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Ultimate Guide to Lower Body Lift Surgery

/ Dr. Aric Aghayan

Losing a significant amount of weight is no simple undertaking. Whether a patient opts for surgery or loses weight through diet and exercise alone, the process requires resolve, dedication, and persistence.

Because of this, it can be all the more frustrating for these individuals to deal with excess skin after weight loss. They’ve worked hard and put in the effort, yet their outer appearance may not be in sync with how confident they feel on the inside.

Unfortunately, there is little someone can do on their own about excess skin on the trunk and around the buttocks, thighs, and legs. Skin cannot be worked off through exercise or reduced with a change in diet.

The good news is that plastic surgery can help — specifically, a Portland lower body lift.

Individuals who find themselves with excess skin around the abdomen and on the lower body can undergo a lower body lift to get rid of the extra skin as well as small pockets of excess fat. This can radically improve their appearance and leave patients feeling slimmer, lighter, and more comfortable and confident

In the following guide, we will explain what lower body lift surgery entails, including who the best candidates are, what happens during the procedure, and what to expect before and after surgery.

What Is a Lower Body Lift?

A lower body lift is a body contouring procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the lower body, including the trunk, buttocks, and legs, by reducing excess skin and small pockets of excess fat. You might see this procedure referred to as an extended abdominoplasty or belt lipectomy.

Lower body lifts are primarily for individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight. These individuals have had their skin stretched due to weight gain, but after their subsequent weight loss, the elasticity of the skin may not have retracted along with the fat reduction. This can often result in hanging excess skin that can be uncomfortable, heavy, and frustrating to deal with. Not dieting nor exercise can help with excess skin, and small pockets of excess fat can be stubborn to reduce through traditional weight loss techniques as well.

Of course, lower body lift surgery isn’t only for individuals who have lost weight. Others may benefit from this procedure as well. For example, women who have been pregnant one or more times may have noticed an excess of loose skin, primarily around the abdomen. Time itself, along with gravity and the natural process of aging, can also cause the skin to droop and sag.

Lower Body Lift vs Upper Body Lift

Lower body lift surgery sometimes complements upper body lift surgery. Upper body lift surgery generally includes procedures to reduce skin and small pockets of excess fat on the chest, upper back, and arms. It may also include gynecomastia surgery for men. Lower body lifts focus on excess skin and small pockets of fat around the abdomen (Portland tummy tuck) and on the lower back, buttocks, hips, thighs (Portland thigh lift), and legs.

What Happens During a Lower Body Lift?

Dr. Aghayan will have decided on the placement of your body lift incisions before surgery. Directly before going into the operating room, you will get a chance to meet with and speak to him. At this time, the doctor may also make some markings on your skin that you can use during the procedure.

Lower body lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has been administered and you’ve been prepped for the procedure, Dr. Aghayan will begin by making the necessary incisions. This procedure usually necessitates a circumferential incision that is made at the “belt line” all the way around the trunk. Other incisions will likely be necessary as well, depending on where physical alterations are planned.

Liposuction will then be performed to reduce excess fat from the abdomen, back and sides, and lower body. Portland liposuction can significantly reduce bulky, hard-to-lose excess fat, but do keep in mind that liposuction is not a weight loss strategy.

Next, the excess skin on the trunk and lower body will be removed. The remaining skin will then be pulled taut, and Dr. Aghayan may do some suturing of muscles and adjustments to the placement of the belly button as well. Finally, the skin will be smoothed and put into place, and the incisions will be carefully closed using sutures.

Who Is a good Candidate for Lower Body Lift Surgery?

Not everyone will make a good candidate for lower body lift surgery. Most of the time, candidates are individuals who have undergone serious weight loss, but as stated above, this isn’t always the case. Other patients who have excess skin and stubborn, hard-to-lose body fat may be searching for results after pregnancy or because of aging or genetic reasons.

For those who have lost a lot of weight, patients may have undergone gastric bypass surgery or another weight loss surgery. Or, they could have lost weight through diet and exercise. The reason for and method of weight loss usually doesn’t matter. The point is that they are now dealing with excess skin, and they want to get rid of it.

If this is something you are struggling with, you may be a candidate for lower body lift surgery. Let’s take a look at some of the other qualifications for this procedure.

First, patients who qualify for lower body lift surgery must be in good overall physical health. You should be at or very close to your goal weight, keeping in mind that this may be slightly off based on the weight of the excess skin. 

Patients should be free of any serious medical conditions that could complicate their surgery or their recovery. They should not have any active infections. It’s also important that you are not a smoker. For patients who do smoke, quitting is always a good idea. Otherwise, you’ll need to speak with Dr. Aghayan about ceasing smoking for at least several weeks prior to your procedure and during the recovery period as well.

Finally, lower body lift patients need to have realistic expectations. Lower body lift surgery does come with some slight scarring, and you should be prepared for a lengthier recovery time as well.

In the end, the only way you can know if you are a qualifying candidate for body lift surgery is to book your body lift consultation with Dr. Aghayan.

