LOWER BODY LIFT
in Salt Lake City
Whether you’ve lost a good deal of weight or whether you simply don’t like the way gravity has treated your lower body, a lower body lift could be something to look into. Lower body lift surgery tightens and sculpts the buttocks, backs of the thighs, outer thighs, inner thighs, hips, and abdomen.
What is a lower body lift?
This procedure is clinically known as a belt lipectomy. To visualize what is involved with a lower body lift, start with a typical incision for a tummy tuck, extending from hipbone to hipbone and descending down toward the pubic area. Now take that incision and continue it until the incision wraps around the entire lower body. Once Dr. Reuben has made the incision, he removes fat, tightens underlying muscles where appropriate, and removes excess skin. In most cases of severe weight loss, an apron of excess skin and fat is removed below the incision. A lower body lift is basically a combination of a tummy tuck, thigh lift, and a buttock lift.
Who is a good candidate for a lower body lift?
A lower body lift addresses sagging skin more than fat removal. These are the characteristics of a good candidate for this procedure:
- You have lost a significant amount of weight. The weight loss can be from gastric bypass surgery or lifestyle changes, but it has left you with sagging skin that can no longer tighten down to your new slimmer body contour.
- You have loose skin around the abdomen, outer thighs, and buttocks. This loose skin can be the result of weight loss, pregnancy, and childbirth, or simple aging.
- Your overhanging, loose skin is restricting movement or is chafing and leading to painful rashes and possible infection.
- You have relatively thin layers of fat below the skin in the hips, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks.
- Your weight has been stable for at least a year, and you don’t plan on losing any additional weight. Ideally, a patient should wait two years after a massive weight-loss program to allow the skin to shrink back down as much as possible.
How long does it take to recover from a lower body lift?
These are involved procedures with the longest incisions in all of cosmetic surgery. As you would assume, they will involve a lengthy recovery. Here’s a list of timeline milestones, although these can vary with different patients.
- After your surgery, you’ll likely spend at least two days in the hospital. You’ll be bandaged, wearing compression garments, and will likely have surgical drains in place.
- You will have some moderate discomfort for the first one to two weeks. Prescription pain medication will be necessary.
- You’ll need to wear your compression garments for a period of weeks after surgery.
- Sutures are typically removed after about two weeks. We do this in our Cottonwood Heights offices.
- Full healing of your circumferential incisions will take at least four weeks.
- You’ll need to take at least two, and probably three, weeks off work.
- Activities will be restricted for four to six weeks.
- After six to eight weeks you can resume some exercise with care.
- Bruising will begin to resolve in a few weeks, but areas will linger for months.
- Your incision scarring will be noticeable but will begin to fade after about one year.
How long before my swelling will resolve after a lower body lift?
This varies widely with different patients but swelling after a lower body lift will last for no less than three months and likely much longer. There is simply too much tissue trauma involved to get around the swelling. There is a disruption of the blood supply, plus temperature changes, activity, traveling, and the like all create more swelling. Plan on from six months to a year for some degree of residual swelling.
What is a vertical thigh lift?
A vertical thigh lift is effective for patients who have a large amount of excess skin extending all the way around the thigh. It focuses on the upper area, but these procedures also treat the middle and lower sections of the thigh. A large ellipse-shaped incision is made beginning at the upper inner thigh stretching all the way down to the inner area of the knee. The skin is then removed, and the incision closed. As you would assume, this creates a large, T-shaped incision scar.
What is a short scar thigh lift?
A short-scar medial thigh lift is a thigh lift procedure with a much less visible scar that is placed in the natural crease of the medial upper thigh. Dr. Reuben makes an incision in the crease where the thigh meets the pubic area. From there it descends, following the natural crease of your body, stretching around to the back of the buttock. While not truly a short scar, the incision length, when compared with a vertical thigh lift, is far shorter. Because the incision is made in your natural crease, it can be effectively hidden.
Who is a good candidate for a thigh lift?
The descriptions above are for two types of thigh lifts that are typically involved with a lower-body lift. But there are other methods that target different areas of the thighs. These are general procedures for people who have lost a good deal of weight, typically through gastric bypass surgery. There isn’t any way the skin that has been so severely stretched can tighten back down over the new slimmer thighs. Patients need this surgery to bring their loose, sagging thighs skin into line with the slimmer contours of the rest of the body.
Other candidates may not have the same degree of sagging, but the aging process has led to sagging, cellulite, and loose skin that makes the person self-conscious about wearing clothing or swimwear that exposes their thighs. Those candidates would be in line for a thigh lift, such as a mini thigh lift, but wouldn’t be candidates for lower body lifts.
How long before you can walk after having a thigh lift?
Thigh lifts involve delicate recovery because of the extensive tissue re-draping involved. We typically advise our thigh lift patients to anticipate up to seven days of bed rest. This helps avoid putting any pressure on your thigh tissue, and speeds recovery. Climbing stairs, squatting, or any strenuous activity of any sort is out of the question. Walking during these first few days should really only be to the bathroom. You’ll definitely need help around the house. After one full week, you’ll be able to walk around the house, but not anywhere for much duration. Patience is key here.