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 26

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.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

901 Boren Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

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

400 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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 25 reviews

7950 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229-3926

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.

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

2121 East Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92625

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 29 reviews

6216 Fayetteville Rd
Durham, NC 27713

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, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

2120 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11229

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

3700 Joseph Siewick Dr
Fairfax, VA 22033

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 56 reviews

1101 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3508

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 62 reviews

9200 Pinecroft
The Woodlands, TX 77380

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, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

4185 Technology Forest Blvd.
The Woodlands, TX 77831

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.