Cosmetic Surgery after Weight Loss

The Total Body Lift

Leesburg | Loudoun | Ashburn | Virginia

The total body lift, therefore, addresses really only the abdomen, outer thighs and buttocks.  It is important to know that the total body lift procedure does not cosmetically lift the total body…   just some of it.  More frequently than not, a patient will come in for a consultation after losing a tremendous amount of weight and ask for a total body lift.  What they are really asking for is education about all the available procedures to remove the sagging tissue from multiple areas of the body including the breast, arms, thighs, abdomen, buttocks, and even the face.  There are lifts for each of these areas.  

The total body lift is really a circumferential body lift that extends the tummy tuck abdominoplasty incision around to the back.  Because of how tissues attach to their deeper structures, the front part of the incision tucks or tightens the abdomen while the back part of the circumferential incision will lift the lateral thighs and buttocks.  The total body lift, therefore, addresses really only the abdomen, outer thighs and but.  

For other areas affected after tremendous weight loss, see some of the the links below. 

The total body lift is really a circumferential body lift that extends the abdominoplasty incision around to the back.  Patients who lose a tremendous amount of weight will not only lose a tremendous amount of weight, but their skin will become loose and show sagging in almost every part of the body.  

Because of how tissues attach to their deeper structures, the front part of the circumferential body lift incision tucks or tightens the abdomen; the back part of the circumferential incision will lift the lateral thighs and buttocks.  

The total body lift, therefore, addresses really only the abdomen, outer thighs and but.  

The total body lift addresses:

  • remove excess skin and tightens the abdomen
  • removes excess skin and fat from the flanks
  • removes excess skin and fat from the lower back
  • lifts the buttock
  • lifts the lateral thighs

** The procedure will not address the medial thighs

** Liposuction of some areas might be required to remove and smooth out some residual fat pockets.

  • application of a protective surgical tape on your incision for the first 1-2 weeks after your procedure.  The surgical tape protects the incision from the outside environment while also maintaining a lubricating environment for your scar.
  • Apply a lubricating scar ointment ( we use biocorneum) for the next 1-3 months.  Ideally the ointment contains vitamin E, silicates, sunblock, and a gentle steroid.  Our preference is biocorneum because it contains all of these elements in an easy to use pump applicator.
  • Apply a silicone sheet for the 1-3 after surgery.  Many patients will just use the sheet at night and use the ointment during the day.
  • Steroid injection into the scar if it remains raised after 6 months
  • Profractional laser remodeling if it remains raised or conspicuous after 6 months.

The total body lift uses a circumferential incision that extends a traditional abdominoplasty scar around the body to the back.  Another name for a total body lift is a circumferential tummy tuck.

Abdominoplasty part of the circumferential scar

  • The scar is located in the same location as a traditional abdominoplasty scar.  It is located just above the pubic bone where a c-section scar might be located .  Using this incision, the abdominal tissue is lifted, the extra skin and fat is pulled flat, the abdominal wall muscles are tightened, and the extra skin and fat are removed.

The circumferential side and back part of the scar

  • The circumferential scar exctends from the abdominoplasty part of the scar to the flanks and then to the back.  Removing the extra skin and fat from the flanks will also elevate the loose tissues of the lateral thighs.  Removing the extra skin from the back will also elevate the loose tissues of the buttocks.

The thin skin of the inner thigh does not have a very good ability to contract or shrink.  For this reason, once the skin is stretched after gaining weight, the skin remains loose even after weight loss.  

For young patients that are beginning to gain weight in their thighs, a potential strategy that can prevent the need for a surgical lift in the future is to prevent the fat from accumulating in the first place with Coolsculpting nonsurgical fat removal or a very small office based liposuction procedure.  

  • Breast reduction and or breast lift
  • Abdominoplasty
  • Total body lift ( circumferential body lift )
  • Thigh lift
  • Arm lift
  • Face and/or neck lift
Surgeries are limited to about 5-6 hours for safety concerns.  This means that usually, only 2-3 of the procedures listed above can be performed at a time.

First of all, the name is terrible as a total body lift does not lift the entire body.  The Total body lift describes a circumferential tummy tuck and can be imagined as the circumferential extension of the abdominoplasty incision around the body to the back.  The front part of the incision is used to contour the abdomen.  The back part of the incision will not only remove excess skin and fat around the trunk and flanks, but will also elevate the buttock and lateral thighs.

  • Abdominal contouring
  • Remove excess fat of the flanks and lower back
  • Lift and contour the buttocks
  • Lift and contour the outer thighs

The total body lift cannot be thought of as a one time procedure.  

  • Because of the loose tissues over the entire body that is inherent in all patients after tremendous weight loss; and because the tissue of most patients after tremendous weight loss is not entirely healthy; and because skin and fat have the ability to stretch, there is a fine line between the appropriate amount of tissue removal and lift, and the ability to perform the procedure safely.  

Delayed healing

  • The tissue of patients who are either overweight or who have lost a tremendous amount of weight is not normally healthy.  Many patients are diabetic or were diabetic; many patients had or have high blood pressure; and much of the skin and blood vessels are stretched.  Because of these reasons, patients having any form of tissue lift procedure will have areas of delayed healing.

Expectations

  • Patients must be prepared to have revisions of their procedures after any type of body lift procedure after tremendous weight loss.  The reasons are:
  • Elevate tissue that were not elevated enough
  • Smooth out and contour areas that are not even
  • Revise scars that may have widened or underwent delayed healing
  • Operate on other body areas that were not addressed in the first surgery.

The amount of time it takes to perform a total body lift can vary dramatically depending on the degree of loose tissues.  The average time, however, is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.  

The recovery from a total body lift is very similar to that of just an abdominoplasty.  Most patients will return to work between 7-14 days.

Patients will have to wear body compression garments that include the abdomen, flanks, and thighs after a total body lift.  They will also need to wear an abdominal binder.  The garments are necessary to help the tissue re-contour the body shape to that of the compression garment after the procedure as will as to reduce tissue swelling faster.  These garments will need to be worn for 4-6 weeks.

Because of safety concerns, cosmetic surgery procedures should be limited to about 5-6 hours.  Most body lift procedures will take about 2-3 hours to perform.  That means that most patients will be able to have 2-3 areas addressed at a time.  

  • total body lift takes about 3-4 hours.
  • breast lift will take about 2-3 hours. 
  • arm lift will take about 1.5-2 hours.
  • medial thigh lift will take about 1.5-2 hours
  • mini facelift will take about 1.5-2 hours
  • neck lift will take about 1.5-2 hours

The price of a total body lift ( circumferential body lift ) will vary greatly depending on the amount of tissue that needs to be removed and elevated.  If you are speaking of the surgeons fee only, a total body lift procedure is about 10 thousand dollars.  A traditional abodminoplasty is approximately 6500 dollars for perspective.

Products after your total body lift

Biocorneum

Silicone Sheets

Arm Compression

Body Compression Garments

Liposuction Pads

Body Contouring Corsets

Tissue Smoothing Rollers

Procedures often performed with a total body lift

Breast Reduction

Abdominoplasty

Body Lift Procedures

Thigh Lift

Brazilian Butt Lift

Coolsculpting

Abdominoplasty

Liposuction

Arm Lift