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Body Lift Surgery FAQS about Different Types of Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy or Torsoplasty)

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery Clinic has experience in Body Lift Surgery, which is designed to remove excess skin following significant weight loss. Below, he addresses some FAQs (frequently asked questions) about Body Lift Surgery (Belt Lipectomy or Torsoplasty) for post-weight loss patients.

What is the difference between an Abdominoplasty and a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

An abdominoplasty and a lower body lift (belt lipectomy) are both surgical procedures that may alter body contours and remove excess skin. However, they target different areas of the body and are suited for different patient needs.

While both procedures may alter body contours and remove excess skin, an abdominoplasty is more localised to the abdominal area, making it suitable for those with specific abdominal concerns. In contrast, a lower body lift (belt lipectomy) may address multiple areas, making it suitable for individuals who have undergone significant weight loss and have excess skin throughout the lower body. The choice between the two depends on the patient’s specific needs and goals.

What’s the difference between a Belt Lipectomy and an Abdominoplasty?

  • As mentioned above, a Belt Lipectomy is the medical term for a Lower Body Lift.
  • An abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the lower abdominal region (below the belly button extending down to the pubic area).
  • A belt lipectomy involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the back, buttocks, thighs, hips, and abdomen.

What areas does a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy) include?

A lower body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is a comprehensive surgical procedure that addresses multiple areas of the lower body. These areas typically include:

  • Abdomen
  • Flanks (Love Handles)
  • Lower Back
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs (optional)
  • Hips
  • Groin Area (optional)

A lower body lift (belt lipectomy) is a comprehensive approach to body contouring, primarily performed on individuals who have experienced significant weight loss, such as after bariatric surgery. It aims to remove loose or excess skin and tissue. The specific areas treated can be customised to meet each patient’s unique needs and cosmetic goals.

What does an Upper Body Lift (Torsoplasty) include?

An upper body lift (torsoplasty), often called an upper-body contouring surgery, is a cosmetic procedure designed to address excess skin and tissue in the upper body region, typically following massive weight loss or significant changes in body composition. This comprehensive surgery can include several key areas, including:

  • Breasts: An upper body lift (torsoplasty) may involve a breast lift (mastopexy) to reposition and reshape the breasts.
  • Chest: For men, it can address excess skin and tissue in the chest area, providing a flatter, firmer chest contour. This may include a male breast reduction procedure (gynecomastia surgery).
  • Arms: Also known as brachioplasty, this component of the surgery focuses on removing excess skin and stubborn fat from the upper arms.
  • Back: The procedure may extend to the upper back, eliminating excess skin and tissue.
  • Axillary (Armpit) Region: This area may be included to address any excess skin and tissue in the armpit region.

What’s a Circumferential Body Lift?

  • A circumferential body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy or lower body lift, is a comprehensive surgical procedure that may address excess skin and tissue around the entire lower torso (the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, and thighs).
  • It is typically performed for individuals who have experienced massive weight loss, often after bariatric surgery, or those with significant excess skin due to ageing or other factors.
  • Furthermore, in a circumferential body lift, incisions will be made around the entire circumference of the body – just like wearing a belt – hence the name belt lipectomy.

What is a Lower Back Lift?

  • A lower back lift, also known as a back lift or lower body lift, is a surgical procedure aimed at altering the appearance and contour of the lower back (typically including the buttocks, thighs, hips, and abdomen).
  • This procedure is often performed as part of a more extensive lower body lift or belt lipectomy, which targets multiple areas of the lower torso.

What is a Full-Body Lift?

A full-body lift can also be referred to as either a body lift or body contouring surgery.

What is a 360 Body Lift?

Other terms for a 360 body lift, include:

This surgical procedure addresses excess skin and tissue around the entire torso/lower part of the body, such as the flanks, buttocks, thighs, hips, and lower abdomen.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs about Suitability for Surgery

What’s involved in a Body Lift?

  • A body lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that involves removing, lifting, and tightening skin as well as removing excess fat.
  • A lower body lift is the most common Body Lift procedure and treats the abdomen, lower back, buttocks, and thighs. On the other hand, an upper body lift treats the arms, upper back, and breasts.
  • Read more about the Medical Outcomes Of A Body Lift After Massive Weight Loss.

How do you know if you should have a body lift?

