Many obese adults and now some youngsters are turning to surgery to lose the fat. And after the fat is gone, they are heading to the plastic surgeon's office to lift away the pounds of loose skin left by their weight loss success.
It's been hailed the miracle of weight loss surgery for the truly obese, gastric bypass and banding, and while it's helped thousands shed millions, there's a drawback. Loose skin like nobody's business. It's like a deflating tire.
A problem that inspired what is quickly becoming one of the hottest trends in plastic surgery - the ultimate nip and tuck, the central body lift. With an incision that wraps around the entire body, the surgery combines procedures like a tummy tuck, thigh and buttocks lift into one operation.
While results can be dramatic, the central body lift is a major operation that comes with risks and leaves a major scar. Many patients need additional procedures to tackle extra skin around their arms or other body parts. And as with gastric surgery, the lift is not a cure for obesity.
Body lifting isn't cheap and can cost several thousand dollars depending on the procedure and it's often not covered by insurance. Body lifts and contouring procedures are quickly climbing the list of the most popular plastic surgery procedures.
Lower body lifts increased by 127 percent to nearly 11,000 procedures. Upper arm lifts increased 68 percent, buttocks lifts increased 70 percent, and tummy tucks increased 42 percent.