Which Body Contouring Techniques Work Best After Extreme Weight Loss?

Please explain the most popular body contouring techniques after massive weight loss. Which ones are most effective in reducing loose skin?

Doctor Answers 11

The Management Of Massive Weight Loss

It's not unusual for patients to develop loose saggy skin following massive weight loss. When this situation arises, a large number of surgical options exists to treat these problems. These procedures remove excess skin and fat, lift anatomic structures and dramatically improve contour. The procedures chosen are dependent upon the patients anatomic findings and aesthetic goals.

The majority of massive weight loss patients note significant amounts of redundant saggy tissue in their abdominal area. This is also the area that seems to bother them the most. For this reason, many massive weight loss patients request lower body lift surgery.

This procedure involves a circumferential excision of excess back and abdominal tissue. it simultaneously lifts the lateral thighs and buttocks in an upward direction. It's associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.

If you're considering massive weight loss surgery, it's important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Which surgeries work best after extreme weight loss?

With the recent advances in minimally invasive bariatric surgery, there is been a significant number of patients seeking reconstructive surgery after massive weight loss. This created a relatively new field in plastic surgery, namely reconstructive plastic surgery after massive weight loss. There are even board-certified plastic surgeons who specialize in reconstructive plastic surgery after massive weight loss.

You asked a very general question so I can only provide very general answers. The particular surgery that a patient needs after massive weight loss will be individually based and personalized by your board-certified plastic surgeon. Physical examination, history, age, medical conditions, prior surgeries, may change your surgical plan.

The following answers are generalities and apply too many, but not all weight loss patients.

Good luck with your weight loss journey. If you have any questions, please contact my office.

Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Body contouring after weight loss

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

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Body contouring techniques

First,  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. Any breast surgery thigh or arm lifts would be better staged because of the safety of being under anesthesia for a long time. 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
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Body Contouring Techniques After Weight Loss

This depends totally on a person’s body shape and form. If you have a Deflation type of skin redundancy, the most common types are body lift with an armlift, breast lift with or without breast augmentation, and thighlift as indicated. These procedures all need to be done in a staged manner and performed by a Plastic Surgeon with significant experience and expertise in these areas.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Body contouring after weight loss

The treatment plan depends on the individual patient's challenges with excess skin following weight loss.   Commonly, a body lift is the first line of treatment for many weight loss patients.  Most plastic surgeons refer to a body lift as a circumferential body lift = belt lipectomy.  This procedure is essentially 3 procedures in one: extended tummy tuck + waist/lateral thigh lift + buttock lift (with the option of buttock augmentation).  So a body lift will not treat the upper medial thighs or inner thighs.   Please visit with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to learn more about your options.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Most effective body contouring technique after significant weight loss

There is no one most effective procedure for massive weight loss. The beauty of this field is that we have multiple procedures available and well tested for each body region, to allow for the significant variability in patient presentation. There are at least 3 great procedures for each body region (arms, abdomen, chest/breast, thighs, back): what makes a procedure the most effective is that it is the best one that applies to you. You need to have a history and physical examination followed by an informed discussion to determine the best route to follow.


Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

What are the Best Body Contouring Techniques?

The best post weight loss body contouring techniques are the ones that address your specific needs.  

There are several procedures  for body contouring.  These include Facelift, breast lift, Brachioplasty, abdominoplasty,thigh lift, buttocks lift, and lower body lift.

Therefore,  the technique or techniques will be carefully planned only after a thorough evaluation and a series of discussions about your goals, procedure options, your time and budget considerations.

You should be stable at or near your goal weight, and medically cleared for surgery.  Many cases require more than one procedure and may be spit up into more than one operating  time.  The sequencing and appropriate combining of procedures will be determined accordingly.

A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is necessary for evaluation, discussion and planning of your treatment options.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss

There are several procedures which are valuable following massive weight loss.  The most valuable procedure is probably a total body lift which involves an incision which begins as  a high lateral tension abdominoplasty but then continues completely around the flanks and back.  The result is an improvement and a lift of the back, lateral thighs, and buttocks, in addition to the abdomen.  This is a big operation which should be performed only be surgeons who have experience with this procedure.  Massive weight loss patients also see significant improvement with brachioplasty and mastopexy (with/without implants).

