The term body contouring is an umbrella term for a wide range of surgeries and procedures intended to reshape, redefine, tighten, tone, and/or improve the overall appearance of the physique. Procedures falling under the body contouring category include implants, a redistribution of body fat, abdominal etching, spider vein treatment, cellulite treatments, expended abdominoplasty, a full body lift, and many others.
The number of people undergoing weight loss procedures such as gastric bypass surgery and lap band placement has increased dramatically over the last few years. These are the patients most often considered suitable candidates for body contouring procedures. The result of the rapid and dramatic weight loss experienced by those who were once obese frequently results in excess skin that has lost its elasticity and tone. Bothered by the appearance of this extraneous skin, weight loss patients often opt to undergo continued surgeries to tighten and reshape the areas affected.
A full body lift is a popular body contouring choice in these situations because issues created by rapid weight loss tend to affect several areas and for a dramatic improvement, and because all skin is attached, the skin must be tightened in all. This procedure usually begins with abdominoplasty, which is also known as a tummy tuck.
A circular incision is made around the belly button to keep it separate and attached to the body, and another incision is made near the pubic bone. The surgeon then begins to pull the muscles taut and stitches the overlying layer together so that the muscles will grow back together. Sometimes pregnancy causes these muscles to split apart as well, so this is a procedure used on women with sagging belly skin due to pregnancy also. Excess fat and skin is trimmed or removed by
, and the remaining skin is pulled tight and stitched. The belly button is then relocated.
The other areas adjusted during a full body lift usually include the breasts, upper arms, legs, upper thighs, and buttocks. Again, the surgeon makes an incision near the area, removes excess fat via scalpel or liposuction, pulls the skin tight, trims, and then stitches the patient back up.
Each procedures last several hours and is performed under general anesthesia. As with any surgery, patients should be cautious and understand the risks, as well as have realistic expectations involved in the body contouring procedure. Most surgeries are followed by some discomfort, swelling, soreness, and bruising.