William Vinyard, MD, FACS

Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

Lower Body Lift

Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy) – Surgical Skin Tightening – Body Contouring – Port Saint Lucie, FL*

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What Is A Lower Body Lift?

Once you have successfully lost a large amount of weight, you may be left with inelastic skin that will not tighten on its own — no matter how many incredibly long hours you spend in the gym. You may want to consider a surgical solution to your loose skin with a lower body lift performed by Dr. William Vinyard, our board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon in Port Saint Lucie, FL. A lower body lift combines a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), an outer thigh lift, and a butt lift, which will tighten and lift the skin creating a firmer and more contoured appearance. Also known as a body lift 360º or after weight loss skin surgery, the lower body lift involves an incision made around your lower body. This way the lift will involve the greatest amount of skin for excision and lift. In many cases, this surgery at Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery (VIPS) in allows patients to not only reach their weight loss goals but to finalize their complete transformation with a taut figure that looks healthy and beautiful.

Following massive weight loss (due to a combination of diet and exercise and/or a bariatric weight loss surgery), many men and women are left with skin that does not retract or tighten on its own. Excess skin can frequently remain in the lower abdomen, hips, outer thighs, and buttocks. A lower body lift can transform these areas. We do want to be very transparent about this surgical process and what it can realistically do for your body. First, scarring is a part of this journey due to the large incisions made around the body. Second, this procedure does need a longer recovery period compared to many other cosmetic surgeries, so it is important to plan ahead if you to work or have small children. Finally, it is necessary that you are at a stable weight when considering this surgery. Dr. Vinyard would like to give you the opportunity to have the insight into what the possibilities of a lower body lift can do for your life. Together, you and Dr. Vinyard can investigate potential surgical interventions that are life-changing. If you would like to learn more about skin tightening procedures at VIPS, please call and schedule a consultation.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE?

Ideal candidates for a lower body lift surgery are generally men or women who have lost at least 100 pounds or more of weight and are now dealing with the flaccid skin left over. If you are considering a skin tightening surgery, your challenges may be loose, wrinkled skin on the buttocks, upper thighs, lower abdomen, as well as old stretch marks throughout the middle section of the body. If you are a candidate for this procedure, it is helpful to have realistic goals, which can be discussed with Dr. Vinyard during your consultation appointment. You will also need to be in good health to withstand several hours under a general anesthesia and the recovery period after the procedure, which is longer than most cosmetic plastic surgeries.

If you have medical conditions that impede the healing process for wound recoveries like diabetes or a bleeding disorder, you may not be a great candidate for this procedure. To make sure you qualify for a lower body lift, Dr. Vinyard will ask a lot of questions about your health, medical history, and perform an examination of your skin to provide you with the genuine outcomes.

What's The Technique?

A body lift involves much more area of the skin than a typical tummy tuck, butt lift, or outer thighplasty. It is an extended skin removal surgery that is performed under a general anesthesia for many hours. We require an overnight stay at a hospital or an accredited overnight outpatient surgical center for your immediate recovery period. A lower body lift can last 6 – 8 hours in the operating room. Dr. Vinyard will discuss with you in fine details how your surgery will proceed in your treatment planning sessions, which may include staging out the procedures to accommodate your body. He may suggest the following procedures for you:

  • Abdomen
    The abdominoplasty portion of the procedure can involve the removal of redundant lower abdominal skin and the repair of the abdominal muscles, which have been stretched and separated from their original location.
  • Buttocks
    The buttock lift can involve removing skin just above the buttock region, elevating the tissue, and affixing the tissue in its higher position. The surplus skin in the hip region can also be eliminated to tighten the waist and lateral thighs.
  • Thighs
    In a lower body lift, your outer thighs are targeted only for the removal of skin. If you are interested in an inner thigh lift, you need to discuss this at your consultation as well. The more incisions you have, the longer your recovery period will be afterward. Dr. Vinyard may recommend you have a second surgery later to address additional areas.

A lower body lift combines two very intensive surgeries (tummy tuck and butt lift) where the incision is commonly placed along where a belt would be worn, which is why it is sometimes known as a circumferential 360º lift or beltectomy.  You will be positioned in two separate positions to complete each portion of the procedure. If the lower body lift is staged (separating the abdominoplasty and buttock lift into separate procedure dates), each lift procedures can be expected to take 3 – 4 hours on their own. Once the incisions (in their respective areas and positions) have been carefully made by Dr. Vinyard, surgical liposuction will treat areas of fat and skin will be trimmed. Then, the leftover skin will be pulled tight and secured with sutures. Compression garments will be placed over the lower body to help create a trimmer result and to control your post-operative bleeding, swelling, and bruising.

