Complete body lifting: is it safe?

Complete body lifting: is it safe?

12th Jul 2017

Body lifting is a plastic surgery procedure to treat surplus fat, loose skin, and other loose tissue that often surface after the patient experiences drastic weight loss. The procedure contours the body to make it youthful, contoured, energetic, and aesthetically appealing.

Depending on your needs, the procedure may either be performed on the upper body, middle body, or lower body. In some cases, you may be required to undergo a complete body lift, which treats your whole body instead of a particular area.

While a complete body lifting is safe, it is riskier and comes with additional side effects and potential complications than when the procedure is performed on one part of the body. Since the procedure removes extra fat, tissue, and saggy skin from the lower, middle, and upper parts of the body, the risks are higher.

What a complete body lift can do

Complete body lifting can help improve your overall figure by ridding your body of surplus fat, skin, and tissue. The procedure will contour your abdominal area locally before spreading to the sides and towards the rear. It can effectively fix buttocks and hips that are low, small, saggy, flat, or asymmetrical.

The procedure can even treat the groin area, thighs, and fix thigh circumference. If you have saggy, loose skin and tissue in the breasts, a complete body lift surgery will make your breasts firmer.

It is important to understand that the body lift procedure is not only limited to the removal of fat alone. For that, liposuction is a sufficient procedure. Body lifting is used where excess fat is coupled with loose skin, whereas liposuction only removes fat.

How is a complete body lift carried out?

Complete body lifting involves placing incisions at the target areas. For example, in the abdomen area, the incision is normally placed at the waist or below it. Surplus fat is then removed and the loose skin is excised.

The size of the incisions depends on the volume of fat to be removed and the amount of skin to be excised. Since complete body lifting is a combination of a lower, middle, and upper body lift, it will involve a circumferential incision running across the body. Besides removing extra fat and loose skin, the tissue may also be tautened and repositioned during the surgery. In some cases, liposuction is used in combination with body lifting to achieve enhanced body contour.

In case skin excision is required for more than two areas of the body, the surgery will be performed in stages. The surgeon will advise to have a gap of at least six months in between procedures. Your surgeon can provide better recommendations after examining your body. The procedure is normally performed under general anesthesia and the patient may be required to stay in the hospital for a day or two.

Risks and potential complications

Complete body lifting entails more risks and potential complications than undergoing an upper, lower, or middle body lift separately. Patients are therefore advised to undergo the surgery only when the benefits weigh more than the risks and complications. Make sure to properly consult with your surgeon before proceeding with the surgery.

Since the surgery is extensive and involves the use of general anesthesia, your body may react adversely and trigger complications and risks such as excessive bleeding and nerve and blood vessel damage. If this occurs, you may experience serious health complications.

Internal organ damage is also a possible risk. Moreover, your surgical wounds may contract infections. Other side effects, risks, and potential complications include:

• Very slow or poor wound healing

• Seroma

• Change in or loss of skin sensation

• Fat necrosis

• Unbearable pain and discomfort

• Loose skin

• Extensive inflammation and bruising

• Asymmetry in different body parts, such as the breasts and buttocks

• Complications of the pulmonary system

• Loss or death of skin

• Undesirable and prominent scars

• Separation of the surgical wound

• General dissatisfaction with overall aesthetic results


Since a complete body lifting entails more risks, side effects, and potential complications, the patient must exercise great care during the recovery period. Compression garments should be worn and small tubes will be placed inside the incisions to drain any fluids that may collect after the surgery.

Complete recovery may take about 6 to 8 weeks. Pain and discomfort can be treated with relief medications. While you can take short and slow walks after the surgery, you must avoid engaging in strenuous activities for at least two months.


Complete body lifting is an effective way to contour your entire body. As this is a combination procedure, the risks are substantially higher. You should make sure to discuss thoroughly with your surgeon and go under the knife only if the benefits outweigh the risks.

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