Body Lift or Staggered Liposuction and Skin Removal For Saddle Bags?

HI,I had WLS and lost 120 lbs, feel great! I'm 5'10 tall and weigh 198 lbs with 25 more to be ideal wt. I workout daily, cardio & weight training but cannot seem to get rid of my outer thigh area which is disproportionately bigger than rest of my body. I wear a medium on top and XL pant 18! As I continue on my weight loss if I lose more weight on face will lose buccal fat now!:( Thinking of liposuction of saddlebags at this point in a series.. with lower body lift after?So discouraged your op?

Doctor Answers 9

Excess skin after weight loss

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It is difficult to answer your question without photos and a physical exam.   If you have loose skin from weight loss, you may benefit from a body lift.  These procedures are usually tailored for a patient who has experience significant weight loss. These procedures are designed to recontour the entire waist and lower trunk.


They include 3 procedures:

-Tummy Tuck
-Waist lift/lateral thigh lift
-buttock lift
Many of my female patients who have lost volume in the their buttocks also option for buttock augmentation using their own tissue (auto-augmentation). These procedures are all very powerful. But the basic principle applies - you must accept some degree of scar for better form.

The good news - we strive to hide the scar in your waist/bikini line.

If by saddle bags you are referring to dense fat collections in your upper lateral thigh region, then liposuction can be performed at the same time as your body lift to help contour or smooththese areas out.

Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX


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Congratulations on your weight loss and your new healthy lifestyle.Your areas of concern – your outer or lateral thighs – are known to have stubborn fat deposits that no amount of diet and exercise can get rid of.  Liposuction can be done but liposuction only removes fat it does not address any loose or sagging skin.  If you do have excess skin on your outer thighs, a thigh lift combined with liposuction would better address your concerns.  Without a physical exam it is difficult to make a recommendation for you but in my experience, most massive weight loss patients benefit more from a lower body lift or belt lipectomy than just a thigh lift or liposuction.  A body lift consists of three procedures performed during the same operative session – a tummy tuck, a lateral thigh lift, and a buttock lift.  I also include liposuction of the abdomen with the tummy tuck and liposuction of the outer thighs with the lateral thigh lift.  If you would prefer, the procedures could be staged but generally the procedures are done together because only one circumferential incision is needed to perform all three procedures.  However, in your case you may not require all three procedures to get the look you desire.  Research board certified plastic surgeons who work with massive weight loss patients like you.  Schedule a consultation for a thorough exam to determine which procedures will best address your concerns.  Also, be sure to be at a stable weight for at least three months before having any body contouring procedure.  Significant weight fluctuations after surgery could alter your result.

Be well and good luck!


Excess skin after weight loss

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With massive weight loss a body lift may be the right thing for you. Liposuction can be done for areas that are full but the skin may become looser.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Excess skin after weight loss

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Without photos or a face to face physical examination it is impossible to make any specific recommendations. You can certainly split your body contouring surgery into smaller procedures split by area of the body and/or liposuction vs. skin removal. It may even be advisable to do so for safety reasons. There is no reason for you to be discouraged as the weight loss surgery and the diet/exercise will get you to a certain point then you will need body contouring surgery to get past that point. Think on the positive side how much better you feel and how much more active you are after the weight loss. Then extrapolate that to further improvement in how you will feel and look after the body contouring surgery. You should then look forward to those future improvements rather than feeling discouraged that you have not reached the end goal yet.

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

Liposuction Can Be Problematic After Massive Weight Loss

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A photo would have been helpful, but with a 120 pound weight loss there usually is a good bit of excess skin.  Liposuction of your thighs alone will probably result in unattractive skin in the area.  A lower body lift would address this as well as other areas of excess skin which you probably have.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Best Option for Complex Problem will Depend on Many Details

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Hi there-

I think there are probably several safe pathways you could take to a similarly outstanding outcome, and the decision-making differences will end up depending on your preferences for timing, recovery, and your goals.

I would not want you to think that one plan would always necessarily be better than another.

So your best bet is to find a great surgeon you like and trust first, then firm up your plan.

360 body lift circumferential body lift saddle bags plastic surgery after massive weight loss

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Congratulations on your weight loss!!  You should be VERY proud of yourself and not discouraged.  I have seen many patients with the saddle bags you describe.  If your saddlebags are "mild", I would suggest liposuction and a body lift in a single procedure.  If your saddlebags are "moderate", I would suggest aggressive liposuction; liposuction may need to be done once or twice.  After the liposuction , I would then suggest a body lift.  If your saddlebags are "extreme", I would suggest liposuction and a body lift to be followed later, by a "wedge" excision.  This "wedge" excision is a football excision of skin and fat over the saddlebag region.  The resulting scar follows the bottom of a one piece bathing suit and extends from the lower buttock crease over the hip and sometimes into the groin.  Good luck with your weight loss journey!!!

Sincerely, J. Timothy Katzen, MD

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Saddle bags after weight loss surgery

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I have seen disproportionately large hips and thighs after weight loss. This is a complex area with focused options, depending on your presentation. Liposuction might be an option, but more often, a surgery skin removal is necessary. Two stages may be necessary, with liposuction to deflate the tissues, then followed by skin removal. I recommend you schedule a visit with a Board-certified plastic surgeon to get a better sense of what you need after history and physical to provide more full information.

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Body Lift- Improving the thighs, abdomen, and back

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Congratulations on your weight loss and body transformation.  Body contouring surgery is a general term for all the aesthetic procedures that board certified plastic surgeons perform to contour the skin over the newly defined underlying frame.  Massive weight loss is associated with the presence of loose droopy skin.  By performing a specified lift to any area of concern, a trained surgeon can create the sensual and beautiful contours and smooth skin you are striving for.  Once you attain your goal weight, the lifting surgery is better suited to attaining your goals than liposuction.  Often times you get better and more aesthetic results with the body lift versus liposuction first.  If your concern is the outer thigh appearance, then either a thigh lift or circumferential belt lift can accomplish your goals.  A detailed consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon will help you create the perfect surgical plan to give you that sexy shape and figure.

John G. Apostolides, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 27 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.