Body Lift

With A Body Lift You Can Remove Embarrassing Excess Skin Due
To Dramatic Weight Loss

Body Lift

Have you experienced significant weight loss due to gastric bypass surgery or losing the weight from exercises?

Are up experiencing excess skin laxity throughout the trunk region, involving the abdomen and the back region?

Embarrassed to be seen at the beach, in the gym, in the pool, or heaven forbid, the bedroom?

In addition, you may be experiencing abdominal wall weakness results from rectus diastasis, which can cause you to have an appearance of abdominal bulge. Overall the excess redundant skin tissues may now be a hindrance to your daily activities and physical appearance.

Having trouble fitting into those smaller clothes as easily as you thought you would after your weight loss? Is your hindrance preventing your from exercising properly thus compounding the problem and preventing you from obtaining good body tone?

Thus, an abdominoplasty surgery alone may not be sufficient, but you may require a circumferential body lift surgery, where the excess redundant skin and fat are removed from the abdomen, flank and the back region, thus, achieving more nice contour throughout the trunk region.

Schedule Your Body Lift Consultation With Dr. Vu Today By Calling 503.601.2910 or Toll Free 866.297.8522.

This is a procedure covered by CosmetAssure. Learn how Dr. Vu protects you from any potential financial burden from complications by visiting our Complications Assurance page.


Body Lift Surgery – A Quick Glance

Who Is A Candidate For Body Lift Surgery?

If you have excess body skin (frequently due to significant weight loss or post gastric bypass surgery).

Body Lift Surgery Intended Results

A smoother flatter abdomen and buttock tightening, diminishing thigh cellulite and removal of back rolls or excess back skin.

Body Lift Surgery Procedure Description

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting. Although the surgical sequence varies depending on the needs of each patient, we will usually treat the belly first, by removing the excess skin from the belly button down to the pubic area.

The abdominal wall muscle, which is deep to the skin and fat of the belly, is then tightened. The fat and skin above the belly button is then stretched down to the pubic area and sutured in place. A new opening is made to allow the belly button to be brought through, in its original position.

The patient is then turned to the side and the excess skin and fat from the side to the mid back is removed. This part of the operation reduces and lifts the outer thighs. As the skin and fat are removed from the back the back rolls are reduced and the buttocks are lifted.

Each of these maneuvers is done to a different degree depending on the needs of the patient. Some patients require liposuction of the outer thighs. The same is performed on the other side of the body. A belt lipectomy will usually require between 3.5 to 7 hours to perform.

Body Lift Surgery Recuperation And Healing

The Body Lift can be one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures and probably requires more time-consuming and limiting recovery.

One to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care or assistance at home is usually indicated. You will be encouraged to be moving and walking regularly within 1-2 days. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. Sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.

Body Lift Surgery Other Options

Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, Upper Arm Lift or Thigh Lift.


The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.

View Body Lift photos.

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Body Lift Surgery Potential Risks

No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding body lift surgery.

A. Incisions

After a Circumferential Body Lipectomy, you will have a long scar above the pubic hairline extending around the flanks and back. There will be a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and possibly as shorter vertical scar in the midline just above the pubic hairline.

You should discuss your incision lines with Dr. Vu and plan the incision to accommodate, within limits, different clothing and bathing suit styles.

Redness, thickness, and some widening of these scars to a variable extent will occur once you return to normal activities. Incisions placed in high-tension areas (i.e. central back) tend to create slightly wider scars.

B. Loss of Sensation

Patients commonly experience areas of partial and/or complete numbness of the abdominal skin and/or the skin around the flank and back incisions. Few experience permanent loss of feeling, but it may take several months or longer for sensation to return. Rarely, areas of numbness persist.

C. Fat Necrosis

In rare cases, some of the underlying fat can necrose (die) because of infection or excessive tension. An uncommon problem, it is usually an annoyance, requiring additional healing time, dressing changes, and sometimes, revision of the scar later. It usually does not seriously affect the ultimate outcome.

D. Skin Loss

Like fat necrosis, skin loss can result from infection or excessive tension. The treatment is the same regardless of the cause. Careful preoperative planning and resisting the urge to make the hips and buttocks “as tight as possible” reduces but does not eliminate the possibility of this problem occurring.

