Significant amounts of excess skin and additional pockets of fat can offset an otherwise slim and toned frame. Lower body lifts can remove the excess skin and fat on your midsection and lower body, revealing an attractive silhouette beneath.
The Lower Body Lift Procedure
A lower body lift is an advanced cosmetic surgery that targets excess fat and skin around the midsection and lower body. The procedure can radically improve the appearance of the buttocks, abdomen, flanks, lower back, and thighs — especially for those who have recently achieved significant weight loss. Weight gain can often stretch the skin beyond its natural laxity so that even when weight loss is achieved, the skin remains stretched and loose.
Lower body lifts can also be transformative for women who’ve had their bodies significantly changed by pregnancy and for others who are looking to shape and lift the lower body. Because diet and exercise cannot target skin laxity, the only way to fix excess skin is with cosmetic surgery. In addition to removing excess skin, a lower body lift can also remove small pockets of excess fat, although it is recommended that patients be close to their goal weight before surgery.
Individuals who undergo lower body lifts report being extremely satisfied with their results. This procedure often completes whole-body transformations that have been years in the making for some patients.
Benefits of Lower Body Lift
Lower body lifts offer numerous aesthetic and medical benefits.
The added weight from excess skin and tissue has been known to cause back, neck, and shoulder pain in many patients. This is often related to weak core muscles — typical in those who have recently been pregnant or achieved major weight loss. A key part of the lower body lift procedure involves tightening the abdominal muscles to strengthen the core and improve back pain.
When someone has a significant amount of excess skin hanging from their midsection, it can be difficult to exercise comfortably and effectively. The cumbersome folds of skin and excess weight can make even simple movements far more difficult. Cardio may feel nearly impossible.
By removing this extra weight and mass, individuals can feel more motivated to continue a rigorous exercise regime and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Excess hanging skin can not only cause back pain and discomfort when exercising, but it can also be a source of emotional struggle for many individuals. It’s important to feel attractive and confident in your own skin and to enjoy wearing clothing that feels comfortable and flatters your figure. However, this is exceedingly hard when you’re forced to deal with large folds of skin that always seem to be in the way.
Lower body lift patients report feeling extremely satisfied with their choice to undergo this surgery as it can help them feel more attractive, comfortable, and self-confident about their bodies. This often translates into better relationships and more fulfilled lives overall.
Ideal Candidates for Lower Body Lift
In order to be a good candidate for lower body lift surgery, it’s important to be in good overall physical health and to be at or near a healthy goal weight for your age, sex, and body type. Most candidates for this surgery struggle with wrinkled, loose skin and a fair amount of excess tissue and fat on the buttocks, stomach, thighs, flanks, and/or lower back.
Finally, patients should have realistic expectations when it comes to surgical outcomes. It’s important to understand that this surgery will result in some scarring and does require a longer recovery period than most other cosmetic surgeries.
Surgery Preparation for Lower Body Lift
Because it’s important to be physically healthy and at or near your ideal body weight, your consultation appointment with Dr. Aghayan is critically important. This is your first step toward getting surgery as Dr. Aghayan will perform a short physical exam to assess your strength for the procedure.
Together with Dr. Aghayan, you’ll also go over your medical history, so be sure to bring any pertinent documents with you, including surgical records if you have recently undergone weight loss surgery. Bring a list of any medications and supplements you are currently taking as well. In some cases, these may need to be adjusted several weeks before surgery. You may also need to stop drinking alcohol and smoking in preparation for surgery.
Remember that your consultation appointment is also a time to express what you’re most uncomfortable with about your current body and what you’d like to change. As you move forward, Dr. Aghayan will be able to recommend the best procedure(s) for your desired results.
Before and After Images
Lower Body Lift Procedure Details
Lower body lifts are performed with general anesthesia and generally take anywhere from four to seven hours. Because this is an advanced operation, most patients need to stay at least one night in the hospital after surgery.
In general, these are the steps that are performed in a lower body lift:
Dr. Aghayan will decide on the placement of your incisions before surgery. Most lower body lift patients require a circumferential incision made all the way around the abdomen at the belt line.
Liposuction will remove excess pockets of fat from the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, and thigh areas.
Loose skin will be carefully trimmed away, and the rest of the skin will be pulled taut.
Finally, the incisions will be carefully secured with sutures.
