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Weight Loss After Body Lift

If I lose weight after my body lift procedure, will the skin become loose again? I'm not really planning on losing extra weight after my surgeries, but if I were to lose weight during the recovery period (I hear body lift recovery is pretty harsh), would that ruin the work?

Doctor Answers (15)

Weight loss after body contouring (body lift)

+2

Ideally you should try to maintain your body weight after a body lift or any body contouring procedure (tummy tuck or arm lift).  The reason for this is to maintain your skin tone and not loosen the tight result which was obtained during your surgery.  A mild amount of weight loss (10 lbs) if done gradually, should not affect your result too much.  However a larger or more sudden amount of weight loss can possibly compromise your cosmetic result.

Discuss this in more detail with your plastic surgeon prior to planning your body lift.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

Weight loss after body lift not recommended.

+2

During the healing period, you will have reduced activities, and modest fluctuations in weight (up or down) should not affect your overall result to any great degree. That being said, if you have not yet reached a healthy plateau in your weight, it is best to defer surgery so you will get the best result possible.

As far as "harsh," I have been doing outpatient body lifts in our accredited office surgical facility for 13 years, and we have over 250 body lift cases during this period of time (obviously, more recently). Our patients often walk (assisted) to their cars, and every patient is expected to return the next day for recheck. Patients are up and moving around, and often require no strong pain medication after a few days. Some require longer; every patient is different.

What you need to know is that body lifting does NOT HAVE to be a "big operation" requiring hospital stay or expensive inpatient care and surgery. I believe that not exposing patients to other sick patients or hospital bacteria is a significant benefit of outpatient surgery that forces patients to be up, active, and moving around, which further reduces the risk of blood clots.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

WEIGHT LOSS AFTER BODY LIFT

+1
The simple answer to your question is yes your skin could become loose again with significant weight loss after any surgery.  If this happens, revision procedures can be done to excise the loose skin at a later time.  I recommend my patients wait 6 months before having any revisions done because if revisions are done too soon, the risk for the need of another revision procedure increases.  As far as the recovery process after a body lift, every patient is different so what someone considers pretty harsh someone else would consider mildly uncomfortable but during your recovery it is possible that you could lose a few pounds if your food intake lessens after surgery.  However, in my experience most patients do not lose enough weight during their recovery period to have an effect on the long term result of their body lift.  Be sure to research only board certified plastic surgeons in your area.  Then schedule a consultation for a thorough exam to confirm you are a candidate for a body lift.

Be well and good luck!

@norrisplastic

Morgan E. Norris, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Weight Loss after Body Lift

+1

Thank you for your question.

You should be at your baseline / stable weight prior to having surgery.  During the recovery process, you may have some weight gain/loss and that does not affect the results (usually not more than 10 pounds), but if you lose a significant amount of weight after any type of surgery then it will affect the results.  After the tummy tuck surgery, if a patient loses 15 pounds or more, they will notice loose skin.

The recovery process is very important (and a bit difficult) but as long as you have realistic expectations and someone to help you through the recovery, you should be fine.

Best Wishes

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 781 reviews

Be sure your weight is right BEFORE you body lift.

+1

One area where pre-operative screening is key is when making plans for body lifting.  I need to know that they have achieved a weight within 10% of their goal.  For example, if the realistic goal is 150 pounds, then 165 is okay but 175 is not.  Body lifting is a big step.  We (the patient and I) need to be sure that it is a single step and not just the first rung of a staircase that may never end.  The best policy is:  Do it once and do it right!

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Body lift results

+1

If you loose or gain significant amounts of weight following post bariatric body contouring your results could be affected. That is why we like patient to maintain there weight for at least 6 months prior to undergoing these procedures. If you did loose weight there may be a need to remove additional skin

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Weight loss and body lift

+1

You are always better to get to your goal weight before undergoing a body lift.  It may sag more after losing weight.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Weight loss after body lift

+1

Loss of weight during the immediate recovery process of a body lift will not substantially affect your longterm result.   The best results are obtained when patients have the body lift procedure at their ideal weight.   This mean that they have not only met their target weight, but maintained it for greater than six months.

This tells the surgeon that the patient can not only maintain a healthy weight, but has the dedication to maintain a healthy lifestyle.    At this point, a bodylift will address the excess skin and deliver a life changing result.  

The ideal bodylift result will be achieved at your ideal weight.   It is important to demostrate the ability to maintain a healthy weight longterm, as significant weight fluctuation post bodylift will affect the end result.  This is where close followup with a dietician and bariatric medicine physician is crucial to ensure longterm success.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Weight loss after bodylift

+1

Weight changes after body contouring surgery are common. Some weight may be gained due to fluid retention and swelling, then you may gain weight due to less activity during recovery. Later, as swelling improves and activity increases, weight may be lost. Some patients are able to be even more active a few months after surgery as they are able to exercise more. Small weight fluctuations (+/- 10 pounds) are unlikely to make noticeable changes in your new look and won't undo the body contouring procedures. A large weight change (>50 pounds) would be more likely to affect your results.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Weight Loss After Body Lift

+1

You want to proceed with a body lift once you have stablized in your weight loss.  (in other words you are still not losing significant weight).   Addtional weight loss after body lift surgery may necessitate additional skin tightening procedures.  Since a body lift is a fairly involved procedure, most plastic surgeons will recommend this procedure after you done with your weight loss and your weight has been stable for several months.

Now if you've already had your body lift and you lose a few pounds during your recovery period, don't worry, you will likely be just fine.   Losing a few pounds after surgery is not a big deal.  However, if you lose 10, 20, or 30+ lbs, you will likely experience a recurrence of skin laxity. hence, you may need additional skin tightening procedures.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 124 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.