How Much Skin Can Be Tightened During Lower Body Lift?

I am 50 years old, 5'4" and 120 lbs. While pregnant, I gained 40 lbs. twice. I have saggy unsightly skin, cottage cheese and piles forming in my thighs and buttocks, making me very self-conscious.

How many inches can a surgeon pull up on the butt to get tightening results of lower body lift on top of thighs? Will the scar be wider the more that is taken out? I had abdominal skin excision with pencil thin scar, can I expect the same scar results? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 28

Skin tightening

Typically the amount of skin that could be removed is anything that will not require too much tension.  We'll certainly try to remove all of the skin that is possible without

Skin Removal with Lower Body lift

Thank you for your photograph and questions.  By your description and photo you would be a very good candidate for a lower body lift.  The amount of skin that can be removed needs to be determined in person during your consultationwith an experienced surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery..  For the abdomen, the removal is typically between your pubic bone and belly button.  On the side of your torso, the band of skin that can be taken depends upon how much excess you have, but it provides a lift of your lareal thighs.  The buttock lift tapers from the sides to a minimal amount of removal in the midline over the spine.  Scars under tension tend to be wider than those closed with very little tension.  If you have excellent scars from a prior skin excision , that is a good sign of how your body will respond the next time.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

How Much Skin Can Be Tightened During Lower Body Lift?

There is no set number of inches that apply to everyone and no sure way to tell you based on you picture.  Overall it looks like you would be an excellent candidate for the lower body lift.  Final scars are dependent on the surgical technique and your body's healing overall.

For more information, please go to my website at:

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Loose skin

A lot of skin can be tightened, although I would remove very little, saving most of the fat to auto-augment your buttock. This would improve the cheesey look a lot

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Lower Body Lift

Most of my patients will have 3 to 4 inches of the buttock skin removed in between the upper butt and lower back.  The most important thing is the placement of the scar.  The incision has to be perfectly placed in between the lower back and the upper butt.  It is this incision that demarcateds the butt form the back.  If placed too high, the butt will look too long.  If placed too low, the butt will look too short.

How Much Skin Can Be Tightened During Lower Body Lift?

The appropriate amount of skin to be excised from any body lift operation depends on the laxity of the skin.  Skin laxity varies significantly from person to person.  It is always a plastic surgeon's judgement call to determine the right amount to be excised.  The risk of removing too much skin is a scar that can pull apart or thicken or that results in poor circulation of the tightened tissues.  The risk of removing too little skin is insufficient tightening or lifting.  Plastic surgeons are always in the position of taking "just the right amount" when performing these operations. Taking just the right amount comes from experience in performing many of these operations in many different people.

Paul Fortes, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Lower Body Lift

It sounds as though you are an excellent candidate for an abdominoplasty or lower body lift. I advise consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your expectations and goals, they will be able to evaluate you and determine based on your current health if you are a candidate.

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How much skin can be tightened in a lower body lift

Congratulations! If you've had a successful body contouring procedure before with a well healed scar, you may do well again. But, I urge caution - don't get greedy. The lifting of the buttocks using the superior bikini cut location on both buttocks can only do so much tightening, especially in the upper thigh area. Yes, the more tension is placed on any scar, the greater the likelihood that it will widen with time. Make sure you visit with a Board-certified plastic surgeon to make the best decision. Good luck and let us know if we can help. 

Lower body lift scars

Lower body lift is a great procedure for removing excess soft tissue and tightening the outer thighs in addition to elevating the buttocks. Each individual is unique but on average about 6 inches of tissue can be removed from the waist and hip region. The deep tissues need to be reinforced to minimize scar widening. I often will augment the buttocks with fat transfer at the same time to improve contour. This is a specialized procedure so make sure that the surgeon you choose has extensive experience.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

How much skin can be removed?

How much a lower body lift can lift and tighten depends a lot on "translation of pull".  See the web reference for my blog on this topic.  You look like you have fabulous "translation of pull' but that is determined by an in person exam.

Scar placement is important to maximize the aesthetic result and minimize scar visibility.  Also, closing the deep layer (Scarpa's fascia) with strong, closely placed sutures is important to the longevity of the lift and (by taking tension off the skin closure)  a nice scar.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.