Also known as a belt lipectomy, the lower body lift in Boston is the most common procedure performed for people who have lost massive amounts of weight through bariatric surgery or other means. It is often disappointing to lose a great deal of weight only to find those hard-earned results masked by layers of sagging excess skin throughout the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. In some cases it can even become a health problem that leads to chafing, skin infections, and mobility issues.
The lower body lift can remedy all of these problems by removing the extra skin from the back, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. The procedure is extensive since it essentially combines the tummy tuck, buttock lift, and outer thigh lift, but most patients find the results to be well worth it as the surgery uncovers the body you’ve been working hard for.
Your first step in getting rid of that excess skin is a consultation. In this first meeting, Dr. Davidson will listen to your concerns about your body and evaluate the extent of the damage to be repaired. He’ll let you know what is achievable surgically and talk to you about your options to help tailor the procedure to your specific needs.
For example, some patients may not need the full lower body lift procedure and can skip the buttock portion, while others need to add additional work like an inner thigh lift or additional liposuction. Depending on your body type, you may also need to discuss moving the standard incision site higher or lower.
After you’ve discussed your lower body lift options, Dr. Davidson will walk you through some necessary precautions like stopping smoking before the surgery in order to facilitate better skin healing. You’ll also want to get a clean bill of health from your primary care physician and make sure you’re at a comfortable and sustainable permanent weight.
Dr. Christopher Davidson's patient first approach to aesthetic medicine means that every decision he makes is aimed at achieving the optimal outcome for the patient. This is apparent, not just in the beautiful, natural-looking results he creates, but also in the compassionate care he delivers through every step of the process.
The specific incisions will depend on your particular case, but in general, for a lower body lift, you will start off on your stomach or side while an incision is made all the way around your body at the waistline. Dr. Davidson will remove the skin and fat below the incision and tighten up the tissues there. You will then be switched to your back so the front side can be addressed. A tummy tuck will be performed to tighten the skin and correct the position of your belly button, and, depending on your discussions during the consultation, an inner thigh lift may be done with incisions in the groin and inner thighs.
After all of the excess skin has been removed, sutures will be placed in underlying tissues to provide long-term support, and the incisions will be closed in layers over the drains for maximum stability and control of stretching and swelling.
Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
The lower body lift procedure usually requires one night at the hospital. During your stay, you’ll receive skilled nursing care and learn to care for your drains and dressings. After release, you’ll come back for weekly follow-ups until you’ve healed.
Be sure you have someone lined up to help at home since it will take up to four weeks before you can manage unrestricted normal activity. You will wear compression garments for about a month after your lower body lift to support your healing tissues and control swelling, and you can expect to experience several weeks of bruising as well. The swelling should be completely gone in two to three months, and the scars, while permanent, while fade considerably in the first year.
Although a lower body lift is a strenuous procedure, serious complications are rare. Like all surgeries, there is the risk of bleeding, infection, hematoma, and reactions to anesthesia. In addition, many patients experience numbness, tingling, or other changes in sensation for several months post-surgery. In a few cases, some numbness remains for a year or longer. If you are concerned about these or other risks, please bring them up with Dr. Davidson during your lower body lift consultation.
A. Yes, partially. A lower body lift will get rid of all of the stretch marks on the excised skin and will make the remaining stretch marks less visible by tightening the skin.
A. It varies depending on the individual patient’s skin characteristics, but in general about four to six inches can be removed at the waist incision. Removing too much skin can place too much tension on the scar, causing it to widen over time. Please see Dr. Davidson for a candid evaluation of what will be achievable in your case.
A. Most peoples skin will shrink back to some extent, but the amount of shrinking depends on a lot of personal factors such as age, skin elasticity, and the amount of weight lost. You should generally wait at least three months after you’re done losing weight to make sure the skin has retracted as much as it will naturally before you get any excess removed.
A. The majority of the lower body lift results will be permanent. While everyone will experience a bit of additional skin sagging naturally as they age, the excess skin removed during the surgery will be permanently gone. The tightening effects and the fat removal will also be permanent, provided that the patient does not regain significant amounts of weight.
A. It can be very difficult to tell. In most cases, loose skin will feel thinner than fat will, but there are many cases after heavy weight loss where you will have both loose skin and fat together. The best solution is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Davidson so that you can receive an expert evaluation and opinion.
Many women and men experience problems from sagging skin after a substantial and sustained weight loss. It is relatively common to have folds of loose skin, which can only be removed surgically. For many people facing these problems, a lower body lift (sometimes also called a belt lipectomy) offers the best solution.
A lower body lift is often made up of several surgical procedures aimed at raising, firming, and tightening the sagging skin around the outer thighs, buttocks, hips, groin, waist, and abdomen. By removing the excess sagging skin and tightening the underlying muscles, a lower body lift can create a more youthful and pleasing body contour. In Boston, body lift procedures are extremely successful in restoring a youthful, firmer look to the body.
A lower body lift can also be combined with other body contouring operations such as an inner thigh lift, an arm lift, or breast contouring surgery. Depending on the extent and number of areas to be contoured, all of the procedures may be performed either at once or over multiple surgeries. Other procedures that can be considered after massive weight loss include:
Brachioplasty: This procedure involves removing the excess skin and fat from the arms.
There are a variety of techniques and procedures available under the body lift umbrella and each are based on each patient’s unique needs. In general, for a lower body lift, Dr. Davidson will remove skin and some fatty tissue from around the trunk/waist. This requires incisions, but the size and shape of the incisions will be determined by the extent of the excess skin.
The results of a lower body lift are not limited to an improved physical appearance; often a patient also achieves a boost of confidence and a better quality of life. Although the results of a lower body lift are instantaneous, the final result will not be seen until swelling has reduced and the patient has healed.