Total Body Lift

What is it?

Total body lift surgery tones both the upper and lower part of the body simultaneously. It combines multiple procedures including liposuction, thigh lift, buttock lift, arm lift and tummy tuck. It is designed for people who have excess skin all over their bodies, which is causing chafing and discomfort, normally as a result of major weight loss. Rather than having multiple procedures with the risk of multiple anaesthetics, it allows you to resolve all of your problem areas under one general anaesthetic. There is just one recovery period and, at the end of it, you will have a re-sculptured body.

What to expect

A total body lift is carried out under general anaesthetic and takes around four to seven hours. You will need to stay in hospital for a minimum of two nights.

The surgery entails:

  • A lower body lift to tighten tummy, buttocks, thighs and back. Your surgeon will make a belt-like incision above the buttocks and outer thighs and tighten the skin before stitching it into place.
  • Tummy tuck – Your surgeon will make a horizontal along the pubic line and remove excess skin, fatty tissues and fat using liposuction. The skin will be repositioned and stitched into place.
  • An upper body lift to tighten waist, breasts and mid back. Your surgeon will make an incision along the bra-line. Fat rolls from the back will be removed and the waist will be toned and stitched into place.

For more details on each of these procedures, please refer to the relevant section on the website.

What results can be achieved?

Your body image can have a significant impact on your confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes, the impact on your life can be hugely detrimental. You may avoid certain social situations or shy away from activities that you would like to participate in because of your unhappiness with your physical appearance. If you have lost a lot of weight, for example, you may be left with excess skin that it is impossible to shift through normal diet and exercise.

Or your body may have lost its tautness and elasticity as a result of childbirth. A total body lift can tackle all of the problem areas simultaneously without putting your body through the stress of multiple procedures. There is a lengthy recovery period however, at the end of it, you are likely to feel more comfortable and confident in your body and able to make positive changes in your life.

Possible risks

All surgery carries risks and cosmetic surgery is no exception. Fortunately, there are rarely any significant complications associated with body lift surgery, however you should talk to your surgeon about the risks before going ahead.

After surgery

A body lift is a major surgical procedure. You will require a minimum of month to six weeks to recover but possibly much longer.

You will experience some pain and discomfort after surgery. Initially, you will be given intravenous painkillers before moving to oral painkillers. Drainage tubes will be inserted during surgery and removed prior to you leaving hospital. You should avoid physical exercise for at least six to eight weeks, possibly longer.

It will take around six months before the swelling and bruising has subsided sufficiently to be able to see the final results of your body lift.

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Common risks

The risk of most types of cosmetic surgery is similar and these will be discussed with you during your consultation. You can help to minimise certain risks by following your surgeon’s advice and instructions after surgery. Chest infection, problems with wound healing and tissue damage is particular complications in smokers. For this reason, you may be asked to quit smoking prior to surgery. Some of the common risks of buttock lift surgery include:

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  • Minor discomfort – this can be treated with over the counter painkillers.
  • Minor swelling and bruising – your surgeon will advise you how long this will last based upon your individual procedure.
  • Scarring – Scars will be positioned so they are hidden within normal clothing as much as possible. Scars fade over months to become paler and less obvious. However, they will always be present and visible when you are undressed. In most people they will be thin and silvery, but in some they can stretch, move or become red and sensitive. In some cases you may need scar revision surgery.
  • Dissolving skin stitches not holding properly – if this occurs the stitches may need to be removed under local anaesthetic.
  • Stitch granuloma – sometimes a tender lump or abscess can occur at the stitch site. This is generally more common where the skin is thinner, such as in front of or behind the ear. The stitch may need to be removed or it may be treated with antibiotics.
  • Asymmetry – No paired structures in the human body are perfectly symmetrical and you should not expect your body lift surgery to achieve total symmetry. It relies on the surgeon’s artistic eye. The buttocks, breasts, arms and thighs should look the same, but may not measure exactly the same. Your surgeon will discuss this with you at your initial consultation.

Your surgeon will give you aftercare advice to help you to mitigate any symptoms and promote more rapid recovery.

More serious risks
The symptoms listed above are normally temporary or without serious consequences. There are some more serious risks associated with cosmetic surgery, which will be discussed with your surgeon as part of the initial consultation.

Plastic surgery alone cannot change your life but it can give you the confidence to make those changes for yourself.

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