If you have lost a significant amount of weight – either through diet and exercise or through post-bariatric surgery – you may have been left with excess skin on the lower portion of your body. A lower body lift at The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery can recontour your body so that you no longer have these skin folds and sagging areas.
Our surgeons have worked with many weight loss patients and have extensive experience with providing successful lower body lifts. Often combined with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), a lower body lift removes lax skin on the lower back and buttocks. Patients report feeling less self-conscious and better able to fit in clothes.
We customize every lower body lift based on your body and how you wish to look. Liposuction is used, if necessary, to remove any remaining excess fatty deposits. Note that a lower body lift is best performed on patients who have completed their weight loss regimen. If you plan to lose additional weight, you should postpone your surgery, as that weight loss can cause the development of more lax skin in these areas.
During your consultation, we will discuss your concerns about your appearance and your goals for your lower body lift, as well as your medical history, medications you take, and previous procedures you have had. We will also answer all of your questions, explain what to expect from surgery, and tell you how to prepare for your surgery.
The Lower Body Lift Procedure
A lower body lift usually takes four to six hours. It can sometimes be combined with a tummy tuck, as long as the total time of your surgery does not exceed seven to eight hours.
You must lie on your stomach during the procedure. The incisions vary depending on the locations of the lax skin on your body. There will be scars, but since they are on the lower body, they can be hidden under clothing. The scars will also fade in time.
If necessary, liposuction is performed to remove excess fat. A cannula (tube) is inserted through the incision and attached to a suction device that extracts the fatty tissue. The excess skin is then excised, and the skin is pulled tighter and sutured for a smoother, slimmer contour.
Preparing for Your Lower Body Lift
Please avoid taking Advil, Aleve, aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, and Naprosyn for two weeks prior to your surgery. High dose vitamins and herbal medications should also be avoided. Most other medications that you take regularly can be taken before your procedure. It is especially important to take blood pressure medication so that your blood pressure remains normal during surgery.
Your lower body lift will be performed in the hospital, and you will need to stay overnight. When you are released, be sure to have someone available to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 to 48 hours, as you will be drowsy from the anesthesia.
Recovering from a Lower Body Lift
You will wear a compression garment for six weeks or longer to minimize swelling. Drains will also be placed in the incisions. These collect fluids as you heal and will be removed within one to two weeks of your surgery. You may find it necessary to cover your upholstery and bed linens with plastic, as the drains can leak during the first few days when the amount of post-surgical fluid is substantial.
Some bruising, swelling, soreness, tightness, and itching are normal after a lower body lift. You can take medication, if necessary, to ease discomfort, and Arnica Montana can help to minimize bruising. These symptoms will gradually subside during the weeks following your surgery. Most patients take two to three weeks off from work to recover. You should be able to shower within two to three days of your surgery.
Please avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for six to eight weeks. Full results from your surgery can take up to six months to mature.
Your lower body lift is permanent, but fatty deposits and lax skin can develop again on the lower body. Unless you gain a substantial amount of weight gain, however, you are unlikely to develop the same amount of excess skin. Maintaining a steady weight can help to sustain the outcome of your surgery.