Body Lift

Learn more about body lifts

The term "body lift" is used as a generic catch-all term to describe any cosmetic surgical procedure that rejuvenates specific areas of the body. Its most popular incarnation is the lower body lift, a three-part procedure that includes a thigh lift, a buttock lift and a tummy tuck.

A belt lipectomy is a specific type of body lift that is used instead of a tummy tuck on patients who have excess loose skin deposits around their waists and lower bodies resulting from significant weight loss. It is considered a major surgical procedure and has a price tag to match.

The Cost of Body Lifts

The price you'll pay for your surgery varies, depending on the type of body lift you choose to have. Simple eye lift surgery, for example, might cost in the neighborhood of $3,000 to $5,000, depending on where you live and which surgeon you choose. The cost of an arm lift or upper arm lift is comparable.

However, a full belt lipectomy is much more expensive, costing upwards of $30,000. Most medical insurance providers will not cover these costs, even in part. However, the clinic or medical facility where you choose to have your operation may have financing options in place that can help make the procedure more affordable.

Patient Evaluation

Because the lower body lift requires extensive surgical intervention, doctors have specific criteria they use to evaluate a patient's candidacy. Generally, it is reserved for people who have lost between 60 and 350 pounds, and have loose deposits of skin left over on their faces and around their stomachs and waists. More minor forms of body rejuvenation surgery require only that you be in good overall health with no major underlying medical conditions.

Body Lift Procedures

The surgical procedures vary in length from about 2 to 10 hours or more, depending on the extent of aesthetic correction the patient desires. In the case of a belt lipectomy, surgery usually starts at the stomach and moves down to the pubic area; all excess skin is removed, and the muscle structures in the affected zones are tightened up.

You may be put under general anesthesia, or given a local anesthesia; if you're having a relatively minor procedure like an upper arm lift, you'll be able to go home within hours of surgery. However, major procedures like lower body lifts usually require extended stays in the hospital.

The Risks of Body Lifts

Risks and potential complications involved with body lift surgeries include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Wound separation
  • Scarring
  • Considerable post-operative pain

You should also be aware of the possibility that your body will have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. However, you will be observed by the attending anesthesiologist before surgery begins to ensure that you are safe and comfortable.

Recovery from Body Lift Surgery

Most doctors instruct their patients to allow for three weeks off work to make a full recovery. Your recovery period will include plenty of rest, avoidance of strenuous activity, and wound care and observation. Depending on the type of body lift to elect to have, your surgeon will provide you with a list of activities that you are not permitted to engage in during your post-operative recovery. It is very important that you follow these directions closely, as you will endanger your recovery otherwise and increase the risk of developing potentially serious complications.