Body contouring procedures are those that reshape disproportionate curves or bulges and reduce areas of excess skin or fat. Diet and exercise are critical to health and nutrition, and contribute significantly to an individual’s form. However, changes to the body including age, weight fluctuation, and pregnancy can result in skin with poor elasticity and body shapes that are difficult to change with diet and exercise alone. Body contouring surgery can help you improve body features that cannot be improved by other measures and result in enhanced self-image and self-confidence.
One or more procedures may be needed to obtain desired results. Procedures may be completed together in one operation or they may be more safely performed in stages. This depends on your overall health, as well as the type and extent of procedures to be performed. Our surgeons will help you prioritize your surgical objectives, and come up with an operative plan or sequence of staged operations that will help you safely achieve your goals.
What type of scar can I expect from excisional body contour procedures such as an arm lift, thigh lift, or body lift?
Procedures such as liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, and a facelift most frequently leave a minimal, if any, visible scar. Body contouring procedures, on the other hand, always leave a long and wide scar. Patients must decide for themselves if the improvement in skin laxity is justified by the resulting scars.
What is a brachioplasty (arm lift)?
Inner arm brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift, is an operation where excess skin and fat between the armpit and the elbow, referred to as “bat wings” by many patients, is removed and the remaining skin is tightened. A large ellipse of excess skin is removed from this area. The resulting scar will run along the inner arm. It is generally hidden when your arm is at your side, but it is visible if you wear short sleeves and have your hands in the air.
What is a circumferential body lift?
A circumferential body lift, referred to as a belt lipectomy, is an operation in which excess skin and fat from the abdominal wall, posterior trunk, and back is removed in a single excision. This procedure removes loose skin from the lower abdomen and tightens the skin on the flanks, lower back, upper thighs, and upper buttock area. Generally during this procedure, as in a tummy tuck, the belly button is relocated and the abdominal muscles are tightened. The resulting scar is circumferential around the lower abdomen, and is often well concealed under the waste line of clothing.
Below is a patient who underwent circumferntial body lift.
How can the buttocks and thighs be lifted and tightened?
In a buttocks lift of a thigh lift, the lower buttocks and are tightened with the location of the resulting scar determined by the area of greatest skin excess. If significant skin laxity is present, both a horizontal and a vertical tightening might be needed. In these cases, a “T” shaped scar may be designed along the upper inner thigh, possibly extending obliquely to the buttocks, as well as a vertical scar down the inner thigh towards or to the inner knee.
Should I lose weight before undergoing a body contouring procedure?
For optimal results, it is best to achieve your lowest stable weight prior to undergoing body contouring procedures. Losing weight will decrease the thickness of the fatty tissue under the skin. Decreasing the amount of fatty tissue present prior to surgery will allow your surgeon to remove the maximum amount of excess skin and give you the most desirable result. It is not uncommon, however for patients to plateau at a weight above their goal weight even with diet, exercise, and weight loss surgery. A safe and dramatic improvement can still be obtained under these circumstances. Sometimes, the surgical improvement itself provides the motivation needed to lose more weight after surgery.
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