Lower bodylift is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin from the outer thighs and buttocks. It is a procedure that commonly is performed in patients who have lost a large amount of weight and have loose sagging skin. This procedure can dramatically tighten the loose skin on the outer thighs and buttocks, but comes with a visible permanent scar that runs along the beltline. This procedure is performed most commonly with an abdominoplasty so that the entire waist line is sculpted.
Who is a candidate?
Patients of any age with loose skin on the buttocks and outer thighs may be candidates for this procedure.
Before the procedure
Your plastic surgeon will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your lower body including any scars from previous surgeries.
Your plastic surgeon will give you specific guidelines about preparing for surgery including:
- Smoking cessation
- Medications to avoid
- When to take your prescribed medications
- Proper washing techniques
- Restrictions regarding eating and drinking the night before surgery
Your plastic surgeon will listen carefully to your concerns about excess skin on your thighs and buttocks, and your surgical goals and expectations. The length and position of the scar on your thighs and buttocks can vary, and the surgeon can draw the approximate scar location on your skin with a medical skin marker.
A common alternative to removal of the skin is liposuction. Although this option usually avoids a scar, it may make the loose skin worse. The risks and benefits of all procedures will be discussed in greater detail at your initial consultation.
It’s important to know that although the lower bodylift can have a significant impact on the outer portion of the thighs, it will not change the appearance of the inner thighs. The inner thighs are best treated with a thighlift. In most cases, your surgeon will recommend performing the lower bodylift and the inner thighlift at separate times to maximize safety, and to achieve the best results.
In addition to the aesthetic evaluation, your surgeon will perform a careful evaluation of your overall health, as well as issues that could cause complications, such as your blood pressure, bleeding tendencies, or a history of adverse scar formation after previous surgeries.
Where will the surgery be performed?
The surgery usually is performed in a hospital and you’ll have a one or two night stay in the hospital. You must be driven to and from the hospital by a friend or family member.
Type of anesthesia
Lower bodylift is done under general anesthesia.
Immediate postoperative recovery
In most cases, patients may experience pain in the thighs and buttocks for the first two or three days. Compressive wraps are placed on the legs.
In most cases, patients will be able to go out in public in four to five days but vigorous physical activity is limited for four weeks following surgery.
A lower bodylift tightens the skin on the buttocks and thighs but does involve a permanent scar, and is considered major surgery. Portions of the wound may be slow to heal and require treatment with gauze dressings. In addition to the risks associated with anesthesia, infection and bleeding can occur but are uncommon. In rare cases, patients may experience prolonged or even permanent leg swelling (lymphedema).
Not every person is a candidate for this procedure, and your risks may be greater or different than those of other patients. Your plastic surgeon will review all potential risks and complications with you prior to the surgery.
Lower bodylift usually produces a tightened and more attractive appearance of the buttocks and thighs. The permanent scar may stay thick and red, but tends to fade over time and reaches its final appearance over 12 to 18 months.