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Body Lift Frequently Asked Questions


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  • What is a Lower Body Lift?

A lower body lift rejuvenates the central third of the body with lifting excess skin and tissue after the patient has experienced a massive weight loss.

A total lower body lift will treat the following as one procedure:

  • buttocks

  • abdomen

  • waist

  • hips

  • thigh

The incision pattern for a complete lower body lift is a circumferential incision which will remove a "apron" of excess skin and fat and repositions and secures the tissues. Sometimes it is necessary to have liposuction added to this procedure to achieve the proper contour. Surgeons use deep support sutures in the underlying tissues to help secure the new shape with sutures, skin adhesive (such as fibrin tissue glue), tapes or clips.




  • What areas of the body are addressed with a "Total Body Lift"?

The following areas are addressed with a total body lift:




  • Who is a good candidate for a Lower Body Lift?

Good candidates for Lower Body Lift surgery are patients who have excess skin and tissue which shows much laxity along the abdomen, lower torso, buttocks, and upper thighs. The typical patient having a Lower Body Lift is a person who has experienced massive weight loss and now has a more normal Body Mass Index (BMI).  To be considered for surgery a patient should be in good health, does not smoke and have any pre-existing medical issues should be well controlled.




  • Where are the incisions made for a body lift?

The incision for the body lift is a circumferential one which is located around the lower abdomen and above the buttocks.




  • Is the body lift a painful procedure?

Patients may experience some discomfort after the body lift procedure, however medication will be prescribed to keep the pain manageable.




  • What are the risks or possible complications of the body lift?

The potential risks or complications associated with the body lift may include bleeding, infection, scarring, and delayed wound healing.

Information about Body Lift Risks and Complications




  • What effect does a Lower Body Lift have for the buttocks?

During a Lower Body Lift, the buttocks area is elevated. This especially smoothes the skin and reduces cellulite and wrinkles. Some weight loss patients have a small amount of tissue in this area. While a Lower Body Lift elevates and smoothes buttocks, it may also lead to a flattened appearance. For this reason, some patients may benefit from a buttock augmentation using their own tissue (fat grafting).

Body Lift - Buttocks Lift




  • How is a Lower Body Lift different than liposuction for the thighs?

Liposuction of the thighs only removes fat. It does not tighten the skin and it does not improve cellulite. A Lower Body Lift / Thighplasty both tightens the skin and improves cellulite. There are also times when irregularities of the thighs appear as fat deposits. However, for many patients this is actually a result of loose skin. This can be especially true following weight loss. For such patients elevating the skin resolves the issue. For others who may have excess fat deposits in addition to loose skin, liposuction maybe considered during the Lower Body Lift surgery.




  • What is the difference between a Panniculectomy and a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tucks or Abdominoplasties are a different surgical procedure from a panniculectomy.  With an abdominoplasty, not only is skin and fat removed, but repair of the rectus abdominal wall muscles is normally performed. Patients undergoing abdominoplasty usually do not have the same symptoms and functional problems associated with this massive pannus. With a panniculectomy, only skin and fat is removed.




  • What is the difference between a Panniculectomy and a Belt Lipectomy?

A Belt Lipectomy is also different from an abdominal panniculectomy. The belt lift is done with an incision that goes around the entire belt-line of the waist - across the lower portion of the abdominal wall and down the inner thighs and around the back. This procedure is considered a "circumferential incision" around the waist and back.




  • Where can a Lower Body Lift be performed?

A Lower Body Lift is a significant surgery. The surgery is performed in the hospital under general anesthesia. Patients will spend one to two nights in the hospital following Lower Body Lift surgery.




  • How long is the recovery following a Lower Body Lift?

As with any plastic surgery, the recovery following a Lower Body Lift is a gradual process. After two nights in the hospital patients will go home.  During the second week following surgery, patients may begin to lightly progress their activity and will be able to take care of themselves. Most patients will take two to three weeks off from work, depending upon their occupation.




  • When can I shower after a Lower Body Lift?

If you have drains and or a pain pump inserted after the body lift procedure, you will not be able to take a full shower until these are out.  Make sure you ask your own surgeon what he would like you to do regarding showering with drains. More than likely your own plastic surgeon will give you a list of what he wants you to do during the recovery process. Every surgeon is different with their list of post operative instructions.  Each physicians usually recommend a sponge bath for the first week, so that the incision is given a chance to heal without compromising the surgical area by getting it wet. 




  • When can a Lower Body Lift patient resume exercise?

Six weeks following a Lower Body Lift, patients can start to resume exercise.  Patients should start back slowly. While some may be inpatient to get back to their routine, a Lower Body Lift covers a large area and it is important to allow these areas to heal properly.




  • Can there be complications following a Lower Body Lift?

As with any surgery, complications are possible following Lower Body Lift surgery. General risks of surgery include bleeding and infection. Lower Body Lift patients receive prophylactic protocol with oral antibiotics to prevent surgical site infection. The most common complication unique to Lower Body Lift surgery is the development of a seroma. A seroma is an accumulation of fluid under the skin at the site of surgery.

Read more about Body Lift Risks




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