A body lift is one of the most complex procedures that our plastic surgeons perform at the Klinik am Rhein. It can either be performed as a full body lift (also known as the Lockwood technique) or in two stages in the form of a lower and upper body lift. The benefit of combining these procedures is that the number of necessary stays in the clinic to surgically alter the body is significantly reduced. It is also worth knowing that rather comprehensive medical examinations (such as an ECG) are always necessary because the procedure requires general anaesthesia for several hours.
An upper body lift involves the surgeons enhancing the entire upper body including the arms. In women, an upper body lift consists of lifting the breasts, which can also include enhancing the volume with implants. The back and upper arms are also tightened by surgically removing excess tissue. It is also possible to undergo liposuction on the upper arms before the excess tissue and skin are removed. The upper body lift can also involve surgically lifting the neck, eyelids and the entire face.
A lower body lift combines a tummy tuck, a buttock lift and a thigh lift. This procedure removes layers of fat (abdominal apron) that are left on the stomach after losing weight, as well as excess skin and tissue that women have, for example, after several pregnancies or giving birth to twins or triplets. The lower body lift can also be combined with liposuction on the abdomen, hips or thighs. This is advisable, for example, to remove the fatty deposits known as saddlebags.
Since this is a complex procedure, patients stay with us at the Klinik am Rhein for a few days. The specific amount of time depends on how the patient’s wounds heal. Usually patients stay between three and four days. In addition to bandages, patients have to wear compression clothing in order to achieve an optimum result of the body lift. In the days before and the weeks after the procedure, patients should avoid alcohol and nicotine to prevent wound healing disorders. The treated areas must also be protected from direct sunlight.
A body lift always requires patients to take time off work. Depending on the individual’s job, the healing process and the type and extent of the procedure, patients usually cannot return to work for three to eight weeks. Patients are advised to avoid exercise and physical exertion for at least two months. Afterwards, these activities can slowly be resumed. Since every surgical lift requires a recovery period and time off work, it is ideal to perform several operations for the body lift on the same day. This also has a positive effect on the costs because there is no need for the patient to be anaesthetised or stay in the clinic several times. This can also reduce the overall absence from work.
The complex body lift is not an option for every patient. It must be reviewed whether they can tolerate anaesthesia for several hours. Since there are several steps involved, the risk of complications is much higher than performing a body lift over several operations. Patients should also be aware that a body lift causes several scars. However, the surgeons make the incisions so that they can be well concealed under swimwear or light summer clothing. The final results can only be assessed after a few weeks or months. The reason is the swelling caused by the surgery and the healing of the incisions in the tissue. The scar tissue also does not have the same elasticity of normal connective tissue and skin particularly in the initial stages of healing.