Lower Body Lift Risks and Complications
Although the lower body lift is one of the most advanced plastic surgeries available, the vast majority of patients who undergo this procedure do not have issues with their recovery. At the same time, as with any surgery, there are some risks and complications that all patients should be aware of. These include:
Lower Body Lift Recovery
Unlike most other cosmetic surgeries, lower body lift surgery generally requires at least one night’s stay in the hospital before you can be discharged to go home. It is critical that you have someone trusted to take you home from the hospital. Ideally, someone can offer you some help and care during your first few days of recovery as well.
Initially, some swelling, bruising, and discomfort and soreness should be expected. Dr. Aghayan will send you home with compression garments and detailed instructions on how to take care of your incision sites and minimize scarring long-term. Ensure you follow these instructions carefully and follow-up with all of your postoperative appointments.
The recovery period for lower body lifts is longer than with most other surgeries. It will be two or more weeks before you can return to your daily activities and as many as six months before you can return to more rigorous activities such as exercise.
During your recovery, be sure to contact our office with any questions or concerns you may have. With time, the swelling, bruising, and discomfort will subside, and you will begin to see the amazing results this procedure can achieve.
There are several complementary procedures that many lower body lift patients also opt for. Because of the complexity of lower body lift surgery, these additional procedures may not be able to be performed at the same time. However, they can be scheduled as preliminary or subsequent surgeries with the ultimate goal of enhancing the entire body.
In patients who would like to go up one breast size or more, breast augmentation is a great option. This surgery uses saline or silicone breast implants or a fat transfer process to boost volume and plumpness in the breasts.
A breast lift is an excellent procedure for patients who have sagging, drooping, or deflated breasts. This is common in patients who have recently lost a significant amount of weight and moms who have had one or more children. The breasts become stretched and lax over time but do not bounce back. A breast lift can raise and reposition the breast tissue and nipples for a perkier, more youthful appearance.
When excess skin and tissue is a problem on the upper arms, an arm lift can help. This procedure lifts, tightens, and smooths the skin of the arms for a slimmer, more toned appearance.
Lower Body Lift FAQ
These are the most common questions we receive about lower body lifts.
When should I consider getting a lower body lift?
It’s important to be in good physical health and at or close to a healthy stable weight before undergoing a lower body lift. The reason for this is that significant weight gain or loss after your surgery could affect your results.
The best approach is to book a consultation appointment with Dr. Aghayan as you near your goal weight and are considering this procedure. He will be able to assess your physical health and ensure you are strong enough for surgery.
Does a lower body lift include thighs?
Yes. A lower body lift reshapes and tightens your entire midsection and lower body, including the stomach, back, flanks, buttocks, and thighs.
Is a tummy tuck included in a lower body lift?
Yes. In fact, in lower body lift is essentially a tummy tuck that encircles your entire abdomen. Tummy tucks alone are often enough to slim and tone the lower body of some patients, but for others — especially those who have recently undergone massive weight loss — a 360 approach is necessary.
How much weight do you lose with a lower body lift?
It’s important to remember that a lower body lift is not a weight loss procedure. The surgery does involve some liposuction, but fat removal is not the core goal. Ideal candidates must be at or near their goal weight prior to lower body lift surgery.
At the same time, it’s true that excess skin does carry weight. Therefore, when it is present in large quantities, this tissue can certainly add to your overall body mass. In this way, some patients may end up losing a fair amount of weight after lower body lift surgery.
How long does it take to recover from a lower body lift?
Recovery from a lower body lift will be longer than recovery from other cosmetic procedures. It’s important to take at least two weeks off from work. Plan on resting and relaxing while caring for your incision sites and attending your postoperative appointments during this time. You should not exercise or perform any other rigorous activities, nor should you lift heavy items or exert yourself in other ways as you recover.
In a few weeks, you can expect the initial swelling, bruising, and discomfort to disappear so that you may resume normal activities. But it may be as many as six months before you can resume physical activities like exercise.
Will I have scarring after a lower body lift?
As with any major surgery that requires incisions, scarring is inevitable. Where your scars are located and how large and noticeable they are will depend on multiple factors. Fortunately, Dr. Aghayan plans his incisions so that they are only faintly visible and easily concealable under clothing. To help minimize the appearance of your scars even more, be sure to follow the postoperative care instructions given to you by Dr. Aghayan.