Buttock & Outer-Thigh Lifts
Aging or significant weight loss often causes buttocks and thighs to sag, even on someone who maintains a healthy weight and exercises regularly. Buttock and outer-thigh lifts are surgical options for tightening, firming and contouring the buttocks and the outer portion of the thighs.
Although a buttock lift and outer-thigh lift can be performed separately, they are often performed together because the buttocks and outer thighs typically have the same issues. Ideal candidates, aside from having excess skin and tissue in their buttocks and outer thighs, are in good general health, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations about the procedures’ outcomes. Not considered weight-loss solutions, these lifts are performed only on those who are not significantly overweight.
Buttock And Outer-Thigh-Lift Procedures
A buttock lift and outer-thigh lift are performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. For the buttock lift, an incision is made across the top of the buttocks; it runs from one hip bone to the other. It is made low enough, however, to be concealed by underwear or a bikini. For the outer-thigh lift, an incision is made in the groin area.
In both cases, excess skin and fat are removed. Liposuction may be performed. Support sutures are placed deep within the underlying tissue, and skin is redraped to accommodate the new contours. The incisions are then sutured closed. Compression garments are usually applied to help reduce swelling and expedite the healing process. Some patients need to stay overnight after the procedures, while others can leave shortly after the effects of anesthesia have worn off.
Recovery From Buttock And Outer-Thigh Lifts
After a buttock lift and outer thigh lift, swelling, soreness and bruising that last for up to a month is typical. Pain can be controlled with prescription medication. Most patients return to work and regular activities after about 2 weeks, but must avoid strenuous exercise for at least 4 weeks. Although visible, scars will fade over time.
Risks Of Buttock And Outer-Thigh Lifts
In addition to the risks associated with any surgery, risks related to buttock and outer-thigh lifts, include the following:
- Numbness or changes in skin sensation
- Skin discoloration
- Fluid accumulation
- Unattractive scarring
It is also possible that revisional surgery may need to be performed.
Results Of Buttock And Outer-Thigh Lifts
Post-surgery, the buttocks and outer thighs have trimmer contours, and their skin is tighter and smoother. Surgical results are long-lasting, as long as no significant weight loss occurs.
While losing weight is a positive event and dramatic weight loss results in numerous benefits to a person’s health, after weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, many parts of the body may have unsightly sagging skin. After extensive weight loss, the skin and tissues of the back often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size, and therefore the skin may sag or appear as “rolls”. A surgical procedure known as a back lift, or upper body lift, can address the issue of excess skin and fat on the back. A back lift is a surgical procedure that focuses on recontouring and tightening up the back by removing excess skin and fat.
The Back Lift Procedure
A back lift is performed while the patient is sedated under general anesthesia. A back lift procedure concentrates on the mid to upper back area and sides of the upper abdomen beneath the arms. This is a particularly difficult spot for women as these rolls of skin tend to surface above and below the bra line. An incision is made across the back and excess tissue is removed. Liposuction may also be used to remove any excess fat from the area. The remaining skin is then sutured closed, resulting in a smooth and toned appearance. Bandages are applied to the incisions following the procedure and small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Most back lifts are outpatient procedures and are completed in about one to two hours.
Recovery From A Back Lift
There may be some swelling and discomfort after a back lift, but most discomfort can be managed with medication. After back lift surgery patients are advised to avoid exercise and lifting any heavy objects as this type of activity can cause the stitches to tear. As with any surgery, some scarring will be present and the incision may form a thin scar. The visibility of scarring will vary by patient, and most women can easily conceal any scars under a bra or bathing suit strap.
Risks Of A Back Lift
While a back lift is considered a safe procedure, there are risks which may include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Accumulation of fluids
Some patients may experience numbness in the upper and lower back after a back lift. In most cases, this numbness disappears over time and sensations gradually return to normal.
Back lift surgeries are an effective form of cosmetic treatment for both men and women, especially after a significant weight loss, and are often combined with other body contouring procedures to help patients achieve their aesthetic goals all at once.
Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
Brachioplasty (arm lift) is a surgical procedure performed to remove the loose, hanging skin that often develops on the underside of the upper arm as a result of aging, weight loss or weight gain. Brachioplasty is ideal for patients who have an excessive amount of hanging skin and/or fat that does not respond to diet and exercise; maintain a stable weight; do not smoke; and have realistic expectations for surgery. Patients must also be healthy overall, with no major medical conditions that can be affected by surgery.
The Brachioplasty Procedure
During brachioplasty, an incision is made along the inside of the upper arm; it often spans the underarm to the elbow. Excess fat is removed, either by direct excision or liposuction. Excess skin is trimmed away, and the arm’s underlying supportive tissue is tightened using internal absorbable sutures. Skin is then sutured back together; absorbable stitches may or may not be used to close the incision. Brachioplasty is performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation and, depending on the amount of skin and fat that are removed, takes 2 to 4 hours. Patients are able to return home the same day as surgery.
For a patient who needs only a small amount of skin and fat removed, a minimal-incision arm lift may be performed. A less invasive way to remove excess fat and tissue, it requires only a few small incisions near the underarm.
Recovery From Brachioplasty
After brachioplasty, patients typically experience swelling and bruising, as well as mild discomfort that can be managed with pain medication. Drainage tubes may be placed at the incision site to collect any excess blood or fluid for the first few days after surgery. Compression bandages are usually worn to promote proper healing. The results of brachioplasty are visible right away, but become more apparent as swelling and bruising subsides, which usually takes 2 weeks.
Risks Of Brachioplasty
In addition to the risks associated with any surgery, those related to brachioplasty include the following:
- Loss of sensation
- Permanent swelling
- Persistent pain
- Fat necrosis
- Fluid accumulation
- Nerve, blood-vessel and/or muscle damage
The scar left by brachioplasty is significant, although it fades over time.