A cosmetic “lift” is a term you hear a lot when exploring the world of plastic surgery. It seems that everything from your eyes to your butt can be lifted these days. So, what exactly does a “lift” do?
Generally speaking, a lift is term that describes tightening and contouring the skin and underlying muscles. The procedure can be applied to areas of the upper body, and lower body. It requires extensive skill and knowledge on the part of the surgeon. They have to have a thorough understanding of the anatomical structures beneath the skin, how those structures function, and how best to tighten the region without damaging nerves or blood vessels.
Lifts become necessary as a result of weight fluctuations, aging, sun damage, pregnancy, and even genetics. All these things cause damage to our skin by reducing the elasticity and creating pockets for excess fat tissue.
How Lifts Are Created
Every patient has different areas of concern on their bodies. Each surgery will be different depending on the target area and the patient’s personal body structure. However, there are a few general steps for every procedure:
- Anesthesia – most lift procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, but many will still require that the patient be put under. Some doctors have specific preferences, but most often this is done through general anesthesia or intravenous sedation.
- Incisions – in order to gain access to the underlying muscle and soft tissue, the doctor will have to make incisions in the skin. These are concealed as best as possible; for example, facelift incisions can be placed along the hairline while arm lift incisions are placed on the inside of the arm.
- Tissue Removal – the extent and type of tissue removal depends on the area of the body being targeted and the desired final results. An arm lift, for example, may require fat tissue removal (liposuction) or soft tissue removal (skin excision), while a facelift may only need the soft tissue removal.
- Sutures – all the incisions will be closed carefully with sutures. If your doctor has skill and experience, you won’t have to worry about having extremely noticeable scars. Even if the incisions are in noticeable areas on the body, more often than not they will fade and become very light scars.
What a Lift Does to Your Body
No matter the area of your body lifted, the result will be tighter skin with a more aesthetically pleasing contour. By removing the excess fat and soft tissue, the surgeon is able to create a body that is smoother, younger-looking, and overall much healthier.
One of the best things about any lift procedure is that you can see the results almost immediately. There will be some swelling and probably bruising, but even before the bandages are taken off you’ll notice the difference in the contouring and shape of your body.
What a Lift Does Not Do For Your Body
Body lifts are not meant to be an immediate solution to counteract obesity or being overweight. Liposuction is used to remove excess fat in some lift procedures, but often obesity is as much a psychological problem as a physical problem. It would definitely not be in your best interest to have a lift procedure done and then undo the entire result by poor diet and exercise habits.
Another problem that lifts can’t completely fix is the presence of cellulite. This dimpling of the skin occurs when fat is present under the skin and presses up against the connective tissue. Liposuction targets deep tissue fat and normally doesn’t reach cellulite. Any cellulite that might be removed during a lift procedure will occur if there is excess skin removal through excision. However, while lifts are not always able to completely eliminate cellulite within the remaining tissue, the tighter skin will help diminish the cellulite experience.
Lift Procedures at Christopher Davidson Plastic Surgery
Here at our Boston office, we offer several body lift options to our patients, including comprehensive upper and lower body lift procedures. Our upper body lift targets the breasts, back, and arms, while our lower body lift focuses on the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. We also offer lift procedures for the head and neck regions.
If you are interested in any of our many body lifts, contact us today at (781) 237-7700 to find out more information and schedule an initial consultation. You can also check out our before/after pictures from real patients of Dr. Davidson to see his amazing skills and the level of effort he puts into his work. Dr. Christopher Davidson is a Harvard-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon who has been practicing in the Boston area for nearly10 years. He is committed to providing the best possible experience for his patients while achieving the most natural looking results possible.