Body Lift Surgery
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Body Lift Surgery

Following massive weight loss, some patients are disappointed to see that layers of excess skin have formed in areas where weight loss has been most significant. As some of the most experienced Pittsburgh body lift surgeons, Dr. Theodore Lazzaro and Dr. Linda Camp specialize in helping formerly obese patients address the aesthetic side effects of massive weight loss. By performing body lift surgery, they can remove excess skin and fatty tissue deposits, creating beautifully sculpted, slim body contours. To learn more about body lift in Pittsburgh and the results this procedure helps achieve, please explore the paragraphs below.

What is body lift surgery?

Body lift, a comprehensive form of surgical body contouring, helps tighten areas of loose skin that often form after massive weight loss. During a body lift, which may be performed in multiple surgical visits, several body contouring procedures – such as tummy tuck, breast augmentation, thigh lift, and arm lift – may be combined to tighten your skin and enhance your body contours.

Often, body contouring procedures are performed over the course of several operations to accomplish full body enhancement. Patients benefit from Dr. Lazzaro’s team approach of operating on different areas of the body at the same time, which decreases the number of separate procedures patients have to undergo to achieve their newly sculpted body. Body lift surgery is an intensive and time-consuming process that follows an equally intensive period of losing weight.

Body lift brings a tremendous reward for the patient. Following successful full body contouring, you will be able to fully reap the rewards of your weight loss – clothes will fit well, and you can enjoy athletic activity, simpler hygiene, and a more attractive figure.

Who is a good candidate for body lift surgery?

Body lift surgery is designed to help people who have lost a massive amount of weight – for example, following bariatric surgery – and have flaps of excess skin obstructing their new figure. Body lift is an intensive series of body contouring procedures, and you must be in reasonably good health to undergo the surgery. Good Pittsburgh body lift candidates have maintained a stable weight for 12 to 16 months* and must be aware that gaining weight following a body lift will negate many of the results. The procedure is also not recommended for pregnant women, or women who are planning to become pregnant in the future.

Are there any risks involved in body lift?

A body lift is an intensive procedure, and as such, there are a variety of risks. Blood clots, infection, and bleeding can occur. Some patients experience poor healing, which results in obvious scarring or the loss of skin. However, when performing body contouring procedures and body lift surgery at our Greensburg, Pittsburgh cosmetic surgery facility, we counsel patients about ways to lessen the chances of complications.

Oftentimes, post bariatric sculpting procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis at the Aestique Surgical Center. However, some require an overnight stay in the hospital.

The combination of body contouring procedures that constitutes a body lift can leave scars. These are strategically placed and usually fade to thin white lines in three months to a year.

How do I plan for body lift surgery?

To make body lift as successful as possible, you should stop smoking before surgery, because smoking delays healing. You should also stop taking Aspirin®, Advil®, and other medicines that contain Aspirin® two weeks prior to surgery. Lastly, you should mentally prepare yourself for the procedure, including its discomfort, potential risks, and rewards.

What happens during a body lift?

A body lift may combine reduction, upper arm lift, middle thigh lift, and lower body lift procedures for full body contouring:

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The abdominal area is typically the first area of concern when someone is looking at a body lift procedure. Through an incision from hip bone to hip bone above your pubic area, areas of excess skin will be removed from your midsection and your abdominal muscles will be tightened, giving you a slim profile and a flatter stomach. On occasion, depending upon the type of insurance and its specific requirements, the panniculectomy may be covered. Our patient coordinators will work with you to see if you may qualify.

Learn more about tummy tuck by visiting our Tummy Tuck page.

Arm Lift / Brachioplasty

Those “bat wings” or “bingo arms,” as many people call them, are always a source of sensitivity to people who have had significant weight loss. Even after the weight has come off, there is tremendous laxity of the skin in this area, leaving people to cover up their arms with long sleeves in order to conceal it. The arm lift, or brachioplasty, is performed through an incision hidden on the underside of the arm, running from armpit to elbow. Some liposuction may be utilized during the arm lift.

Breast Reshaping Surgery

To restore breast volume that was depleted during weight loss, as well as lift the breasts, breast reduction, breast lift, breast augmentation, or a combination of these breast procedures may be performed. Sometimes liposuction will be utilized to assist in reshaping the breasts (female) or chest area (male); in other cases, just a breast lift or insertion of breast implants will be enough to achieve the desired effect. The breast procedure or combination of procedures performed is highly dependent upon the patient’s individual needs.

These body contouring procedures – whether they are performed all at once, or in two or three sessions – are performed under general anesthesia our accredited surgical center.

Thigh Lift

Since the thigh and butt area are one of the main areas where fat is stored, thigh lifts are often combined with lower body lifts as an integral part of the full body lift process.  During the thigh lift, which restores an attractive contour from the upper leg down to the knee, an inconspicuous incision is made along the groin crease.  Through this incision, excess skin and fatty tissue is removed and the skin is tightened to smooth the area.  Liposuction is often used in this procedure to remove any remaining excess fat.

During the lower body lift or belt lipectomy, the incision extends around the body like a belt.  This incision is placed as to be hidden by bathing suits and similar garments.  Then the hips, buttocks, thighs, lower back and lower abdomen are lifted into a higher position and excess skin is removed, creating a smoother lower body area with no hanging skin.

How Long Is the Recovery After Body Lift in Pittsburgh?

Immediately after body lift surgery at our Greensburg facility near Pittsburgh, you will receive IV pain medication and be cared for by a nurse. Drainage tubes will be used to prevent collection of fluid under the skin. It is common to feel tightness and discomfort for one to two weeks after surgery. The majority of combination procedures are safely performed on an outpatient basis but some may require overnight hospitalizations, depending on your specific circumstances.

You typically will be able to return to work two to four weeks after surgery and should avoid strenuous activity for four to six weeks. Depending on the extent of your procedure and the progress of your healing, you can generally return to unrestricted activity in six weeks.

Scars remaining from the body contouring procedures can take up to two years to fade to their final state. However, the talented Pittsburgh body lift surgeons at Aestique® Medical Center will take care to position scars so that they can be hidden under clothes, bras, and bathing suits.

Post-Surgical Lymphatic Massages

Post-surgical lymphatic massages are included in most surgical packages to aid in your recovery process. A lymphatic drainage massage is performed by our certified massage therapists who have extensive training with post surgical patients. These massages help to increase circulation to tissue, reduce tissue swelling, and restore tone and firmness after your elective surgery.

Contact Us for Body Contouring at Aestique® Medical Center in Greensburg

Body contouring procedures that excise areas of loose skin and remove excess fat can be combined to give you a full body lift after significant weight loss – so you, and those around you, can fully appreciate your new figure. Body lift surgery can also be a part of a mommy makeover treatment for women who wish to restore their figure following childbearing.

Aestique® Medical Center is a peaceful, secluded setting staffed by compassionate surgeons and medical staff who will support you throughout the intensive full body lift process. Our doctors, Contact Aestique® Medical Center today to schedule your body lift consultation.


* Elective cosmetic procedure results vary.  Surgical outcomes are unique to each individual and providers offer no guarantees regarding results.