The body lift
The body lift or circular dermolipectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at reducing excess abdominal skin and fat after a massive weight loss.
It is a surgery with rather heavy after-effects but offering a quite spectacular improvement of the silhouette.
Principles of the body lift
Massive weight loss can sometimes be caused by dieting alone but more often by weight loss surgery: Ring, sleeve gastrectomy or Bypass.
The skin of the abdomen is distended by the excess weight and cannot retract satisfactorily during weight loss.
This leads to a real drooping of the tissues which associates an anterior abdominal apron covering the pubis and a ptosis of the gluteal region.
The purpose of the body lift is to tighten the abdominal skin downwards and to lift the soft parts of the buttocks upwards.
The procedure removes a circular band of skin 20 to 30 cm high.
The procedure starts with the posterior part, with the patient lying on the stomach.
An extensive liposuction is performed. The purpose of this step is to refine the areas to be removed as much as possible so that only the skin is removed and the underlying deep lymphatic network is left. An upper buttock flap is often buried in order to restore the shape.
The patient is then turned over and an anterior abdominoplasty is performed after liposuction.
The procedure takes an average of 4 to 5 hours in total.
The body lift in practice
A body lift is a surgery that requires careful preparation.
The weight must be stabilized for more than 6 months with a body mass index lower than 30. Smoking must be completely stopped 1 month before the operation.
Iron or vitamin deficiencies related to bariatric surgery (bypass) must be corrected before the operation.
A consultation with an anesthesiologist is necessary at least 15 days before the operation. The doctor will then check these different points and will possibly ask for additional advice (cardiologist for example).
The operation is performed under general anesthesia. A period of 12 hours is necessary before the operation. A urinary catheter will be put in place during the anesthesia and will be removed the day after the surgery.
The average hospital stay varies from 3 to 5 days.
A compression girdle and anti-thrombosis stockings must be worn at all times for the next 15 days.
Sitting will not be allowed for the first 2 days in order to avoid putting tension on the buttock scar.
Scar care lasts an average of 15 days.
The resumption of work can be envisaged between 15 days and 3 weeks after the operation.
Questions and answers about the Body Lift
What are the complications of a body lift?
A blood transfusion is necessary in about 5% of cases of body lift.
The most dreaded complication is phlebitis (formation of a blood clot in the legs) with a possibility of pulmonary embolism (migration of this clot into the lung). Its frequency is greatly reduced by getting up early, using anti-thrombosis stockings and heparin injections.
A hematoma may also appear at the surgical site and require a second visit to the operating room.
Finally, the most frequent complication is a post-operative lymph effusion. When it is very large, a puncture may be necessary. In addition, it can cause an infection.
Is the body-lift reimbursed by the health insurance?
Yes, the body lift can be reimbursed after a massive weight loss. The reimbursement agreement is subject to consultation with the health insurance doctor who is asked to provide a request for prior agreement by your surgeon.
It should be noted that if you have already had a tummy tuck, the body lift cannot be reimbursed by the health insurance.
How much does a Body Lift cost?
If the Body Lift is covered by health insurance, our fees are €5000. A part of these fees may be covered by your complementary health insurance.
If the procedure is not covered, the total cost will be between 8000 and 10000€.
Have a question? Please contact us!
Docteur Yaël Berdah and Docteur Marc-David Benjoar
Plastic surgeons in Paris France