Best Candidates for Body Lift Surgery Introduction Body lifting is a plastic surgery intervention meant to tighten the body by eliminating the excess skin and adipose tissue from certain body parts. Many people who have undergone drastic weight loss by means of dieting, exercise or bariatric surgery are now left with sagging skin in one or multiple areas of the body. The natural aging process can also leave people with drooping skin and unwanted fat deposits that can have a negative impact on the aesthetic appearance of the individual. Sagging skin and stubborn adipose deposits in particular areas of the body can lead to decreased productivity, a diminished self-esteem or it may impede the patient’s capacity to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. Furthermore, these traits make it difficult for the patient to find well-fitting clothes and they have also been associated with other discomforts such as skin infections. Fortunately, the body lifting procedure can help the patient achieve a more appealing body shape by eliminating the flagging skin and unwanted fat deposits from the body. Provided that you are an eligible candidate for the intervention and select a highly experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon, the procedure can offer impressive results. There are several body lifting techniques that can be performed and the appropriate one for you may be selected depending on the distribution of the drooping skin and adipose tissue on the body. Some patients qualify for an upper body lift or a mid-body lift while others require a lower body lift. Keep in mind that if you are confronted with a considerable amount of sagging skin all over the body, the surgeon might recommend a full body lift. To get the most out of the body lifting procedures, it is essential for the patients to carefully evaluate their options. Selecting a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon will ensure that your eligibility for the intervention is properly assessed. Prior to the surgery, it is also critical to know if the technique you have chosen is the right procedure for you. Candidacy for body lift procedures Individuals who desire to improve their body contour due to a considerable amount of sagging skin are the best candidates for the body lift surgery. This procedure removes excess fat and skin tissue while simultaneously shaping your body. However, since it is a rather complex intervention, the patient is required to meet a set of criteria to be entitled to the surgery. But what are the aspects that need to be evaluated to assess your eligibility for the body lift procedure? When going in for the initial consultation, the plastic surgeon will make it a priority to measure the amount of weight you have lost in the past. If the patient has shed more than 35-45% of body weight, he or she is probably a good candidate for the body lift surgery. The patient might also qualify for the surgery if he or she experiences sagging skin and unwanted adipose deposits in, for example, the abdominal area. If the plastic surgeon believes that you can lose more weight with the help of diet and exercise, he will suggest that you do so before scheduling the surgery. The ideal candidate for the procedure is one who has maintained a stable weight for at least six months prior to surgery. Weight fluctuations can have a negative impact on the outcome of the procedure. Most plastic surgeons will recommend the patients to wait for no less than two years after achieving their target weight before having the body lifting surgery performed. This gives your skin plenty of time to adjust to the body and it is also a good indication that you will not put on weight again in the near future. A good overall health condition is another prerequisite for the body lift surgery. Patients suffering from diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory illness as well as high blood pressure might find that they are not suitable to undergo the plastic surgery procedure as their pre-existing ailments can be life-threatening during the operation. Talk to your surgeon about your medical condition to enable him to determine whether you are eligible for the procedure. A patient in good health condition is more able to recover quickly from general anesthesia. The healing process will also be shorter and the results more impressive if the patient meets the criteria. Undergoing the body lift procedure can be an emotional process; thus, it is vital for the patient to be emotionally stable before the intervention. The individual’s tolerance and patience will also be tested during the recovery period. To maintain the safety of the operation, you should completely disclose your medical history to your plastic surgeon prior to the surgery as well as all prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking. Female patients are discouraged from having more children after the procedure is performed as pregnancy and breastfeeding can alter the results of the body lift surgery. This is why it is advisable to schedule the surgery only when you feel that your family is complete and you have no desire to have more children. If you are planning on getting pregnant again in the future, the plastic surgeon will suggest you postpone the intervention. Another aspect that plays a role in determining whether you are a good candidate for the procedure is your motivation to keep a diet regimen and exercise regularly after the intervention. Maintaining a healthy diet and a workout plan is indispensable for the sustainability of the results achieved after the surgery. If the patient is a smoker or consumes alcohol in large quantities, the plastic surgeon will suggest avoiding smoking and drinking for at least two weeks before and after the operation is performed. If you are not ready to give up smoking and drinking for the amount of the time necessary, then you will not be entitled to the surgery. Having realistic expectations and goals from the body lift procedure is another characteristic of a good candidate for the intervention. During your consultation, your doctor will ask you about your objectives and expectations from the surgery. If they are reasonable and attainable, you may be qualified for the surgery. On the other hand, your surgeon will certainly try his best to provide you with impressive results, but this is not a guarantee that you will like the outcome. There is also the possibility of being pleased with the results of the surgery but disappointed with the level of scarring. Moreover, you will be required to maintain a healthy lifestyle following the surgery to avoid sagging skin that can occur at a later time. The natural aging process can and probably will have an impact on the body lift surgery results. Nonetheless, it will take some time for this to happen and chances are you will still look younger than people your age that did not have the surgery. You should understand that the body lift surgery is not a procedure performed to remove excess fat from areas of your body. If the patient’s desire is to get rid of localized adipose deposits, liposuction might be the optimal solution. But if you have sagging skin in those areas of the body, in addition to adipose tissue, the body lift procedure is the best choice for you. Remember that liposuction only eliminates fat, not skin tissue whereas the body lift surgery can remove both fat cells and skin tissue. There are patients who have already undergone plastic surgery interventions in the past. In these cases, the plastic surgeon will first assess the results of the previous surgical interventions to determine what can be done and if improvement is possible. The plastic surgeon might work in collaboration with other doctors during the procedure to ensure your safety. The decision to undergo the body lift surgery should be decided solely by the patient after thorough consideration of his or her needs and desires. The intervention is a last resort for individuals confronted with sagging skin and localized fat deposits. While these aesthetic imperfections might be preventing them from performing at their optimum capacity, the patients should make sure to properly assess the risks and advantages of the intervention before making decisions pertaining to the procedure. A person who understands and accepts the risks associated with the body lift procedure can be considered a good candidate for the surgery. As is the case with all surgical interventions, the body lift surgery entails risks and possible complications that can occur during and after the procedure. The plastic surgeon is responsible for explaining the hazards and potential side effects to you during your meeting so you will know what to expect. If you decide that the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks, you should certainly schedule your surgery. If you are still experiencing significant health issues, the plastic surgeon might discourage you from going under the knife simply for aesthetic reasons. Conclusion The body lift procedure is a complex intervention, which is why it is crucial for the patient to meet the eligibility criteria to be able to undergo surgery. Doing proper research before the intervention is important to help the patient prepare for the procedure. An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon will perform a thorough analysis of your health condition, skin condition, as well as your goals and expectations, while also explaining the risks that are usually associated with the intervention. It is strongly recommended that you schedule the body lift intervention only after meeting all of your surgeon’s requirements.