After losing large amounts of weight, you are much happier with the way you look in clothes than you were before. However, if you are like many people who, either through diet and exercise or weight-loss surgery, has lost massive amounts of weight, you feel that you actually look WORSE without clothes than before.
Fat goes away after weight loss, leaving the skin stretched out, saggy, and hanging. Body lift surgery corrects this by removing the extra skin and fat and repositioning the tissues to their proper place. This results in a more natural shape, and will allow you to show off all the hard work that went into your weight loss.
Am I A Candidate for Body Lift?
Good candidates for body lift procedures meet the following criteria:
- Have maintained a stable weight (within a 10 pound range) for 6 months – this is usually about 18 months after weight loss surgery
- Are at or near their ideal body weight
- Do not smoke
If you are not at your “ideal” body weight, it does not mean that you are not a candidate for post-weight loss plastic surgery. You can meet with Dr. Hall, and after an examination, you can discuss with him which procedures may be the best ones for you.
During body lift surgery, extra skin and fat are removed, and the skin is repositioned and stitched into place with stitches that are hidden beneath the skin. A new “home” for your belly button will need to be made, giving you a nice “innie”. You’ll go home with small drainage tubes to prevent fluid from collecting underneath your skin. These drainage tubes are usually removed around 2 weeks after surgery.
Your surgery will be done in a surgery center, and usually lasts several hours. An anesthesiologist will make sure you’re sleeping soundly throughout the procedure. You may wake up after your surgery in a light spandex garment, which you’ll wear for a few weeks under your clothes while you’re healing.
Recovery from a body lift or other post-bariatric procedure is a little more prolonged than, for instance, breast augmentation or breast lift surgery. You won’t be able to stand fully straight for about a week afterwards while your body gets used to your new, flat stomach. It may take a few days before you are able to do normal activities around the house, and you should plan on taking approximately 2 weeks off from work. You’ll be able to begin aerobic activity after about 6 weeks.
Body Lift Cost
The cost for a body lift will vary depending on how much skin and fat need to be removed and whether any other procedures are done at the same time. For more information on what is included in the total cost of the procedure, please see the Plastic Surgery Pricing page.
Does My Medical Insurance Cover Body Lift?
The short answer is: No…and Yes.
There is a lot of confusion around this question from both patients and referring doctors alike. Dr. Hall has written a blog post about it that you can read by CLICKING HERE. Every insurance company has its own criteria, which you must meet for removal of excess skin to be considered to be a covered procedure. These criteria are usually published on each company’s respective website, and you should check your specific insurer to see what is required before making an appointment with Dr. Hall. Many insurance companies require a referral from your bariatric surgeon or primary care doctor to begin the process, and most have specific amounts of weight that has been lost before “allowing” you to attempt to use your medical insurance to cover skin removal. For these reasons, we recommend that you check with your insurance company to see what they cover and what they require prior to scheduling your appointment.
Information about out-of-pocket (cash) pricing for post-bariatric procedures can be found on the Plastic Surgery Pricing page of the website.
If you have any questions about body lift or would like to meet with Dr. Hall to discuss your options: Call (865) 973-9500 or use our contact form and request an appointment. For out of town patients, feel free to request an online consult via Skype.