The 5 Steps in a Lower Body Lift
- 19 September 2016
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
The lower body lift is known for providing a dramatic transformation in the mid and lower body of cosmetic surgery patients. It removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, hips, outer thighs, and buttocks.
What is usually accomplished using a combination of procedures can now be achieved with just one lower body contouring surgery.
But it comes at a hefty cost since the lower body lift is one of the most comprehensive and large-scale plastic surgeries that you can undergo. As such, it is essential that you know how this surgery is going to be performed.
The following are the steps involved in a lower body lift.
Administering the anesthesia
Before the surgery, you will be administered either local anesthesia with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. There are doctors who like IV sedation more because it makes recovery quicker and reduces risks of complications like pulmonary embolism.
However, most surgeons prefer general anesthesia, as this is a highly comprehensive procedure. If general anesthesia is used, a breathing tube will be placed inside the mouth to ensure that the airway is secure even during position changes in the lower body contouring procedure.
Ultimately, you need to discuss with your surgeon which type of anesthesia you prefer. In turn, he can give you recommendations on what type of anesthesia is best for your case.
Creating the incision
Once the anesthesia effect kicks off, your surgeon creates a circumferential incision around your torso. This involves making an incision around the beltline of your waist, across your lower abdomen, and down your inner thighs. The particular pattern of the incision depends on your specific needs and your cosmetic surgeon’s expertise.
Though the incision involved in a lower body lift is rather large, your plastic surgeon will try as much as possible to conceal the incisions in a way that your post-operative scars can be hidden by your underwear or clothing.
Liposuction and excess skin removal
You will assume different positions during the course of the lower body contouring procedure, depending on the area being treated. Most surgeons position their patients on their tummy or side during the first part of the procedure.
Through the circumferential incision, your surgeon can access and remove an apron of excess skin and fat located below the incision line. He will also reposition and tighten the tissues in this area.
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There are cases when a liposuction is necessary for fat removal, as combining this with a lower body lift can dramatically improve your body’s contour.
To avoid the appearance of sagging skin, your surgeon will pull the remaining skin in your thighs and buttocks upward, while the underlying tissues will also be suspended and tightened. However, surgeons typically minimize the amount of tissue lifting as this can cause fluid to accumulate in the area, leading to complications like seroma or hematoma. This depends on the lower body lift technique that your surgeon will be using.
Once your back and sides have been addressed, your surgeon will position you on your back so that he can treat your front side, including your abdominal area and thighs.
Combining with other procedures
Aside from the traditional lower body lift procedure, you can also choose to combine this surgery with other cosmetic treatments in order to enhance the results.
One of the most popular treatments combined with a lower body contouring is a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. This treatment is perfect for people with loose, drooping skin around the midsection, as well as those with weakened abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or sudden weight loss. It can help remove loose skin, tighten muscles, and eliminate stubborn fat deposits in the abdominal area.
In a tummy tuck surgery, your surgeon tightens your sagging abdominal muscles and removes packets of excess fat and skin from the stomach area. The abdominal muscles are then pulled closer and stitched into a position that will give you a more toned abdomen and a narrower waistline. The skin is also stretched downward and any excess skin is trimmed away. This can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks below the navel.
The tummy tuck also involves changing the position of the navel in order to make the tightened abdominal skin appear more natural. Your surgeon can either attach your existing navel or artificially sculpt a new one.
Another treatment that can be combined with a lower body lift is the inner thigh lift, which is perfect for patients who have trouble eliminating excess fat in the inner thighs through diet and exercise. It can also address reduced skin elasticity caused by the aging process or extreme weight loss.
In an inner thigh lift, your surgeon makes an incision at the junction where the thigh meets the pubic area. This gives him access to the underlying tissues, allowing him to remove a wedge of skin and fat from the area. The remaining skin is also tightened to improve leg contours.
An inner thigh lift is often the procedure of choice if a patient no longer needs extra contouring in the abdominal area.
The incisions are sutured in multiple layers and covered with bandages and compression garments. The deep support sutures are located within the underlying tissues in order to help form newly shaped contours. Tension is often placed in the deeper levels in order to prevent the skin from stretching and causing the scar to look thicker and wider. Drains may also be placed to control stretching and swelling.
Finally, the skin is closed with sutures, skin adhesives, or tapes.
Before you undergo a lower body contouring surgery, your chosen doctor will explain all the steps to you one by one so that you understand how the surgery will proceed. If you want to learn more about the exact steps involved in a lower body lift, drop us a call and Schedule a Free Consultation with one of Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery’s highly experienced and board-certified surgeons. We will do our best to answer your lower body lift concerns.