Medical Benefits of Body Lift Surgery

Body-Contouring-Melbourne

What is Body Lift Surgery?

The benefits of a Body Lift are numerous. Massive weight loss can, sometimes, result in excessive tissue that manifests in areas of redundant skin around the hips, buttocks, abdomen, thighs, and waist. This is the result of skin and tissue failing to contract after massive weight loss. This results in excess loose, hanging skin. Although doing exercise or surgery to lose weight can help improve your health and figure, they can not help get rid of the sagging skin folds you develop after weight loss.

Thankfully Body Lift and Body Contouring surgery can help. Body Lift Surgery can improve many areas, for example; the abdomen, arms, breasts, thighs, and buttocks. Moreover, it can help improve the quality of life in people who suffer from functional and psychological issues following weight loss.

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What does the research say about Body Lift Benefits?

For the past few years, people were unaware of Body Lift Benefits, in fact, many thought it wasn’t an actual thing. This belief continued until the medical community started publishing numerous research papers regarding the benefits of Body Lift surgery.

Until recently, there was a debate about whether Body Lift could contribute more than purely cosmetic outcomes. Recent studies have revealed that Body Lift surgery can in fact lead to an improvement in not only weight loss and self-esteem but also patients mental state, sexual function, and body image.

These studies included thousands of patients who went through the procedure and are now being studied by researchers to see if Body Lift Benefits are real or not. All of these papers are published in multiple peer-reviewed journals and are now considered to be solid facts.

In 2018, the journal of Obesity Surgery, a peer-review journal, published a research paper that included 13 previous clinical trials on patients after Body Lift Surgery to come to one unified answer to the question: Do Body Lift Benefits exist or not?

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Here is what they found:

Improvement in weight loss

  • Although people who undergo Body Lift are not looking for weight loss, 3 studies showed a change in BMI following a Body Lift.
  • Data suggested that there was a significant decrease in BMI (of 2 points) with no significant heterogeneity present between the results.

Improvements in physical functioning

  • Impaired physical functioning before surgery can be due to multiple reasons.
  • It can be due to;
    • Postural issues
    • The flapping noises made by the redundant skin.
    • Discomfort in certain types of clothing, for example; those with lower necklines, cropped clothing and form-fitting clothes.

Seven studies with hundreds of participants reported on changes in the physical functioning after Body Lift, emphasizing Body Lift Benefits. The results suggested Body Lift can have a significant improvement in physical functioning by 28.5%.

Following surgery patients can enjoy the freedom of movement as well as the ability to return to normal physical activities. In fact, they can do even more than before as they no longer feel restricted or self-conscious.

Improvements in social relationships and interactions

Problems with social relationships happen to most people with sagging skin problems. This mainly happens because they don’t feel confident enough about their appearance. They just don’t like it. This can lead to many psychological issues and decreased self-esteem.

Eight studies showed improvements in social functioning after the procedure. By analyzing the participants, the studies revealed improvement in social functioning by 24% in most of them. This highlights Body Lift Benefits.

Improvements in the perception of your body image

Many people refer to the way their excess skin looks as “shocking” or “ugly.”  This bad body image is usually the result of one of the following two reasons:

  • One, they have shown immense dedication, discipline and effort in losing weight, however, they find that they are still not satisfied with their body, due to the excess skin.
  • Two, people often receive negative comments from others.

Eight studies reported improvements in the perception of the body image following Body Lift. The data demonstrated an improvement in body image by 55%.

The positive psychological effects that come with Body Lift allow people greater social engagement and acceptance. Body Lift Benefits can result in a significant, visible change in appearance. This can create improvement in well-being and happiness.

In general, Body Lift can lead to a firmer body contour, toned physique, increased confidence, a more youthful appearance and a decrease in depression.

Better sexual experience

It seems like there is an effect of the partner’s view that seemed to have a negative impact before surgery.  Before surgery patients may not have participated in sexual activity for some time, had a reduced sex drive or lack of confidence to perform.  Sexual satisfaction appears to increase in some people after the surgery. This is due to the fact that after excess skin removal patients are less self-conscious and as a result are happier.

A Better view of yourself in combination with your partner’s support can result in sexual esteem as well as increased sexual functioning. This is demonstrated by five studies that showed an improvement in sexual functioning by 49.7%.

