All body contouring surgeries can offer dramatic results to patients, especially the intense lower body lift procedure. This transformative surgery, known as a belt lipectomy, can reverse the sagging, drooping effects of pregnancies, aging, and large amounts of weight loss. The procedure involves changes to the skin, muscles, and fat of the lower abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. While the recovery time can be a bit longer than those following other body contouring procedures, every moment can be worthwhile if you’re a candidate for this life-changing surgery.
What Will the Lower Body Lift Address?
Imagine a belt stretching all the way around your hips, buttocks, and thighs—this is the area on which your lower body lift surgery will be focused. Specifically, a lower body lift will address many common concerns of this area, including:
- Unwanted fat deposits that haven’t responded to diet and exercise.
- Loose skin that sags around this lower area of the body.
- Low, flat, and/or uneven buttocks.
- Skin sagging from the groin over the inner thigh.
- Abdominal sagging around the hips and into the lower back.
- Large, saggy thighs.
Many of these concerns come about through the course of regular aging, weight fluctuations, and pregnancies. In some cases, a gastric bypass surgery that causes dramatic weight loss will lead patients to seek a lower body lift to repair the stretched-out skin from the area. No matter how your lower body issues evolved, it can be hard to enjoy a newly toned physique if leftover skin leaves you feeling frumpy or bulky. A lower body lift can give you the second chance you need to enjoy your body the way it was meant to be.
Who Is a Candidate for Lower Body Lift Surgery?
In order to be considered a good candidate for major body contouring procedures like a lower body lift, you must be an adult man or woman in good physical health and not smoke. You should have specific concerns about skin laxity around your lower body and be close to your ideal weight at the time of your surgery. Lower body lifts have been proven to improve the appearance of cellulite in this area, as well as increase firmness, and rejuvenate the contour of the lower body.
Candidates for a lower body lift should have clear goals and realistic expectations for the lower body lift procedure. You should also be prepared to dedicate the time required to a full recovery following your surgery in order to achieve the results you want from your procedure.
How Is a Lower Body Lift Performed?
The lower body lift procedure is performed under general anesthesia and begins with a circumferential incision made around the belt-line, or above the buttocks, around the abdomen and lower back. Excess fat and skin are removed through this incision from the abdomen, lower back, and hips. Liposuction is often used to remove larger pockets of fat as needed. The plastic surgeon will then tighten the muscles with sutures to improve the contour in this area. Once the adjustments have been made to the area, the excess skin is trimmed away and the incisions are closed.
Why Choose a Lower Body Lift Over Other Surgeries?
The lower body lift is an extensive surgery that addresses many concerns in a large area of the body. Naturally, it takes a little more recovery time than your average body contouring procedure. This can make some prospective patients question whether a body lift is really necessary, however, the benefits it provides are hard to match.
A liposuction procedure, for example, can address the small pockets of fat sometimes removed during a lower body lift. It is nice to smooth out these areas and banish fat cells for good, but a liposuction procedure does nothing to repair lax skin in the area. Without correcting the excess, sagging skin and loose muscles, liposuction falls well short of the needs of a would-be lower body lift patient.
You might also say the same of a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, surgery, which is designed to address sagging skin, excess fat, and loosened muscles in the abdomen. All the right techniques are there, but an abdominoplasty fails to correct these problems from surrounding areas, like the hips, buttocks, and thighs. A lower body lift is a much more comprehensive approach that will deal with each area as needed for a complete new look to the lower body region.
What If I Need More Than a Lower Body Lift?
The lower body lift does tackle a lot, but by no means does it address every single concern you might have after pregnancy or dramatic weight loss. Many patients choose to combine a lower body lift with other body contouring procedures in order to save time both in surgery and during recovery. Through your consultation with your plastic surgeon, you can discuss all of the potential body contouring surgeries that might help you to achieve your personal goals for your own body, including breast lifts, arm lifts, abdominoplasty, liposuction, facelifts and neck lifts, and more. Planning ahead for multiple surgeries, either performed together or during successive visits, can help you to ensure a complete look that is in proportion and also in line with your desired results.
What Is Recovery Like from a Lower Body Lift?
Most lower body lift patients are asked to spend the first 24 hours after their procedure in an aftercare facility, returning home on the second day after surgery. They are asked to wear compression garments over the treatment areas to control any post-operative swelling and to minimize bruising in the area. The plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medication following your surgery to help you manage your pain and discomfort. You will also likely have surgical drains put in place to alleviate excess fluids from the treatment area; these are typically removed within two weeks.
Your incisions will heal in about four weeks, during which time you will be asked to rest for a full recovery. Activity levels should be kept to a minimum during this crucial time. Some patients with low-impact jobs are able to return to work after just two weeks. Many patients feel well enough to resume their normal activity within five to six weeks after their lower body lift.
Where Can I Learn More About a Lower Body Lift?
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Robert Kessler, a board certified general and facial plastic surgeon, and find out if you’re a good candidate for a lower body lift procedure. He completed his medical degree with honors from Tufts University in Boston as well as a distinguished General Surgical Residency with North Short/NYU in New York. Prior to that, he completed a Plastic Surgery residency with the US Air Force and the University of Texas.
Today, Dr. Kessler operates two practices in California, has worked as a surgical consultant and surgical assistant on ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and has lectured nationally and internationally on topics including facial rejuvenation, plastic surgery, and body contouring. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kessler, contact his office, located at 2121 E Pacific Coast Hwy #200, in Newport Beach, CA, by calling 949.644.6544.