What Can I Expect?

A lower body lift is considered a major cosmetic procedure. It takes most patients at least two weeks to resume basic activities, and in some cases, up to six months before getting back into more active movements (like aerobic exercise). Dr. Vinyard or a member of his team will give you clear instructions and information on wound care to assist in the healing process. A lower body lift will take some time to recover from considering that you had two extensive cosmetic procedures at one time. It is best to plan to take at least two weeks off from work. At that time, you may be able to return to sedentary work only. You will be required to avoid heavy lifting and repetitive motions for at least a month. Most patients return to their usual daily activities in 6 – 8 weeks. While the recovery can seem lengthy, the results are extraordinary, leaving you with a smoother, tighter body without the hanging skin that prevents you from enjoying your figure and hard work. 

Bruising can also persist for up to three weeks following a lower body lift. You will be wearing a compression garment that will provide support and reduce the swelling. Your clothing will easily conceal the bruising. The majority of the swelling will be gone at six weeks. You may experience the majority of the swelling during the first few weeks and will mostly be resolved in six weeks. However, your scars will continue to fade for up to two years following your surgery.  At three months following your lower body lift, we take your first official "post-op" photos when you will be very close to your final results. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a lower body lift cost?
Pricing out the cost of a lower body lift will be different for each patient requesting a quote. Why? There are so many factors that will go into your procedure like the amount of time spent in surgery, the extent of the removal of your skin (with or without liposuction), the repositioning of the navel, and the repair of your stretched abdominal muscles are just to name a few. Dr. Vinyard appreciates your time spent in this appointment and the communication that occurs during your visit here.

You will be provided with a detailed quote at your consultation for review. The total cost of your lower body lift will include Dr. Vinyard's professional fee (for all pre and post-surgery office follow-up visits), facility fee, anesthesia fee, and surgical garment. 

Will my insurance cover my lower body lift procedure?
Usually, health insurance will not cover the cost of a lower body lift since it is considered a cosmetic surgery. However, when discussing the abdomen insurance may pre-authorize a panniculectomy (this is the removal of the redundant skin of the abdomen). This does not address the transposition of the belly button, repair of the abdominal musculature, or elevation of the skin flap required to achieve the repair. Therefore, the majority of the lower body lift is not paid by your insurance. Pre-authorization by your insurance carrier does not guarantee your insurance carrier will pay for the panniculectomy portion of the procedure.

Will I have to stay overnight in the hospital?
The answer is most likely yes. A lower body lift is not a single procedure. It involves a very large treatment area and surgical excision that extend around your body. We recommended staying overnight in the hospital or an accredited overnight facility following a lower body lift. Dr. Vinyard can closely monitor your progress and post-operative nurses can manage your pain, follow your vital signs, address your incisions to prevent infection, and help you recover with exceptional care and compassion. 

Will I have visible scarring?
There are several factors that can contribute to the amount of scarring you may experience after a lower body lift including your age, genetics, and skin color. At our practice, Dr. Vinyard will create incisions in areas that can be well hidden under your clothes. VIPS also will provide you with aftercare instructions on how to care for your skin to help your incisions heal properly for minimal scarring.

When should I consider getting a lower body lift?
When contemplating a lower body lift, there are a few things to consider before making the call to our office at VIPS. You should be at or near your goal weight. You will not be a candidate if you anticipate losing a significant amount of weight after surgery. Dropping more weight after a lower body lift will only negatively impact your surgical results. Also, keep in mind that you need to be in good physical health so that your body is strong and stable enough for this type of surgery.

Transform Your Figure

You have taken all of the steps to make life-changing improvements in your health by losing the weight and keeping it off. We welcome you to VIPS to learn more about our skin removal surgeries and the option of a lower body lift surgery. Our board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. Vinyard, takes great pride and joy in helping our patients to make it to their aesthetic goals after a significant weight loss. Call today for a consultation with Dr. Vinyard and allow him to go over this dynamic treatment with you at his private practice in Port Saint Lucie, FL.

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Plan Your Procedure

Recovery Time  
2 – 3 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
4 – 6 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
1 – 3 Days
Procedure Recovery Location  
Outpatient
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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.