Abdominoplasty and body lift procedures are surgical procedures aimed at reshaping the body. The former is often performed after childbirth or significant weight loss, when there is a lot of excess skin left on the tummy area or there is muscle laxity that can only be improved with a surgical procedure.

A body lift is a more extensive procedure that’s again most commonly performed on patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and have now been left with excess skin on the back, abdomen and thigh area.

What does an abdominoplasty involve?

An abdominoplasty is useful for eliminating excess skin around the abdomen and it can also be used to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. This in turn improves the outline and overall contour of the abdomen. The procedure involves excising excess skin and fat, before tightening the abdominal wall muscles and trimming off the excess skin before re-suturing it. Mr Paul Tulley may also need to relocate the umbilicus so it is sited in a more natural position on your reshaped abdomen.

It’s common for an abdominoplasty to be combined with liposuction to remove any excess fat tissue. Liposuction can also then be used on the flanks, as well as other surrounding areas such as the thighs. An abdominoplasty will produce a flatter stomach and a better defined waist.

Am I suitable for a mini tummy tuck?

A variation on the procedure is a mini-abdominoplasty or mini-tummy tuck which is ideal for younger patients who only have a small amount of excess tissue and skin below the umbilicus. This is a common problem after childbirth and can be associated with unsightly stretch marks. An incision will be made where it will be concealed by swimwear or underwear. Excess soft tissue and skin will be removed and the muscles will be tightened. However, unlike the full abdominoplasty, the umbilicus will not usually be moved. Again, this procedure can be performed with liposuction for excellent contoured results.

As it’s not as extensive as a full abdominoplasty, the recovery time is shorter and the procedure doesn’t last as long.

What happens during a body lift?

A body lift typically combines a number of different body reshaping procedures and usually includes an abdominoplasty, but it also excises the tissue circumferentially around the rear. If you’ve lost a lot of weight and you’ve been left with a circumferential subcutaneous fat and excess skin, this is the procedure you should opt for.

What is the recovery process like after an abdominoplasty or body lift?

Both procedures require general anaesthetic and you’ll also stay in hospital for two to three days. Dressings will be changed after a week and you will need to wear a support corset for six weeks. Most patients are well enough to get back to work two weeks after the surgery. However, you will need to avoid heavy lifting for six weeks.

What scarring can I expect from a tummy tuck or body lift?

A body lift will result in more scarring than an abdominoplasty, which can usually be well camouflaged underneath underwear or a bikini, but it is often the only option for those that have a large degree of sagging skin on the body and, when it is explained to them in full at the consultation, patients are usually happy to accept the scarring in exchange for greatly improved body contours.

Other body reshaping procedures:

For advice on whether a body lift or tummy tuck is the most appropriate procedure for you, book a consultation with Mr Tulley.