The Corset Body Lift Can be a Game Changer after Massive Weight Loss
Massive weight loss is an amazing accomplishment, regardless of how it is achieved, (surgery, diet, exercise or combination thereof). Of course, those of us who have not undergone such an extreme weight loss could not possibly fathom its after-effects. I know I’ve watched reality shows like Extreme Weight Loss and been stupefied by the amount of excess skin that a person is left with after meeting their weight loss goals. In fact I recently got a letter from a blog reader who follows my posts on my website which covers relationship issues, who shared her dating struggles post weight loss. She described her journey to weight loss as “one of the hardest and most grueling experiences she’s ever had, but was not prepared for all the skin that hangs on her and can’t at this point even imagine getting naked in front of another person.” She truly believed that once she lost the weight, she would finally feel comfortable in her skin but now she feels anything but, and is actively researching various aesthetic procedures that might help her get her body to a point where she can feel comfortable in and out of her clothes. Until then, she writes, she can’t even imagine dipping her toe into the dating pool. This is heartbreaking and I feel for her.
Apparently, most patients who undergo massive weight loss end up having to contend with the extra skin - yet another hurdle they need to face when it comes to feeling comfortable in their new bodies. And while this removal can be done in a myriad of different ways, her letter inspired me to do some research and in doing so I came upon a relatively new procedure called The Corset Body Lift which not only removes the excess skin post weight loss, but also contours the body. According, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alexander P. Moya, The Corset Body Lift is a single-stage procedure that comprehensively addresses multi-dimensional skin redundancy of the abdomen and waistline.
So how do you know if you are a candidate for the procedure?
“Once a patient has plateaued with weight loss for 3-6 months (meaning they are no longer losing weight), an office exam will determine if the corset body lift is right for them. The key is to assess the ability to move and shift skin from the sides toward the middle of the abdomen, specifically above the belly button," says Dr. Moya. “This is easily performed by placing my hands along the flanks and pushing them together, if significant “bunching” of skin with marked improvement in waistline shape is evident, then that person is an excellent candidate for the corset body lift.”
Dr. Moya explains that he started utilizing the procedure nine years ago to better address complex (multiple) abdominal skin rolls in his massive weight loss patients, compared to traditional surgical body contouring options. He also notes that his procedure results in the sought-after hourglass figure that reduces overall trunk girth, but requires an up-and-down midline abdominal scar.
Of course for those who have done research on various skin tightening procedures to address the issues associated with massive weight loss, Dr. Moya admits that his corset trunkplasty procedure does differ from the classic or traditional belt lipectomy (lower body lift).
He further explains that the main focus of the corset trunkplasty is to remove as much excess skin as possible, which also includes associated “pockets” of fat, resulting in the greatest improvement in body shape without the need for liposuction. If necessary, he adds, muscle tightening can also be performed during the procedure. Although most patients experience an improvement in back shape as a result of the removal of excess skin on the abdomen (due to the resulting waistline “cinching” with the closure of the vertical incision along the front of the body), the procedure can also directly remove excess skin rolls from both the upper and lower back with limited incisions extending onto the back (not all the way around).
“While it requires more incisions (versus the single lower trunk incision that extends all the way around to the back) and thus more visible scarring (i.e. a capital “I” along the front of the trunk), the resulting hourglass figure is, (as many patients have testified), “well worth it”, as it allows them to feel more confident in their body, highlighting their shape in their clothing,” notes Dr. Moya who adds that complications from his procedure are minimal.
According to Dr. Moya the most common complication following the procedure is a small superficial (shallow) separation of a part of the incision (most likely due to the overall incision length and complexity), which usually heals with topical care only (i.e. ointment, dry dressing/bandage) and without any significant impact on the contouring result.
“Overall major complications are limited due to my current surgical technique and use of innovative technologies (ultrasonic tools, barbed sutures), which also positively impacts recovery, since the placement of drains are not necessary,” says Dr. Moya.
Bottom line: Also known as the corset tummy tuck, corset trunkplasty or corset body lift, this new innovation on the old fashioned tummy tuck can give women who have undergone massive weight loss an hourglass figure or men a new tapered torso and perhaps the opportunity to finally feel comfortable in their skin.