  • You may be a suitable candidate for a body lift if:
    • You have excess skin resulting from significant weight loss.
    • Your skin has lost its elasticity, and your abdominal wall has become loose.
    • You can accept scarring that will result from surgery.
    • Your mobility and daily life are affected by loose skin.
    • The presence of excess skin has resulted in further deterioration of the skin.
    • You are physically and mentally healthy.
    • You’re near your desired weight.
    • Your weight is stable.
    • You do not smoke or drink heavily, and
    • You have realistic expectations and goals about the procedure.

How long does a body lift take?

The duration of a body lift surgery can vary significantly based on several factors, including the specific procedures involved, the extent of the surgery, and the surgeon’s experience. On average, a lower body lift (belt lipectomy) can take anywhere from four to seven hours while an upper body lift (torsoplasty) can take four to six hours.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs – Questions About Body Lift Recovery

How long does it take to recover from a full-body lift?

  • The recovery period for a full-body lift, also known as a total body lift or circumferential body lift, can vary from person to person depending on various factors, including the extent of the surgery, individual healing abilities, and adherence to post-operative care instructions.
  • General Summary:
    • Immediate post-op: Hospital stay, pain management, and assistance needed.
    • First week: Rest, pain meds, short walks, and wound care.
    • Two to four weeks: Return to light activities, reduced swelling.
    • Six to eight weeks: Gradual return to daily life; scars start to fade.
    • Several months to a year: Swelling further reduces, and final results appear.
    • Long-term: Maintain a healthy lifestyle and attend follow-ups for the best outcome.

For more information, visit the dedicated recovery page.

What is the recovery time for a body lift?

Most people can recover and resume some of their daily activities 10 to 14 days after a body lift. However, it may take up to four to six weeks for some or even longer for others.

Furthermore, it may take three months, for the majority (About 90%) of the swelling to subside.

How do you sleep after a lower body lift?

Sleeping after a lower body lift can be challenging during the initial recovery period due to the discomfort and restrictions. Some tips on how to sleep comfortably:

  • Elevate Your Upper Body: It’s often recommended to sleep with your upper body elevated, either in a recliner or with several pillows under your back and head.
    • This position helps reduce swelling in the lower body and minimises strain on the incisions.
  • Use Supportive Pillows: Position pillows strategically to support your body and provide comfort. You can place pillows under your knees to relieve tension on the lower back and keep your legs slightly bent.
  • Sleep on Your Back: Sleeping on your back is generally the best position to avoid putting pressure on the surgical area.
    • If you’re not used to sleeping in this position, it may take some time to adjust.
  • Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach: Avoid sleeping on your stomach as this can cause strain and discomfort on your incision sites.
  • Follow Your Surgeon’s Recommendations: Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to sleep after the procedure.
  • Pain Management: Take any prescribed pain medications before bedtime to help manage discomfort and improve sleep quality.

Remember that the initial discomfort and sleeping challenges are temporary. As you heal and your body adjusts, sleeping will become more comfortable, and you’ll be able to return to your preferred sleeping positions over time. Always consult with your surgeon if you have specific concerns or questions about sleeping after surgery.

Do compression garments help tighten skin?

No, compression garments do not tighten the skin. However, they play a crucial role in the recovery process. Compression garments are a must post-surgery as they help reduce swelling and minimise bruising.

How long do you wear a compression garment after a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

The duration for wearing a compression garment after a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy) can vary from patient to patient and should be determined by your surgeon.

Typically, patients are advised to wear compression garments continuously for the first few weeks following surgery. After this initial period, you may be instructed to wear the compression garment during the day for several more weeks or as needed to support your healing process and reduce swelling.

It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding the duration and usage of the compression garment for the desired recovery outcomes.

How long after a body lift surgery can I stand up straight?

The timing can vary depending on several factors, including the extent of the surgery and individual healing rates. In many cases, patients may be able to gradually return to an upright posture within a few days to a couple of weeks after surgery.

Pushing yourself too quickly can potentially disrupt the healing process or put unnecessary strain on your incisions. Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritise a safe and comfortable recovery.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs – Risks and Concern Questions

How painful is a body lift?

The pain experienced during a body lift surgery recovery can vary from person to person. It’s important to understand that any surgical procedure, including body lifts, involves some degree of discomfort and pain during the recovery period.

