Body Contouring or Body Lift?

For those who have lost over 150 pounds, should an overall body contouring plan be considered to just a body lift? Are there certain procedures that are more effective and more affordable than a body lift after massive weight loss?

Doctor Answers 12

Body contouring after weight loss

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you have lost 150 lbs and you have excess skin and laxity in the anterior abdominal wall, waist, and buttock areas, then a body lift (circumferential body lift = belt lipectomy) will likely be needed.  Usually, for my patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, my first line of attack is a circumferential body lift = belt lipectomy = lower body lift. This procedure is 3 procedures all in one:


1. tummy tuck

2. waist/lateral thigh lift

3. buttock lift +/- buttock augmentation

This procedure requires 4.5-6.5 hrs of surgery and requires an overnight stay in my practice.

Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Body Contouring vs Body Lift

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Congratulations on your weight loss journey. As you may have experienced, losing 150 plus pounds will lead to having excess skin on your body. This is very uncomfortable for many patients and can even lead to rashes and infections in certain areas.

Body contouring essentially is a component of a body lift. The body lift is designed specifically for the weight loss patient, so I do believe having just a few procedures may not leave you with a desirable result. I have seen some patients who do a few procedures at a time and wait to do the other procedures when they have a budget for it.

I advise you to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in body contouring procedures. Best of luck to you.

I have included a link that may be of help to you.

Body lift vs Body contouring after weight loss

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Liposuction is only good to contour but can worsen the issue if excess skin is your main problem (as it is in most massive weight loss patients). A body lift can truly change your life. Excess abdominal fat  and skin is removed, the abdomen and your core is tightened, your saddlebags on your hips are raised and your buttock has new definition and shape.  The combination is powerful and the results are immediate. The real answer to your question is in the exam. If you have excess kin circumferentialy then a body lift is the answer. If not than a tummy tuck may do the trick The most important thing is safety. Please don't compromise on this! See a board certified plastic surgeon

Body-lift vs. Body-contouring.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A body-lift is necessary when there is significant amounts of excess skin, as is often seen in massive weight-loss patients. Body contouring often refers to contouring by way of liposuction. Such contouring does not involve skin excision and is best suited to patients who have tighter skin. At times, body-lift procedures (skin excision) may be combined with contouring (liposuction).

Ramin Behmand, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Strategic body contouring plan

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your question is very insightful. Congratulations on your wt. loss.  Unfortunately, for most patients the success of wt loss results in excess skin throughout the body.  It is very important to understand that for most patients, one operative procedure will not be enough to correct all of the post wt loss concerns.  Meet with your board certified plastic surgeon and outline a safe, effective plan which will address your concerns specifically.  While a lower body lift is extremely effective at addressing the abdomen, hips, buttox and lateral thighs, it will not typically address the upper/inner thighs or knees.  After your new abdominal/waist line shape, your attention will likely focus on skin redundancies in your arms, chest etc.  Make sure you are well informed before you embark on your surgical contouring, it will be rewarding for you if you have realistic expectations on outcome. best of luck. Dr. Renucci

John Renucci, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Body Contouring or Body Lift?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unfortunately, there is no procedure or alternative to a bodylift for those massive weight loss patients if they want to achieve the best results. This is an extremly effective procedure in the right hands of a skilled and experienced surgeon. Unfortunately, the procedure takes 4-6 hours to complete so the price of the procedure reflects the amount of work done. Save your money and get thecorrect procedure done, you will be much happier.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Developing a staged body contouring plan after 150 pound weight loss typically works best.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The key is that you consult with an ABPS certified Plastic Surgeon who can review the most safe and effective staged approach to handle your individual body contouring issues. Many patients are unhappy with the excess skin in their upper arms, thighs, abdomen, flanks, and breasts. Others have isolated areas of concern. Others have deflated buttock or breasts that they would like re contoured. The key is to have all of your concerns evaluated and a safe plan outlined that works for your time and budget.

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Massive weight loss patients

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Question about a patient losing > 150lbs and the procedures that may be considered:

After weight loss of this amount, there are generally several procedures that may be considered:

  • Lower body lift - circumferential excision of excess skin / fat around the waist line - which affects the abdomen, buttocks, lateral thighs, and flanks
  • Breasts - typically involves a breast lift combined with implants
  • Arms - arm lift or brachioplasty performed with or without use of liposuction
  • Thighs - thigh lift - several techniques - I prefer to limit the incision to the groin crease extending posteriorly to the buttock crease - may also be combined with liposuction

these procedures are typically performed in a staged fashion, I will often recommend starting with the body lift

the arms and breasts can be successfully combined in one operation as well

Surgery after Weight Loss

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question.

In my opinion, patients who have lost 150 pounds will likely benefit from lower body lifting to treat the abdomen,  flanks, lower back and lateral thigh areas.  Other areas that may concern these patients include the breasts ( breast lifting plus/minus breast implants),  arms ( arm lifting),  and thighs (thigh lifting).

I hope this helps.

Improving your Body after Massive Weight Loss

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi there-

While unfair, there are a growing number of patients like yourself who have achieved a great accomplishment- losing a large amount of weight and improving their long term health in the process... Only to find that they've traded their excess weight for a large amount of excess skin.

Modern options for body contour improvement are very successful and safe- but only under the appropriate circumstances.

As for the details of the procedures recommended for you, it would be difficult to say what your options are responsibly without a consultation and examination. I would find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon you like and feel you can trust and visit with them to discuss your goals and options.

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.