John Weekes

John Weekes is a reporter for APNZ.

More going under the plastic surgeon's knife

Surgeon's knife gets rid of those annoying saggy bits ... and the bulge in your wallet

A body lift tightens the tummy and all those other bits that are getting away but it can cost up to $30,000. Photo / Thinkstock
A body lift tightens the tummy and all those other bits that are getting away but it can cost up to $30,000. Photo / Thinkstock

Fancy a new you this year? Body lifts are booming in popularity as people opt for increasingly extensive plastic surgery.

The body lift involves tightening the front of the stomach, the back, the buttock and the upper thighs, and costs from about $9,000 for a simple procedure to $30,000 for more complex surgery.

Remuera plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Zachary Moaveni says he expects to do about a dozen body lifts this year.

His first was in 2007 and for years did no more than three or four each year.

"The body lift is becoming more popular, and probably mainly driven by some of the weight loss surgery that's available nowadays," he said.

Patients improved their general health and well-being with weight loss surgery but could become depressed or uncomfortable with flabby skin.

"They've lost a significant amount of weight but they end up looking deflated, with a lot of spare skin."

That made exercise difficult and could also cause heat rash and chaffing.

One of Moaveni's clients weighed up to 225kg before having a gastric bypass in 2006. He lost about 90kg after the bypass but was left with an unsightly "apron" of loose skin hanging from his stomach.

Six years later, he opted for a body lift after saving up about $30,000.

"It's definitely made a huge difference to my life and my body," he told the Herald on Sunday.

The man, who declined to be named, said his body lift was worth every cent and benefits went far beyond the aesthetic.

"I've got medical insurance but that wasn't covered, because it's considered to be cosmetic, but to me that's probably not exactly correct."

Other popular surgical procedures in New Zealand continue to be breast augmentation, blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty (nose jobs), liposuction, tummy tucks and facelifts.

Meanwhile, gynaecomastia or man-boob reductions are becoming increasingly popular.

They cost from as little as $1,000 for a simple job under local anaesthetic to $15,000 for complex operations.

- Herald on Sunday

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