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 (24)

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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 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. 

Daniel Kaufman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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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 5 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 L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

How much tightening with a lower body lift


I think you are an excellent candidate for a lower body lift.   I would want to see your previous tummy tuck scar to see if this would also need to be redone.   If not, you would simply need a posterior body lift, which involves removal of loose skin of your buttock and outer thighs.

Another important factor is preservation of volume in your buttocks.    Removal of skin will improve your contour and cottage cheese/loose skin, but it is necessary to preserve your fatty tissue to help reshape your buttocks with an auto-augmentation technique.

I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 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 7 reviews

Lower Body Lift


A lower body lift is also referred to as  circumferential body lift = belt lipectomy.  This procedure is essentially 3 procedures in one: extended tummy tuck + waist/lateral thigh lift + buttock lift.  The buttock lift can also include buttock augmentation.  The lateral thigh lift will help contour the lateral aspect of your thighs.  The procedure can taken between 5-7 hours depending on the amount of tissue/skin that needs removal/treatment.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options.
Dr. Sugene Kim

Sugene Kim, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

How much skin is removed during lower body lift?


You definitely have some laxity issues along your buttocks. Lower body lift coupled with a volume augmentation procedure whether with dermal flaps versus fat injection of your buttocks would help improve the shape.  Your next step should involve a consultation  with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is comfortable in utilizing either flap or volume augmentation techniques with a lower body lift

Stephen M. Chen, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Life changing Body lift


Great job!! I would wait for 6 months of weight stability before you have surgical procedures. Unfortunately there is no effective non-surgical method.  However, a body lift can truly change your life. Excess abdominal fat  and skin is removed, the abdomen and your core is tightened, your hips are raised and defined and your buttock has new definition and shape.  The combination is powerful and the results are immediate. I would do the body lift first, then stage procedures every 4-6 months. Healing time is 2-4 weeks. The most important thing is safety. Please don't compromise on this! See a board certified plastic surgeon

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.