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Body Contouring Lower Body Lift

Lower Body Lift

Birmingham, Alabama Body Contouring at Hedden Plastic Surgery

Aging, sun damage, pregnancy, significant fluctuations in weight and genetic factors can contribute to poor tissue elasticity, resulting in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks and thighs.

A Lower Body Lift removes excess sagging fat and skin and improves the shape and tone of the underlying support tissue. A body lift can also improve the dimpled, irregular skin surface commonly known as cellulite.

Body lifts at our Alabama plastic surgery practice may include the abdominal area, locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area; buttocks that may be low, flat or unevenly shaped; groin that may sag into he inner thigh; and the circumference of the thighs or the inner, outer or posterior thighs.

Body Lift Candidates

Body lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and body lift techniques may be recommended.

In general, candidates for a lower body lift include:

  • People with significant soft tissue looseness in one or multiple body areas.
  • Healthy people without medical conditions that impair healing or increase surgical risks.
  • People with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what a body lift can accomplish.
  • Non-smokers who are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness.

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Your Body Lift Consultation

By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for your lower body lift procedure, you can be assured that you are choosing a highly-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon. ASPS Member Surgeons must meet rigorous standards for training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery.

During your body lift consultation, be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals.
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical treatments.
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
  • Previous surgeries.

Your body lift surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
  • Examine and measure your body, which may include detailed body measurements.
  • Take photographs.
  • Discuss your body lift options and recommend a course of treatment.
  • Discuss the likely outcomes of body lift surgery and any risks or potential complications.

Be sure to ask questions at your consultation. It is very important to understand all aspects of your lower body lift. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether preoperative stress or excitement about your anticipated new look. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

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Body Lift Risks and Safety Information

The decision to have lower body lift surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits of a lower body lift will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.

Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. The possible risks of a body lift include:

  • Anesthesia risks.
  • Bleeding (hematoma).
  • Infection.
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Fluid accumulation (blood or serum).
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation.
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis).
  • Pain, which may persist.
  • Recurrent looseness of skin.
  • Persistent swelling in the legs.
  • Asymmetries.
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications.
  • Possible need for revisional surgery.
  • Skin loss.
  • Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation and require removal.
  • Unfavorable scarring.

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.

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Preparing for a Body Lift

In preparing for body lift surgery, you may be asked to:

  • Get a lab test or a medical evaluation.
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, as they can increase bleeding.

Your lower body lift may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, ambulatory surgical center or hospital.

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Body Lift Procedure

Anesthesia choices for lower body lift surgery include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Body Lift Incisions

Lower body lifts are surgical procedures and require extensive incisions. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed as well as surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits.

One common technique of complete lower body lift uses incisions similar to a bikini pattern to tighten the abdomen, groin, waist, thighs and buttocks in one procedure. A circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat. Tissues are then repositioned and tightened.

Lower body lift incisions

A combination of Liposuction and surgical body lifts may be necessary to achieve an improved contour.

Deep support sutures within underlying tissues help to form the newly-shaped contours. Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips are used to close the skin incisions.

Lower body lift incision closure

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Body Lift Recovery

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your lower body lift and recovery. These instructions may include:

  • How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery.
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
  • How to care for your drains.
  • When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Following your lower body lift procedure, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood that collects.

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.

It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your body lift recovery period:

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery, and when will they be removed?
  • How should I bathe after surgery?
  • Are stitches removed, and when?
  • When will the drains be removed?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

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Body Lift Results

Though the results of a body lift are visible almost immediately, it may take as long as 1 to 2 years for the final results to fully develop.

Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long-lasting provided you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. It's natural to lose some firmness as your body ages, but most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.

Although good results are expected from your body lift, there is no guarantee. In some situations it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

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Body Lift Words to Know

  • Abdominoplasty: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.
  • Circumferential incision: A surgical incision around the body, similar to a bikini pattern, to remove the "belt" of excess skin and fat.
  • Circumferential thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the outer and mid-thigh.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection to help you relax.
  • Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, a procedure which vacuums out fat from beneath the skin's surface to reduce fullness.
  • Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision to relieve pain during an operation.
  • Lower body lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs.
  • Macerated skin: Excess skin that hangs and becomes wet or infected underneath.
  • Medial thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the inner thigh.
  • Sutures: Stitches used to hold skin and tissue together.
  • Tummy tuck: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.

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Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Please contact plastic surgeon William J. Hedden, M.D. today to find out more about Lower Body Lift in Birmingham, Alabama.