Body Lift After Weight Loss of 130 Pounds?

How long of a recovery time should be expected after an extensive body lift? If a patient has lost over 130 pounds and needs to have excess skin removed and everything tightened up and put back where it is supposed to be — is this recovery going be more difficult as opposed to someone who didn't loose as much weight (and doesn't have as much skin to remove)?

Doctor Answers 10

Recovery From Massive Weight Loss Recovery

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The recovery time following lower body lift surgery varies from patient to patient and depends upon a variety of factors. I recommend minimal activity for about two weeks following this procedure. During this period, light activities such as bathroom and kitchen privileges are acceptable, but nothing more strenuous. After two weeks, patients can slowly resume most activities except those that involve strenuous exertion. After eight weeks, patients should be able to resume all of their normal activities, including strenuous exertion and heavy lifting.

Patients typically receive narcotic pain relievers for four to five days following surgery. They are then usually able to switch to Tylenol. It's important to have adequate support systems available. It's not a procedure that you want to experience by yourself, especially if you have small children at home. It's important to remember that wound healing continues for over a year and that you can expect continued improvement during this time.

Finally, it's normal to be apprehensive prior to undergoing a large surgical procedure. This anxiety rapidly disappears when patients see their results and healing is underway.


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Congratulations on your weight loss success!  That is a very big accomplishment.  Now you face another challenge – removing excess skin, tightening up areas of sagginess, and improving the overall contour of your body.  During a lower body lift or belt lipectomy a circumferential incision is made and then used to tighten the abdomen, lateral thighs, and buttocks.  I also include liposuction of those areas to remove any stubborn excess fat deposits.  Your recovery should not be more difficult than someone else just because that other person didn’t lose as much weight as you.   When it comes to healing, every patient is different and heals in a different way.  However, due to the extensiveness of a lower body lift, soreness and discomfort is to be expected.  How sore and uncomfortable you are depends on your body and how you heal.  Any pain should be manageable with prescription medications prescribed by your plastic surgeon.  After your body lift, it will be important to be patient and understand that your recovery will take as long as it takes.  Be sure to follow all of your plastic surgeon’s post operative instructions to help minimize your recovery time.  Do not return to any physical activities until your plastic surgeon says it’s ok.  Typically patients are able to resume normal activities after 6 full weeks of recovery.  Be sure to research only board certified plastic surgeons.  Choose one that has experience working with massive weight loss patients like you.  Schedule a consultation and a thorough examination to confirm that you are a good candidate for a body lift.

Be well and good luck!


Body lift after 130 lbs weight loss

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Great job!! 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.

Body lift

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Congrats on your weight loss. 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).  In terms of recovery, I advise no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 weeks.  You should be able to go back to desk job activity in 2-3 weeks.  Please visit with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to learn more about your options.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Body lift Advice?

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Congratulations on your significant weight loss. Lower body lifting is a major operation no matter how much weight you lost and you should be prepared for significant physical and psychological “ups and downs” after this major surgery. 

A few words of advice may be helpful:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

Recovery from body lift surgery

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First of all, congratulations on your successful weight loss.  Recovery from surgery depends on your age, health and the number of procedures you have performed at the same time.  Most patients will do a couple of procedures at the same setting such as breast lift with a tummy tuck and possible future arm lifts at the same time as thigh lifts.  What you do depends on what areas bother you the most.  Most of the surgeries are skin only and therefore involve relatively little pain. The tummy tuck or lower body lift is usually the procedure with the longest recovery and the one that limits your activity the most during your recovery.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Body Lift Following Large Weight Loss

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The recovery from a body lift depends on how many procedures are performed at the same anesthetic,  what your current body weight is, what your fitness level is and what your medical and nutritional status is at the time of surgery.  In other words, there is a lot of variation.  If mulitple procedures are done at the same time, such as liposuction or a breast lift, your time to feeling your best is longer. If you are malnourished from dieting or have uncorrected medical problems you may be more likely to have a wound healing problem that can delay return to function.  In general, most experience fatigue for a month, can return to work in 2-3 weeks, and can return to full athletic activity in 6 weeks.  thinner persons recover more easily than those that are still overweight.  Check with a surgeon experienced in body lifts to see how this is likely to play out for you. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Body lift recovery

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A belt lipectomy, or lower body lift, is often performed on post-bariatric patients and others who've experienced significant weight loss. Broken into its components, the procedure includes a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), a thigh lift, and a buttock lift and has the advantage that it can be done in one surgical session or in stages, depending on your specific needs.

It is truly a resculpting of the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Recovery is, of course, dependent on the actual surgery or surgeries, but you should plan to be out of work for at least 3 weeks though some patients can resume limited work functions after 2.

See the video and web reference to learn a bit more, but be sure to discuss all of your options with a board certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing the body lift procedure.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Body - thigh buttock lift

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In most cases patients can do pretty much anything beginning 4 weeks after a body lift. By a week or so after surgery they can be sociable and then slowly increase their activity level maximizing at the 4 week period. The recovery can be more difficult if more skin is removed but the recovery rate is also patient dependent. A more difficult recovery does not necessarily mean the recovery time is longer. Your surgeon who has examined you and performs your surgery is the best one to estimate your recovery period after surgery.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Body lift

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After massive weight loss, and need for multiple body lift procedures.

First prioritise your areas of concerns, do it in multiple stage procedures. It is safer, more accurate and less recovery time each time.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.