Lower Body Lift

This is how a lower body lift works for you

Losing a significant amount of weight can transition you out of morbid obesity, but can also create a whole new set of issues. If you drop up to 50 percent or more of your body weight, you will likely deal with excess skin. This can cause discomfort, limited mobility, difficulty in finding clothes that properly fit and even rashes and sores.

What is a lower body lift?

The lower body lift reshapes the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs, and is best suited for those who maintain a relatively stable weight for one year or more. The surgery involves extraction of excess skin and underlying fatty tissue. It is performed under general anesthesia, requires an overnight stay and can be completed in stages.

How does a lower body lift work?

An incision is made at or slightly below the waist and stretches around the body, serving as the opening to extract skin and fat. Liposuction is an added option that provides greater shaping.

A full lower body lift may be too overwhelming for some patients to handle at during a single procedure. The reconstructive surgeon will meet with you personally to figure out the combination that’s right for your body.

Sometimes an entire lower body lift is not necessary. If you have specific health concerns such as excess skin that hangs from the lower belly, a panniculectomy may be the right solution in this case. The panniculectomy removes the pannus – excess skin and fat that hangs from the lower belly - but does not tighten the underlying abdominal muscle like an abdominoplasty does. This procedure is often determined to be medically necessary after bariatric surgery.

What to expect from your lower body lift

The lower body lift is classified as a major surgery. The average patient requires six weeks to recover before engaging in normal activities, by which time the majority of swelling, bruising and soreness greatly diminishes.

The incision will be covered with surgical dressings, which are generally removed after two days. You should expect to wear an abdominal compression garment for most of your recovery. A thin, removable drainage tube may be inserted under the skin as a means for flushing out fluids during the first week. Activity should be kept to a minimum within the first seven days.

While results of the surgery are immediate, a number of months may go by before the full impact of the lower body lift becomes visible. Regular exercise and maintaining a constant weight will contribute to enduring outcomes.

Risks of lower body lift

The amount of skin removed during a lower body lift presents greater risks than other cosmetic surgeries. Complications can include bleeding, seroma formation (fluid buildup), infection, wound separation, skin looseness, abnormal scarring, skin necrosis (tissue death) and an asymmetrical appearance. To avoid these issues, it is very important to have an experienced reconstructive surgeon performing your surgery.

Have questions? Contact us to schedule a consultation with a reconstructive surgeon.

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