I am african-american female, 35, post lap band, lost 95lbs and lead a very active lifestyle that includes running, spinning and weight training about 5X a week. I am seeking a breast lift, thigh lift and tummy tuck. As a surgeon, how would you go about these surgeries? I went to one consultation and the surgeon suggested smart lipo on the thighs and then 3 months later going back in to remove the excess skin. Would you recommend this strategy?
Best Method for Surgeries After Weight Loss?
Doctor Answers (9)
Staging multiple procedures effectively...
You had mentioned in your question that you were thinking about a breast lift, thigh lift and tummy tuck.
It is a bit difficult for me to answer these questions without photos. If your legs are mild to moderate, you may go ahead with a straight thigh lift, probably with an incision from the groin to the inner knee.
If your thighs are a little bit more severe, you may require liposuction approximately three months later.
I would perform your abdominoplasty or tummy tuck combined with a breast lift. If your thighs needed liposuction at that time, I would do it during that surgery. At a second surgery, I would perform your thigh lift.
Congratulations on your weight loss and keep up maintaining your active lifestyle.
J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Weight loss contouring
One of the most popular procedures after massive weight loss is a lower body lift. If you are considering a lower body lift - this procedure (LBL) 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
Body lift staging
Great job!! 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
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Multiple surgeries required after massive weight loss
If the patient wants multiple procedures done (including a breast lift, thigh lift and tummy tuck) I usually do the breast lift first. It is technically easier because the breast lift is not opposed by the tightened abdominal skin after tummy tuck. After the breast lift, I would consider doing the abdominoplasty. If you have lost weight, certainly keeping the weight off is a concern for you. An abdominoplasty with mesh reinforcement has been shown to be effective in reducing weight and maintaining the reduced weight. There are recently published articles in Plastic and Reconstructive Journal that supports this procedure. The last thing I would do would be the thigh lift. There are several types of thigh lifts depending on your needs such as posterior thigh lift or medial thigh lift. After the abdominoplasty, you may benefit from a posterior lift (total body lift).
Gary Horndeski, M.D.
I'm sorry, but it is impossible to make any recommendations for surgical treatment without a formal physical exam. the procedures you are seeking seem reasonable. But only after a consultation can anyone give you medical/surgical recommendations. Please see a board certified PS to learn more about your options. Best of luck.
Timing of surgery after weight loss
First consideration is what bothers you the most. All other things equal, I would favor doing the breast lift and tummy tuck. I don't have photos to look at , but I find that in some patients the TT tightening yields some tightening to the inner thighs, occasionally giving enough improvement that more is not needed.
Also, surgeon and patient get to see what the scars look like in these hidden areas before committing to scars on the legs that are not easily hidden in summer wear. The odd patient who gets worse that average scarring may think twice about getting a vertical scar along the thigh, or even a crease scar that can be visible in swim wear.
Thanks for your question, best wishes.
Forget the smart lipo
If you are near your ideal weight, or you BMI is below 30, you may be a good candidate for skin removal surgery, such as a tummy tuck or breast lift. Go see a board certified plastic surgeon to talk about what will help you. I doubt laser lipo will do you any good - unless you are still too overweight and have a lot of fat.
Go get an in person consultation to help you out.
Tummy tuck and breast lift usually done together.
That's the most common combination because those are the things that bother the patient the most. Thigh surgery should be done several months later. The plan you mention does not sound good.
Surgery after weight loss
The order of surgeries depend on what bothers you most.
In general Medial thigh lift and tummy tuck in one surgery. If you need a circuferential lift then may have to consider that.
If you need a small amount of liposuction I may do it at that time.
Breast lift, with or without implants in another session.