After Gastric Bypass - Will I Benefit from Lower Body Lift and Thigh Lift?

Hello, I am a 26 yrs old who had a Gastric bypass surgery 4 yrs a go. I lost 116.6lbs. I am planning to do a body lift ( which includes tummy tuck, buttock lift and outer thighs) plus a thigh lift. I have been seen by a doctor who thought that my sagging is good 4 someone who lost 116lbs so I was wondering after looking at many before and after pictures how much can I benefit from a body lift? . Also can I do both procedures(thigh lift and body lift) in one operation? if not please explain why?

Doctor Answers 8

360 lower body lift circumferential body lift massive weight loss thigh lift belt lipectomy

Congratulations on your massive weight loss.
I routinely perform the 360 lower body lift and inner or medial thigh lift during the same procedure.  From your pictures, I believe you would significantly benefit from a 360 circumferential lower bodylift. It will remove skin and fat from your abdomen, bilateral hips, and buttocks. The spiral thigh lift will eliminate the skin and fat from the medial thigh.  

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Is Lower Body Lift Combined with Thigh Lift Safe?

There are many possible procedures that can be done for body contouring following massive weight loss.  Some are combined with other operations, but many times the procedures are split up into more than one operative session.  

Combining a medial thigh lift with a lower body lift is sometimes done, but I prefer to split them up for safety sake.

Depending on your goals  an alternative that might be considered is an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck and medial thigh lift.  These procedures work well together and are a safe combination.  

However,  this addresses only concerns on the  front of your body which is reasonable if this is satisfactory to you.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Lower body lift and thigh lift after gastric bypass should not be done together.

Congratulations on your weight loss! You do indeed look "better" than many who lose over 100 lbs., no doubt due to your youthfulness, genetics, and good fortune!

You are a great candidate for circumferential lower body lift (belt lift), but adding a medial thigh lift at the same operation is not advised, for several reasons.

First and foremost, a body lift in my office takes about 5 1/2 hours, and sometimes more depending on the individual patient (usually based on size of the patient, length of incision, amount of loose skin to remove, size of blood vessels to control, etc.). There will be some improvement in the medial thighs with a belt lift alone, so it is reasonable to see just how much improvement is achieved before "automatically" requesting the medial thigh operation, which is also uncomfortable to heal (incision location) and prone to increased healing issues (warm, moist areas under constant motion and pressure whenever sitting, even if just for toilet). Plus, medial thighlift  takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and a total of 8-9 hours is a long operative procedure with increased risks of DVT (deep venous thrombosis or blood clot) or pressure sore.

I perform (virtually all) lower body lifts as an outpatient procedure, and my partner and I have done over 250 belt lifts as outpatient operations in our accredited office surgical facility over the past 14 years. We limit our outpatient office surgeries to 6-7 hours maximum for improved patient safety, even though we do use active foot pumpers for clot risk reduction, and early active ambulation since our patients go home! In over 19 years of general anesthetic operations in our on-site AAAASF-accredited surgical facility we have performed over 16,000 operations without death, heart attack, or stroke.

Additionally, incisions completely around the thighs may decrease lymphatic circulation, increase swelling, and thereby increase (the low, but still present) risks of blood clot. Add to that the fact that it is just plain "sore" to recover both of these "big" operations at once, and you can see why I don't recommend it. (I have done this combination operation before, but for the reasons above, will likely never do it again--and that operation was done at the hospital for the time reasons discussed). By the way, hospital costs for this operation are THOUSANDS higher than our outpatient procedure, and I believe avoiding the hospital environment and bacteria is a significant advantage as well.

This is NOT a recommendation that you ask your surgeon for an outpatient belt lift, unless he or she already has extensive experience with this procedure (inpatient OR outpatient), has their own surgical facility where the anesthetic regimen can be tailored to allow this length of operation to be safely performed as an outpatient (meaning no inhalation anesthetic, in my opinion), and the staff experienced in the prepping, position changes, and safety measures for any long(er) operation.

I understand the psychology of "getting everything done at once," but would never let expediency take precedence over safety! Do your belt lift first, get well and ready, and then have your medial thighs done, which will give the best results for both! Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Combination Lower Body Lift and Medial Thigh Lift

It's not unusual for patients to develop loose, saggy skin following gastric bypass surgery and subsequent massive weight loss. This loose skin can affect almost any area of the body.

Your pictures demonstrate loose, saggy abdominal skin that extends to your back as a roll of skin and fat. This loose skin has resulted in sag of the buttocks and lateral thighs as well. In addition to these problems, there's laxity of your medial thigh skin.

A variety of treatment options are available to treat these problems. In your case, it appears that a lower body lift and medial thigh lift will be necessary to correct these problems. Both of these procedures are associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of satisfaction.

The combination of lower body lift and thigh lift can be performed in a single setting. When these operations are performed together, safety has to be the first priority. For this reason, we believe it's important to keep the length of procedure under four to six hours. An experienced surgeon, first assistant and surgical team that focus on efficiency can minimize the length of the procedure and reduce the potential for complications.

The advantages of this approach are obvious and include improved synergy and harmony, less expense and only one recovery.

Combination surgery isn't for everyone. Patients may have co-existing health problems which prevent this approach. If you're considering combination surgery, it's important to discuss these issues with your surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to formulate an appropriate surgical plan.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Committ to thigh lift and body lift at one time?

Great job!! I would wait for 6 months of weight stability before you have surgical procedures. Unfortunately there is no effective non-surgical method. Thighs may be improved by a body lift so don't commit to that until after the results of the body lift are evident.  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. 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 34 reviews

Body Lift and Thigh Lift After Gastric Bypass

Dear M-tt,

It appears that you may be a good candidate for a body lift and thigh lift, as are many people like yourself who have lost large amounts of weight. In general, I would recommend performing the body lift first, then the thigh lift as a separate second procedure, for the best and safest results.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Body lift/Thigh lift

As most people who have lost the amount of weight that you have, you are a good candidate for a body lift/belt lipectomy.  The reason is that the problems that bother you are not limited to the front only, as in a tummy tuck, but also involve the sides of the body, the front and outer thighs, the lower back and the buttocks.  In order to treat all of these areas you need to have tissues removed all the way around. 

I never perform a thigh lift at the same time as the body lift/belt lipectomy for three reasons.  1.The pull of the body lift/belt lipectomy is in the opposite direction of the thigh lift that is best suited for a massive weight loss patient.  If you combine both procedures, you don't have real control of where the scar in the thigh is going to end up.  2.If you perform a fairly aggressive but safe body lift/belt lipectomy, you get a significant amount of improvement in the thighs, and for some patients, they come back and don't want anything else done in their thighs.  Thus you would avoid a thigh operation in that situation.  3.Even if you can do a body lift/belt lipectomy in a fairly fast manner, in my practice we average around 3:48 minutes, adding a procedure that would bump us up over 6 hours, does not make a lot of sense to me.  Although some surgeons feel comfortable with doing long operations, in my hands, and I am considered an expert in this area, I feel more comfortable breaking them up. 

Al Aly, MD
Abu Dhabi Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Body Lift & Thigh Lift after Gastric Bypass

You appear to be an excellent candidate for a lower body lift (which will greatly improve your abdomen, back, buttocks, and lateral thighs and hips) and probably for a thigh lift as well.  I personally would not perform these procedures together as that would place you in an anesthetic time which increases chance for problems (especially thromboembolic).  There are also issues of positioning during and after surgery.

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