E. “Dog Ears”

When Dr. Vu closes the angle at the end of the skin incision during the repair, a nipple or projection of bulging tissue called a “dog ear” can occur.

Liposuction under the area or extension of the incisions can solve or reduce the problem. If a small “dog ear” appears at the end of surgery, it will usually flatten or disappear with time and healing. If it remains visible, a small procedure under local anesthesia can solve the problem at a later time.

F. Fat emboli and blood clots

These problems can rarely occur, however there is an increased risk with this procedure. Continuous use of compression stockings during surgery and postoperatively until normal activity is resumed, coupled with postoperative leg movements and walking as soon as possible after surgery help to minimize the risk.

Although fat emboli and blood clots can be life threatening, they usually resolve completely with hospitalization and care by a medical specialist.

G. Seroma

Rarely, tissue fluids collect under the back skin flap (usually after the drains have been removed). During surgery, Dr. Vu usually places two to four drains throughout the front and back along the incision If this occurs, aspiration of the fluid with a needle two or three times a week for 2-3 weeks usually solves the problem.

Few patients require further surgery. The frequency increases with the length of the incision. It is important to maintain compression on your abdomen for several days after the drains come outand high activity levels should be avoided.

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Body Lift Surgery Postoperative Care

Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. Dr. Vu’s goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.

A. Position

Because Circumferential Body Lipectomy involves tightening of the abdominal muscles coupled with removal of excess skin of the abdomen, hips, buttocks and back, you will experience some difficulty sitting for a week or two or even longer. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please try not to stretch or bend down during the first 2-3 weeks of healing.

B. Dressings

You must change your position and walk around the house every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots. We will place an elastic abdominal binder around your abdomen and hips after surgery to provide some gentle pressure, to give you stability, and to reduce swelling.

The compression garment or binder is required to be worn continuously for 2-3 weeks following surgery (except when laundering, bathing, etc.) unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Vu.

If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off and call us at 503-601-2910. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss!

C. Post-surgical taping

Some patients choose to wear the garment for another several months after surgery. Let your own comfort and the amount of swelling you experience guide you. We want you as comfortable as possible without swelling.

Dr. Vu will place a surgical tape around the incision line. Do not remove this yourself. Dr. Vu will remove the taping during your postoperative visit.

In addition, she will also instruct you in applying taping along the incisional scar daily to help improve with overall scar healing and appearance.

D. Bathing and showering

Take a “sponge bath” until Dr.Vu or your nurse has approved you to bathe or shower.

E. Drains

Dr. Vu will place two drains into the surgical area at the time of surgery. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster. When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of each tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, it will expand. The drains will be removed when the fluid collection is at least less then 25cc per bulb within 24 hour period.

F. Drain Care

Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or the abdominal binder with a safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands 50% or more, empty the bulb by opening the plug at the top and pouring out the contents. Do not attempt to remove the bulb from the tubing. Squeeze the bulb to recompress it, and put the plug back into the hole at the top in order to maintain the vacuum. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying it, or you need to empty it more than three times a day, please call us at 503-601-2910.

Dr. Vu or a nurse will remove the drains 5-10 days after surgery, when the fluid begins to turn a clear straw color and/or the amount of drainage diminishes. You may shower the day after your drains are removed.

G. Activities

Body Lifts are probably the most uncomfortable operation we do. You will experience some pain for 10-20 days and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks. After the first 2 weeks, you may resume moderate walks for as long as is tolerable. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling.

H. Exposure to sunlight

We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.

I. Healing of sensory nerves

Your abdomen, hips, buttocks and back will feel tight for a month or longer. Usually, the skin around the incisions remains partially or completely numb for several months or longer.

Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicate regeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm. It may take as long as 2 years for sensation in your abdomen to be restored completely.

J. Activities

If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 14 days, with the understanding that you will still have discomfort with motion.

Please discuss this with Dr. Vu and the nursing staff. Here again, swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise for about 5-6 weeks after surgery. Let your body tell you what it can do and please check with us before returning to exercise or strenuous activities.

View Body Lift photos.

Schedule Your Body Lift Consultation With Dr. Vu Today By Calling 503.601.2910 or Toll Free 866.297.8522.

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