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Body contouring

Surgery after Weight Loss
Weight Loss and Bariatric Cosmetic Surgery
Those who are overweight often will try many modalities to lose weight and get back into shape. Some are able to accomplish their goals through diet and exercise, but many find that their weight prevents them from exercise and compounds the problem. Morbid obesity can also be associated with other complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Often, these patients choose to have bariatric surgery to loose weight. This has proven to be very effective in producing significant weight loss.
Whether one loses weight through diet and exercise or through bariatric surgery, there are a few problems that arise as a result of the weight loss. The stretched skin often fails to tighten, and so it sags, and causes unsightly rolls. The sagging skin and body parts are equally disturbing to patients as obesity.
Exercise does not tighten skin. The only way to tighten loose skin is through surgery. Excessive skin laxity can be in the stomach, arms, thighs and buttocks. The breast becomes empty and saggy.
Most people who accomplish significant (100 pounds or more) weight loss often need or want to have all of these problems corrected. They continue to feel they have not achieved the body image they want. Surgery is the only alternative to tighten loose skin; lift and implants enhance the breast.
A body lift, buttock lift and enhancement, arm lift, thigh lift, and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) remain the only alternative. The result Is an improved body image, enhanced curves and enhanced buttock, Brazilian but look.
Liposuction is not an alternative to tightening procedures. However many times there are still localized fat collections after weight loss. Liposuction is used along with the tightening procedure to achieve the desired body image.
Scars result any time skin is removed. The more skin that is removed, the more extensive are the scars. For a body lift, they will extend along the lower abdomen, around the hips, and toward the buttock crease. There is another scar in each groin crease for the inner thigh lift. Skin and fat to be removed is deigned in such a way to be used to augment and fill the buttock. The result is body sculpting, curves and Brazilian buttock enhancement.
Breast scars vary depending on the amount of lift and the procedure needed. In general a breast lift will require an inverted T or anchor shaped. The use of breast implants can enhance the outcome, reduce the scar and accentuates the curves.
Lower body lifts are extensive surgical procedures, and require long recovery time.
To minimize risks and recovery time, these procedures can be divided into stages or several smaller surgeries.
During the initial consultation Dr. Shureih will discuss your goals and priorities. A thorough examination of the areas of concern is done. All options are discussed and explored with you.
Lower body lifts require general anesthesia. The surgery can take up to six hours.
Abdominal skin laxity can be circumferential, extending to the lateral thighs, back and buttocks. Medial skin laxity is dealt with by a groin, well hidden incisions.
Circumferential lower body lift involves abdominoplasty, lateral thigh lift back and buttock lift. The incision extends from the lower abdomen to the lateral thighs , then all the way to the buttocks. The excess skin and fat removed from hips and lateral thighs can be designed to be used for buttock enhancement and a Brazilian buttock look.
Abdominal laxity can be both vertical and horizontal. Both can be tightened a special design.
Medial thigh lift incision hugs the groin crease and meets the abdominoplasty anteriorly and to the buttock crease posteriorly.
Upper back laxity follows the lower breast crease to the back, with varying amounts of skin folds. Upper body lift removes excess from chest, lateral chest and upper back.

                    BUTTOCK AUGMENTATION
                       BODY SCULPTING
                          BUTTOCK LIFT

Bariatric surgery for massive weight loss leaves the individual with excess skin, and sagging, fallen body parts.
The buttocks can suffer dramatically due to loss of volume and sagging.
Sculpting the body after massive weight loss, bariatric surgery, and aging require multiple procedures and attention to details of beauty.
Advances in surgical technique can address all the issues of buttock deformity, at the same time a circumferential lift, or lower body lift is done.
The buttock is lifted with lower body lift, at the same time the buttock is enhanced and augmented using the excess fat and skin that is usually removed during such procedures.
Buttock enhancement is achieved with your own tissue without the need for implants or any foreign material.

The procedure is done under general anesthesia, and achieves two goals in the massive weight loss patients.
1- Buttock lift
2- Buttock enhancement, using your own skin and fat.

Recovery takes about three weeks before your fully recovered. However the patient is active and mobile within 1-2 days after surgery.


Timing the Cosmetic bariatric surgery
Ideal timing for cosmetic post bariatric surgery is after all weight loss has been complete, and the weight has stabilized for few months. The Body Mass Index (BMI) as close to normal as possible. This decreases the potential risks of surgery.
Blood pressure, diabetes and any associated conditions must be controlled. This ensures minimal surgical risks.
Post bariatric cosmetic surgery is not covered by insurance. The surgical cost must take in consideration the facility fees, the anesthesia and the surgeon’s fees. The cost can vary depending on the surgical procedure done. The surgical cost can range from $10,000 to 25,000.
To achieve your goal in body image may require multiple surgical procedures, and accept the presence of long scars on the body, and the need for revision surgeries. The laxity and loss tissue strength makes scars widen and migrate, and tissue and sutures not hold. The patient is fully responsible for all cost of further surgery.
is is a large topic, I will give you what I give my patients.



Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.