The level of pain can be influenced by several factors, including:

  • Individual Pain Tolerance: People have varying pain thresholds. The pain associated with the surgery can be mild for one person, but it can be perceived as intense pain for others.
  • Extent of Surgery: The more extensive the body lift surgery, the more post-operative discomfort you may experience. A full-body lift, for example, typically involves more incisions and tissue manipulation than a lower-body lift or upper-body lift alone.
  • Pain Management: Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to help manage post-operative pain. It’s crucial to take these medications as directed to address pain and discomfort.
  • Healing Progress: Pain typically decreases as you heal. The initial days after surgery may involve more discomfort, but this should improve as you recover.
  • Complications: In some cases, complications such as infection or excessive swelling can increase discomfort. It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions to minimise the risk of complications.

It’s normal to experience some level of pain and discomfort after a body lift, but it should be manageable with the prescribed pain medications and proper post-operative care. If you have concerns about pain management or experience severe or worsening pain, it’s crucial to contact your surgeon promptly.

How painful is a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

Different people experience pain differently. There will be pain, bruising, and swelling after a lower body lift, but it is manageable, and it will gradually change as time passes.

What are the risks of having a Body Lift surgery?

Body lift surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries inherent risks.

It’s essential for patients to have a thorough consultation with their surgeon to discuss the potential risks and outcomes, as well as their individual medical history.

Adhering to pre-operative and post-operative instructions and receiving proper care and monitoring can contribute to a positive surgical experience.

It’s crucial to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise in body lift procedures to minimise risks.

Learn more about the risks of cosmetic surgeries.

What are the risks of Skin Removal Surgery?

Skin removal surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries inherent risks. These risks can include infection, bleeding, scarring, anaesthesia complications, and dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results. The results of skin removal surgery depend on various factors, including the patient’s overall health, the skill and experience of the surgeon, the surgical technique used, and adherence to pre-operative and post-operative care instructions.

To get the desired results, it’s crucial for patients to:

  • Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon.
  • Undergo a thorough pre-operative evaluation to assess their health and suitability for surgery.
  • Follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon.
  • Maintain open communication with the surgical team and report any concerns or unusual symptoms promptly.
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs about Preparing for Body Lift

How do I prepare my body for plastic surgery?

  • Choose a qualified surgeon.
  • Follow pre-operative instructions.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Discontinue certain medications and supplements.
  • Arrange transportation and post-operative care.
  • Plan your recovery.
    • Prepare your home for a comfortable and safe recovery.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Manage stress.
  • Follow fasting guidelines.
  • Communicate with your surgeon.

Remember that each plastic surgery procedure may have specific preparation requirements, so it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s guidance closely.

How do I prepare for a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

The general preparation is similar to the above.

  • Choose a qualified surgeon.
  • Follow pre-operative instructions.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Discontinue certain medications and supplements.
  • Arrange transportation and post-operative care.
  • Plan your recovery.
    • Prepare your home for a comfortable and safe recovery.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Manage stress.
  • Follow fasting guidelines.
  • Communicate with your surgeon.

It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions closely. Every individual’s situation is unique, so your surgeon will provide guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs about Paying for your Body Lift Surgery

How much does a whole-body lift cost?

  • As a whole-body lift is performed to suit the needs of the patient, the cost varies.
  • The consultation charge, the surgeon and anaesthetist fees, the hospital costs, as well as the cost of an overnight stay, medication, and post-surgery garments are all part of the final cost.
  • Depending on the extent of your surgery – It may cost $25k to $50k
  • Send an email or Phone our team for a rough estimate.

Will health insurance cover a Body Lift?

After losing a lot of weight, if you can prove that the excess skin is causing health issues like infection and skin breakdown, then you may be able to meet the criteria and be eligible for some coverage by Medicare and health insurance.

How much does a lower body lift cost?

  • A lower body lift is a highly personalised surgical procedure.
  • It differs from patient to patient due to the amount of excess skin present and the surgical goals of the patients.
  • As a result, the cost of a belt lipectomy varies depending on multiple factors.
  • Send an email or give us a call for a rough estimate for the Body lift.

Does insurance cover loose skin surgery?

You must first meet the strict Medicare criteria to be covered by your fund. If you can prove that you’ve lost a minimum of five BMI units and your weight has been stable for six months prior to the surgery, you may be a candidate. If your loose skin is causing you a number of health issues and interferes with your daily life, then your excess loose skin surgery may be eligible for coverage. But, these criteria will differ according to the insurance company so be sure to check with them.

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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