A lower body lift, also referred to as a belt lipectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to help women drastically improve, transform, and reshape the lower half of the body. It consists of three main components, which are an abdominoplasty, lateral thigh lift, and a buttock lift. Lower body lifts are often recommended for patients with extra sagging skin that protrudes from the abdomen to the hips and buttocks. After the negative effects of aging, pregnancy, or dramatic weight loss, a lower body lift can offer patients the ability to achieve a slender, smooth new figure for increased self-esteem.
Candidates for a Lower Body Lift
Patients who benefit the most from lower body lifts possess loose sagging skin in their hips, buttocks, abdomen, and/or thighs. Since the lower body lift surgery is not intended to act as a substitute for proper weight loss through a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, good candidates should be at a healthy weight and near their targeted goal weight before the procedure. Lower body lifts are only offered to relatively healthy individuals who do not smoke or have pre-existing medical concerns that could place added risks on the procedure. For women who are considering becoming pregnant in the near future, it is often suggested that the surgery is postponed until after having children to maintain optimal results.
The Lower Body Lift Procedure
Lower body lifts are usually performed within the hospital under general anesthesia. While the surgery typically lasts from three to six hours, you will be required to stay in the hospital overnight for observation. To begin the lower body lift, plastic surgeon Mark Pinsky, MD makes an incision from the lower back around the hips to the front of thighs.
Dr. Pinsky will then remove the excess skin and underlying fat tissue from targeted areas, including the hips and buttocks. Next, the remaining tissue is lifted and stretched to smooth over the desired contour of the lower body. If necessary, liposuction can be used to further the contouring for a reshaped appearance. Finally, the skin is sutured and drains are installed to allow excess fluid to flow out easily.
Preparing For a Lower Body Lift
During your very important initial consultation, it is essential that you and Dr. Pinsky discuss all of your expectations from the lower body lift procedure. Since it is vital to Dr. Pinsky finding the best method of approach to your surgery, you need to speak honestly and openly about all of your desired goals or needs. At the consultation, Dr. Pinsky will also conduct an examination on your skin tone and loose skin to assess the most optimal techniques for favorable results.
You will also need to inform him about your medical history, as well as a current list of prescription and over-the-counter medications or vitamins. Make sure you tell Dr. Pinsky if you have allergies, blood clotting problems, uncontrollable high blood pressure, an inclination to develop scars easily, or any other conditions that could affect the surgery.
For two weeks before or after the lower body lift surgery, it is crucial that you abstain from consuming medications with ibuprofen as an active ingredient, such as Aspirin and Advil. These medications help to thin the blood, so they can interfere with the body’s natural blood clotting responses and increase the dangers of excessive bleeding or bruising. It is recommended that patients who need pain medication choose to take those with acetaminophen instead, like Tylenol.
Dr. Pinsky also suggests that you refrain from smoking for a minimum of six weeks before the lower body lift procedure. Smoking is often responsible for constricting the blood vessels of the skin, drastically slowing the natural healing process, and increasing the risks associated with the surgery. For two weeks before the surgery, you should stop using vitamins and herbs. It is advised to discontinue using alcohol, reduce your salt intake, and remain hydrated at all times to flush the toxins from the body. Be sure to have the prescriptions given to you by Dr. Pinsky filled immediately before undergoing the surgery.
Recovering From a Lower Body Lift
After the lower body lift, you should expect for moderate discomfort that can be minimized or managed through a pain medication prescribed by Dr. Pinsky. In addition, subcutaneous pain catheters will be utilized to deliver a local anesthetic to the areas surrounding the incision for the first three days after surgery. Patients are encouraged to begin walking around immediately to reduce the risks of swelling and blood clots, while you can shower after two days. Immediately following the procedure, you will notice immediate improvement in your figure, but bruising and swelling are both normal.
Most patients who receive the lower body lift are able to return to normal work activities after two or three weeks of rest. Since the recovery period varies from individual to individual, Dr. Pinsky will be able to set an appropriate time line for your specific circumstances. If Dr. Pinsky used sutures that are not the dissolving type, the sutures will need to be removed after 10 to 14 days. Bandages are taken off after one to four days, and the drains are removed after two weeks. When liposuction is added into the surgery, Dr. Pinsky will have you wear a supportive binding garment for a determined timeframe.
Within the first few weeks the bruising will begin to fade away, although the swelling may remain for up to nine months total. You should expect experiencing numbness in the skin surrounding the incisions from the lower body lift to gradually return over the course of up to two years. Scars typically worsen for the first three to six weeks, but they should become more flat and skin-colored within nine to twelve months. All of the lasting scars are specifically positioned in an area where they can simply be concealed by underwear or bikini bottoms.
After recovering from the lower body lift, you should expect to notice the final results between six months to a year after the procedure concludes. In the end, you will achieve tighter, firmer, and smoother skin without excess fat in your targeted areas for a more appealing appearance. These results can become long-lasting with the assistance of a healthy balanced diet, exercise regimen, and weight stabilization.