Dealing with Excess Skin

Excess skin can be a major problem for many individuals. This is especially true for people who have worked hard to lose weight and are now dealing with excess skin, tissue, and fat that can’t be reduced in any other way but with plastic surgery. Those with hanging excess skin and skin folds may find that they struggle with the following:

  • Difficulty exercising
  • Difficulty walking or standing for longer than a few minutes
  • Uncomfortable sleeping
  • Back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Skin rashes and chafing
  • Yeast infections
  • Discomfort wearing certain clothing items
  • Self-consciousness
  • Lack of confidence

Fortunately, you can combat all of these symptoms with a lower body lift. This surgery permanently removes excess skin, leaving minimal scarring and smooth, comfortable contours. 

What to Expect Before and After Lower Body Lift Surgery

Learning as much as you can about lower body lift surgery is always a good idea if you plan to undergo this procedure. You want to know what to expect before and after so that you can plan what’s needed and nothing comes as a surprise. 

If, during your research of this procedure, you run into any specific questions or concerns, be sure to write them down and bring them to your consultation appointment with Dr. Aghayan.

Before Body Lift Surgery

Before body lift surgery, you will need to meet with Dr. Aghayan one-on-one to discuss the procedure. This appointment will be called your consultation appointment, and it’s a jumping off point for surgery.

At this appointment, be prepared to discuss your medical history, including previous surgeries, any illnesses or medical conditions you have, allergies, previous treatments, what medications and/or dietary supplements you take, and your use of tobacco and alcohol. Dr. Aghayan needs to know about all of these things so that he can assess your overall health and tell you if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. In some cases, he may order additional tests, which you will need to undergo before you can book your surgery as well.

If you are a good candidate for surgery, you can look at your calendar and schedule the surgery. Prior to this date, be sure to take off time from school or work, if necessary. 

It’s also not a bad idea to make some recovery arrangements for yourself. Set up a recovery area in your home. Make sure you have some quiet activities, books to read, movies to watch, and a comfortable place to rest. You’ll need to take good care of yourself — and even get some help from friends or family members, if possible — so that you can recover fully from surgery and minimize the possibility of complications.

After Body Lift Surgery

Most lower body lift procedures do require that patients stay at least one night in the hospital. This allows Dr. Aghayan to monitor your initial recovery and ensure that you are safe and ready to return home for your full recovery the next day.

You will experience some bruising, swelling, and light to moderate pain during the first few weeks after your surgery. Even though this soreness and a certain amount of discomfort are to be expected, Dr. Aghayan will provide you with pain management options as well. You will also need to wear compression garments for the first few weeks after your surgery. These will help with the healing process and reduce swelling.

Most patients want to know when they can go back to work, exercise, and other daily activities. It will be at least a few weeks before you can do regular activities like going up stairs and lifting moderately heavy objects — even longer before you can return to exercising. 

But with time, rest, and lots of self-care, you will certainly begin to heal and feel better and stronger. You will also see Dr. Aghayan regularly for progress updates. After six months to a year (or more in some cases), you will be able to see your final results from surgery.

FAQ: Portland, OR Lower Body Lift

How much is a lower body lift?

Your overall lower body lift cost will depend on several factors because everyone’s procedure will look different. While some patients may have more work done around their abdomens, others will need more work focused on their hips, thighs, and buttocks. The extent to which you require liposuction, excess skin removal, and other body contouring will majorly influence how much your surgery costs.

Where can I find a lower body lift near Portland?

Board-certified Portland plastic surgeon Dr. Aghayan performs a wide range of surgeries, including lower body lift surgery, in Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas.

How long will my body lift results last?

Overall, the results from your lower body left should be permanent. While the natural aging process may cause some changes over time, you shouldn’t expect to lose your results anytime soon. Keep in mind, however, that any significant changes in weight may alter your results. You don’t want to lose or gain a large amount of weight after lower body lift surgery.

Will I have lower body lift scars after a year?

Scars are an inevitable part of any plastic surgery that requires incisions. A lower body lift does require incisions, so you will have some scarring. Dr. Aghayan will give you instructions on caring for your incision sites so as to reduce the appearance of your scars over time.

For the first few months, where the scars are healing will appear pink and red in color. Over time, this will fade, and within a year, lower body lift scars should be barely noticeable for many patients.

Schedule a Portland Lower Body Lift Consultation

If you would like to learn more about a lower body lift after weight loss and find out if you’re a candidate for surgery, contact our Portland, Oregon office today and schedule your consultation with Dr. Aghayan. We look forward to meeting you!





Embrace Your Evolution

Enjoy the pinnacle of cosmetic surgery expertise with board-certified Portland Plastic Surgeon Dr. Aric Aghayan at Après Plastic Surgery. With a legacy of over 1600 successful body contouring procedures, Dr. Aghayan stands as the foremost specialist in advanced body contouring technology and treatment options. Take the next big step on your beauty journey by scheduling a comprehensive plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Aghayan today.

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