Weight Loss surgery has emerged as a boon for obese people however the miles of excess skin left post-surgery may be a huge menace. At such times, people turn to the internet in search of an answer to 'how to get rid of excess skin after weight loss?''
In this blog, we are presenting two surgical solutions to the above-asked question. Tummy tuck and lower body lift are two different surgical procedures often considered by post-bariatric patients who have experienced massive weight loss and are looking to address this excess skin and tissue.
Both procedures are quite popular and frequently performed, but they target different areas of the body and have different goals. The choice between the two procedures depends on the specific needs and goals of the patient, as well as the surgeons' recommendations.
Abdominoplasty, commonly known as tummy tuck surgery, is a cosmetic procedure crafted to improve the aesthetic of the abdomen by eliminating surplus skin and fat while also firming the abdominal muscles. This surgical intervention proves especially advantageous for individuals dealing with lax abdominal skin or weakened muscles, often stemming from factors like pregnancy or substantial weight loss.
Conversely, a lower body lift encompasses a comprehensive surgical strategy that targets the entirety of the lower body, encompassing the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. The procedure entails the removal of excess skin and fat from the lower torso and upper legs, resulting in a more refined and sculpted lower body appearance.
Comparison of Tummy Tuck and Lower Body Lift:
|Lower Body Lift
|Belt Lipectomy, 360-degree Tummy Tuck, Circumferential Tummy Tuck
|Tummy tuck primarily targets the abdominal area, specifically the lower abdomen
|Lower body lift targets a much broader area, viz. the entire belt area- including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and lateral thighs
|A tummy tuck involves removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdominal area and tightening the abdominal muscles.
|Lower Body lift is the most invasive type of tummy tuck and contours the entire trunk. In layman's terms, it can be explained as Tummy Tuck + lift of lower back + outer thighs + buttocks
|Women or Men who have excess fat or skin around the area of the bellybutton or a weak lower abdominal wall
|Women or Men who have had bariatric surgery lost a significant amount of weight (commonly, 100 pounds or more), or are left with loose skin encircling the waist and hips
|The incision is typically made horizontally just above the pubic area, extending from one hip to the other
|Incisions around the waistline resulting in a belt-like scar
|Anesthesia commonly used
|A tummy tuck is effective for addressing sagging skin and tissue in the lower abdomen, particularly the "pooch" or excess skin below the belly button
|A lower body lift can provide a more comprehensive improvement in body contour, addressing excess skin and tissue in multiple areas simultaneously
Factors to consider while choosing one over the other:
The extent and distribution of excess skin and tissue: If the excess skin is primarily limited to the lower abdomen, a tummy tuck may be sufficient. However, if it extends to multiple areas, a lower body lift may be more appropriate.
Patient goals and priorities: Discuss your goals with your surgeon. They can help you determine which procedure aligns better with your aesthetic and functional objectives.
Health and safety: The patient's overall health, medical history, and any other medical conditions may influence the choice of procedure.
Scarring: A lower body lift typically results in more extensive scarring due to the circumferential incisions, whereas a tummy tuck has a relatively smaller. It is however essential to weigh the scarring vs advantages of each procedure and then make a decision accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions:
While searching for 'how to get rid of excess skin after weight loss', here are some other frequently asked questions from people contemplating these two procedures -
Which procedure is better for me after a weight loss surgery- Tummy tuck or Lower Body lift?
A lower body lift or belt lipectomy is a powerful procedure that takes care of the entire "belt" area and addresses laxity of the skin of the belly, waist, and flanks including outer thighs, lower back, and buttocks.
This is a much more comprehensive procedure than a tummy tuck and is usually the procedure of choice in patients with massive weight loss.
If a patient opts for a tummy tuck alone when a lower body lift is necessary, there is a risk of residual excess tissue and skin visible at the back, resulting in an undesirable appearance.
Why is Lower Body the preferred treatment modality for me? What additional benefits do I get from it?
Body lift surgery is the favored procedure after massive weight loss owing to a few simple reasons-
i. Following bariatric surgery, you would not lose only from your tummy alone, you would lose circumferentially.
ii. Body contouring surgery following massive weight loss is restricted to removing a significant amount of skin which is in excess. It is also noteworthy that to have the best results, these skin flaps need to be empty of any fat.
The primary benefit of a Lower Body lift lies in achieving enhanced body contouring for the lower back and thighs. Unlike the traditional tummy tuck, which doesn't notably affect thigh contouring, a lower body lift addresses both areas.
Is a lower body lift inclusive of an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?
Yes, a lower body lift includes a tummy tuck. You can consider a lower body lift as a comprehensive procedure that wraps around, featuring a tummy tuck at the front.
Does Body lift surgery involve Liposuction also?
Body lift is all about circumferential skin removal and does not involve of Liposuction. This is because liposuction works on the principle that the skin needs to contract following the surgery, whereas following massive weight loss, the skin has already been stretched beyond physiological limits. So, if liposuction is coupled up with body lift, skin is further going to hang loose. Besides, there may be issues with healing as fat takes sutures poorly.
Liposuction is used sparingly and discreetly in body lift to tailor flaps that are still loaded with fat.
How long after my bariatric surgery should I consider a Body lift surgery?
Ideally, you need to achieve your target weight; have a stable weight for at least 3 months or more, and should be no less than 18 months post weight loss surgery to undergo a body lift surgery.
What can I do about the scar after a Body lift surgery?
The scar is inevitable after both a Tummy tuck and Body lift surgeries; however, the patient has to make a tradeoff between dog ears/ hanging skin on sides and back if he chooses a Tummy tuck surgery OR a longer scar following the body lift.
Besides, the scar is given low down which is hidden within the underwear line above the hip bones.
Cost Comparisons - Tummy Tuck and Lower Body Lift in India:
Cost is a crucial factor for individuals contemplating either a Body Lift or Tummy Tuck surgery. In India, the starting cost for a Tummy Tuck is approximately US $3200, while a more thorough and extensive Body Lift is priced around US $4500. These figures encompass the plastic surgeon's fee, hospital stay, anesthesia charges, pre-operative investigations, and other related expenses for the respective surgeries.
It is essential to recognize that these costs are indicative and apply to non-complicated cases; variations may occur based on the unique details of each case.
If, after reading this blog, you find yourself considering either of these surgeries as a solution to your question of 'how to get rid of excess skin after weight loss', contact us today.
IndiCure Health Tours is dedicated to providing the best answers to your questions and initiating your transformative journey. Numerous individuals have entrusted us with their medical journeys to India; now, it is your turn.