Defeat Depression

Many participants feel a new sense of their body, enabling a translation into self-confidence, self-esteem, increased energy levels, positive mode, and a sense of psychological well-being. The procedure may change the relationship between depressive symptoms and negative body image. However, those that do suffer from depression should speak with a professional to work through their internal struggles as surgery will not make depression go away but rather assist in improving one’s life, externally.

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Summary of the current evidence

If we would summarize every single paper published up until now about Body Lift Benefits or complications, we may take books not just an article. This is because the amount of research that has been done is enormous. However, below we have included a few studies and what they have proven;

Study one

A study, published in 2020 by the journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery was comparing 2 groups of patients. The first group had weight loss but didn’t undergo Body Lift, and the second group had weight loss and underwent Body Lift.

The results showed that the group who underwent Body Lift surgery showed improvement in their Body Mass Index and total weight loss compared to the other group.

Researchers from this study stated “The evidence provided in this review strongly supports the added long-term benefits of body contouring surgery for selected patients after massive weight loss”

Study Two

A study, published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, was unique in that they tried to shed light on whether Body Lift could help maintain weight loss or not. The study showed that the procedure had a positive effect on weight loss maintenance after body contouring. This was determined from the mean weight change in the participants.

Study Three

In 2016 another paper that was published analyzed the quality of life among adults after the surgery. The study showed that there was an improvement in body image satisfaction, self-esteem and confidence, physical function/pain, and social function. The researchers emphasized this by saying “Body contouring surgery has been shown to have positive benefits, especially in relation to improved wellbeing, function, and Quality of Life”

Study Four

Finally, a study published in 2011 by the French journal Annales de Chirurgie Plastique Esthétique also showed Body Lift Benefits. The study analyzed 134 patients with more than 30 kg of weight loss who had body-contouring surgery.

By analyzing the patients, the study found that patients had improvement in their psychosocial discomfort, a decrease of 56.7 % in the sense of feeling depressed, and an improvement in finding a job after body contouring surgery.

So as the evidence suggests, Body Lift Benefits exist and have been studied for years by the best institutions around the world. The next step is to determine if you are the right candidate or not by weighing the risks and benefits.

Are body lifts worth it?

As seen above, Body Lift Benefits are numerous and can sometimes, be life-changing. The critical point here is determining whether or not you are the right candidate for this procedure.

For example, you should be aware that you will have scars in the treated areas that will be managed after the surgery. You should know all the risks like; bleeding, infections, and scarring and you should discuss them with your Plastic Surgeon to evaluate everything.

If you are suffering from body-confidence issues because of; uncomfortable folds, unpleasant odour, or recurring skin infections due to moisture being trapped in excess skin folds, then Body Lift Surgery could be the right choice for you. A Body Lift can help you regain your confidence and give you the body you have tried so hard to achieve.

Are body lifts worth it?

What to expect before and after the procedure?

There are many factors that determine the approach your surgeon will take. Your preferences, the level of correction, and the location of excess skin are all taken into consideration.

There are some procedures that may be part of your Body Lift surgery. These include: 

The surgeon will begin with a circumferential incision and start removing excess fat and skin. The remaining skin is repositioned and re-draped. Sometimes the surgeon may use liposuction to help to remove excess fat deposits. Then the surgeon closes the incision.

You may experience discomfort after the surgery. Some tenderness at the incision site, swelling and bruising are all part of the process. The initial recovery phase can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks.

Conclusion

Massive weight loss can lead to both psychological and physical impairments due to the development of ptotic skin and areas of redundant adipose tissue that can interfere with daily activity. Surgical intervention through a Body Lift can be one route to achieve an enhanced lifestyle.

Body Lift Surgery should not be considered as only a cosmetic adjunct to weight loss, it has a role in reversing functional abnormalities that result from the accumulation of redundant skin following weight loss.

There is substantial evidence from numerous research papers showing that Body Lift surgery Benefits can change peoples lives. Furthermore, it can result in significant improvement in many areas including:

  • Aiding weight loss
  • Enhanced Physical function
  • Psychological wellbeing
  • Improved social functioning
  • Better Body Image
  • Enhanced Sexual functioning
  • Increase self-esteem

After considering the risks and complications that may develop and discussing them with your Plastic Surgeon, you can be able to understand if you are a good candidate for this procedure or not. This all depends on your current situation, goals you anticipate, and evaluating the risks and benefits.

But it can be life-changing!

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Last updated: 24/02/2021
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Dr Patrick Briggs - FRCSI
Dr Patrick Briggs is an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon Now based in Melbourne, Australia.