. Discussing your goals with your chosen plastic surgeon is important to make sure the procedure you choose will help you achieve your desired result. It is also valuable to consider which procedures can be done together versus when it is better to stage procedures over time. Liposuction may also be utilized to create a more detailed contour to the body or to target a stubborn pocket of unwanted fat tissue. Traditional liposuction does not address or tighten excess skin.
A body lift and other body countering procedures are considered to be cosmetic and will not be covered by your health insurance. One procedure that may have insurance coverage is the panniculectomy. This will require detailed documentation of related health issues to do not respond to treatment.