Dramatic weight loss, while a wonderful achievement, often results in loose, sagging skin that drapes over your waist. Removing excess fat and skin from around the waist is accomplished through a combination of surgical procedures that is called a circumferential body lift, a popular option after weight loss surgery. At our Sarasota, FL practice, our plastic surgeons perform a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), thigh lift, and buttock lift to sculpt your waistline and tighten weakened abdominal muscles. This blend of techniques lifts and reshapes the lower body back to a normal, healthy contour. This is a 360-degree incision treatment to improve the appearance of those who are already close to their weight goal. For many patients, this procedure helps complete their weight loss transformation and allows them to reach their aesthetic goals.
A lower body lift is sometimes called a belt lipectomy as the incision is made around the belt area surrounding the lower torso. The incision is extended to the buttocks and thighs. Loose, saggy skin will be trimmed away and the remaining skin will be lifted and secured by sutures. Liposuction may be used if there’s excess fat. There are also cases when the fat harvested from liposuction is reinstated into the buttocks for an instant butt lift. These procedures may be combined in one session, or they may be staged depending on the patient’s circumstance.
"This Specific Doctor! - I view the choice for a plastic surgeon in 3 areas. Reputation; manner; results. I was walking in with a face that had been treated with Botox in such a way that, to me, I looked grotesque. I could smile on one side and the other side of my mouth was paralyzed by the fact that Botox took effect on one side but not on the other. The Botox had been administered by another doctor in another state. To say I was nervous about doing anything else at all was an understatement. I remember Dr. Graham saying to me, when I was considering a lower-priced dermatologist to address my face, "Think about it; it's your face." Good words. I did think about it and I did proceed with Dr. Graham. I had known numerous people who had seen him for successful surgeries, and many of them could afford to go to any doctor in the world. They chose Dr. Graham. He took the time with me, explained, reassured and scheduled me in a time frame for which I could be in town. He was very well recommended and has an unusually admirable reputation. That is what initially got me there. His manner was kind and sweet yet also had a touch of confidence and conviction that he could help me that sort of made me pay special attention to the level of expertise and care I was about to receive.That brings us to the results. No one but a few close friends know I had this surgery. Yet everyone says how great I look, that life must be treating me well, that I seem so happy and content these days. Dr. Graham created the perfect look with a gentle touch, with not too much but very much enough for significant improvement and for rolling back the clock. I am 64. Most people guess that I'm in my early to mid-40's. Maybe that's just being polite but the fact that these compliments come from such diverse individuals and on the heels of this surgery must be more than coincidental.I must compliment, too, the staff at Sarasota Plastic Surgery Center. Helpful, polite, kind, caring, reassuring....they are extremely supportive and no question seems to mundane or silly for them to answer. They are prompt at returning a phone call and bend over backwards to make scheduling work. The office feels good. It is comfortable, tasteful, clean, nurturing, peaceful.I would go to Dr. Braun Graham again. Plastic surgery is not inexpensive but we don't get another body to live in. Not only would I recommend his work to others, I would return to his care myself knowing I was in the best hands possible. I say this, too, because I have had previous procedures and while I have interacted with some very good physicians and surgeons, I believe Dr. Graham is at the very top of the list in the qualities I value."- F. / RealSelf / Nov 16, 2016
"Neck Lift - Consultation easy to understand. Was prompt and to the point and on time. The doctor, nurses etc. were very friendly and knowledgable."- Anonymous / RealPatientRatings / Nov 01, 2017
"Breast Augmentation - My surgeon was very good at listening to my desires, and answering my questions with straight forward answers. He understood my goals and didn't pressure me to make a decision on size based on what he thought would look best. He also performed a scar revision that had long bothered me, but I ignored due to an expensive quote from another surgeon. His price was very reasonable so I could not say no!"- Anonymous / RealPatientRatings / Oct 29, 2017
"Breast Augmentation - Dr. Engel was very accessible and listened to my concerns and what I hoped to achieve through surgery. I liked him immediately and felt confident in his ability. I trusted his plan of action and I am very happy with the outcome. In a way, I feel like he and I potentially saved my life through his surgical abilities and my willingness to go for it!"- Anonymous / RealPatientRatings / Oct 19, 2017
"Dr. Mobley and His Team Are Awesome - Dr. Mobley is an excellent surgeon. I appreciated how encouraging he was while also grounding my expectations into reality (i.e. not promising me the moon with my surgery). He's an honest man and I highly recommend him."- J. / RealSelf / Oct 15, 2017
During/After the Procedure
The lower body lift procedure is performed with general anesthesia and requires an overnight stay in a hospital or surgical facility. Due to its nature, a spinal anesthesia may also be administered. The surgery lasts from 5 to 8 hours depending on the number of procedures performed. Patients who have a lower body lift will experience a slow recovery process. Aside from extensive incisions, the body and skin need adequate time to adjust to their new positions created by the surgery. Most patients will need 2-3 weeks before returning to a light routine. It can take up to a full year for the final results of this surgery to appear.
Lower Body Lift FAQs
A lower body lift creates great results for patients, leaving the body tighter and smoother. Unfortunately, scarring is unavoidable with this surgery. For most patients, the scar will run around the torso and extend to the hips, buttocks and thighs. A skilled and trained plastic surgeon will make every effort to create clean, thin incision lines. These lines will produce scarring that will be patterned similar to a g-string. Once they heal, they will be concealed by undergarments.
This surgery is performed with general anesthesia. It common during is the post-operation period that the patient will feel pain and discomfort. The healing of wounds is also slow. The patient must limit movement during the first week to avoid the risk of stretching the incision line. This is the most common complication after surgery. Pain medications will be given to help the patient cope. A compression garment is also worn to help the patient in reducing discomfort.
Does Insurance Cover This?
If it is proven that this surgery is medically necessary to attain a better quality of life, some insurance providers may cover a portion of the cost. There is no guarantee that coverage will be applicable. Our billing and insurance coordinators will work with the insurance company to determine coverage benefits.
When to Undergo Surgery?
It is recommended that anyone who is considering a lower body lift should be at or near his or her goal weight. If the loose skin is caused by pregnancy, it is best to postpone this type of surgery until all additional pregnancies have been completed. Any additional episode of significant weight gain may compromise the results of the surgery.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 6-8 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2-5 Hours
- Procedure Recovery Location