Everything you need to know about total body lifting

Everything you need to know about total body lifting

13th Dec 2017

Body lift is a procedure that mainly targets people who used to be obese and who managed to lose tens of kilograms. Under these conditions, the skin, which was stretched by excessive weight gain, starts sagging immediately after the weight loss occurs. You might notice the sagging skin in the arms, breasts, the abdomen, the buttocks, thighs and even the knees. The good news is that the sagging skin on your body can be corrected with the help of plastic surgery. When the sagging occurs after a drastic weight loss, it will need a generalized correction of the skin all over the body. True, this could also leave you with significant scars but it will definitely improve your silhouette substantially.

It is essential to know that the total body lifting procedure can only be performed when the weight has stabilized, and there is no risk of further fat accumulation at the skin level.

The intervention can be performed in one sitting, even if we are talking about a complete body lifting that will take care of all areas of your body. Still, most plastic surgeons will recommend that the procedure be performed in 2 or even 3 stages to ensure faster and better recovery time for the patient. The total body lifting procedure will usually start from the bottom up; in the case of areas such as the arms, abdomen or breasts, there are no influences from the tissues belonging to the inferior part of the body.

The surgical plan will be based on the patient’s priorities, necessities and desires. The scars will depend on the specifications of the procedure (the tummy tuck, the thighs lifting, the buttock lifting, the arms lifting and the breast lifting, also called mastopexy).

Following massive weight loss, plastic surgery reduces the excess skin and fat that are left behind. This excessive loose skin normally occurs after a radical weight loss program or in patients who went through bariatic weight loss surgery.

The purpose of the complete body lifting is to reestablish the attractive proportions by removing the sagging skin from around all the areas of the body that needs the correction. While these procedures will definitely leave scars, the patients consider it an excellent compromise for a considerably improved physical appearance.

When should you consider the complete body lifting?

The best candidates for the total body lifting are people who have suffered a dramatic weight loss after bariatric surgery or through other methods such as exercising or diets. Also it is important to know that if your skin is sagging on more areas of your body such as the breasts, arms, abdomen, back, buttock and thighs, you are probably eligible for a complete body lifting.

You won’t be able to go under the knife for the total body lifting immediately after losing weight. It is required that it should be at least 6 to 18 months from weight loss up until the time you undergo surgery.

The main benefits of the complete body lifting:

– It eliminates the sagging skin so the clothes will look better and will also fit better on your body;

– It eliminates the excess skin that could cause pain, skin eruptions and even infections;

– It considerably improves self-esteem.

What are the main disadvantages of the complete body lifting procedure:

– It is possible that the surgical results to not satisfy your expectations from the procedure, if the expectations are set up as unrealistic;

– There will be permanent scars left on your body, even if your plastic surgeon will try to hide them in the natural folds of your body and in discreet areas;

– The results can be negatively affected over time due to weight gain, aging and lifestyle choices.

These are the main pros and cons when you are considering plastic surgery after a massive weight loss. Of course, aside from these, there are also other aspects that are related to specific cases and the situation of each patient. We recommend you discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon during your consultation.

Who is a good candidate for the intervention?

It is a certainty that after a sudden weight loss, you will be confronted with the unsightly presence of sagging, excess skin in different areas of the body. Here are a few of the characteristics that make you an ideal candidate for the total body lifting procedure:

– Your weight has stayed the same for at least six months and you are not planning on losing more weight. For optimal results, some plastic surgeons would only operate after approximately two years after the weight loss occurred. This period will allow the skin to shrink as much as possible and it guarantees that the nutrition program is stable and optimal, these being important factors for the recovery period.

– Your general health condition is good; you don’t have serious medical conditions such as diabetes or heart conditions.

– You have a healthy regimen; protein deficiencies can interfere with the healing process.

– You don’t smoke or you are willing to quit smoking for at least a few weeks before and after the surgery. Smoking can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of severe complications during and after the procedure is performed.

– You are emotionally and mentally healthy as these types of intervention will require a lot of patience and tolerance to pain.

– You have realistic expectations from the surgery. Plastic surgery will lead to important improvements in your body’s contour, but you should keep in mind that it is impossible for the plastic surgeon to recreate the body you had before putting on weight.

Frequently asked questions about the complete body lifting intervention:

What are the contraindications of the method?

Because this intervention is a complex one, it will require a general anesthetic for the patient. Serious cardiopulmonary conditions where there is a risk related to the anesthesia represent a contraindication for this surgery.

Severe dermatological and infectious diseases are also contraindicated for this surgical intervention.

What are the risks of the total body lifting intervention?

Post-operative risks include infection, wound dehiscence, bleeding, inflammation and so on. Also counted among the risks would be possible pathological scarring of the wounds and imperfections of the shape in and around the operated areas The patient needs to be informed of the shape and type of the post-operative scars and must understand that these scars are permanent. The patient’s consent to the permanent scars is essential. The patient must also know that in some cases, there might be required revision interventions to correct the scars. These interventions can be performed about six months after the initial surgery.

What is the optimal time frame in between multiple interventions?

The interventions can be performed in several stages, a few months apart from each other. The thighs correction, for example, can be combined with arms or breasts lifting because the two operative areas evolve independently from each other.

Buttock lifting might be done together with the tummy tuck as these two interventions can be performed with a unique scar in the suprapubic region, which can be continued towards the posterior in a circular movement.

How about the recovery period?

The surgical plan must take into consideration the necessity of the patient to sit on his buttocks, on the sides or on his back. If the plastic surgeon doesn’t consider how the patient will be able to sit, stand or lie down after the interventions, this might have a strong negative impact on the recovery period. We have seen patients that underwent the total body lifting procedure with other surgeons and then found it difficult or almost impossible to sit or lie down on either side.

What is the post-operative care?

The patient will need to stay in the medical facility for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Once released from the hospital, the patient will be prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication, as well as other pain management pills. The girdle is recommended and the patient will need to wear it for at least a couple of weeks.


Resuming the daily activities after the total body lifting intervention should be done moderately. Massaging the areas that were treated is beneficial and can be started from the second week after the intervention with gradual increase in intensity.

The complete body lifting is a plastic surgery procedure that is highly beneficial for patients who have lost a lot of weight and want to get back into shape and achieve a more pleasing body frame and profile. During the intervention, the excess skin and fat will be removed from areas such as the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, and thighs.

Share this article: