Can You Combine an Arm and Thigh Lift Together?

I lost 100 lbs after having gastric bypass and as a result I have redundant skin issues. I have had two body contouring procedures so far. In May I had a lower body lift and then last week I had an upper body lift. I am interested in having a thigh lift and arm lift in July. I have been told by one surgeon that he does not like to combine these due to mobility issues during recovery. I really want to limit my surgeries to three, can anyone offer advice on this matter?

Doctor Answers 11

Surgery combinations after weight loss

I marvel at people who undergo the metamorphosis you are undergoing.  Losing a hundred pounds?  Amazing.  Getting rid of all of that loose skin?  Transformational.  You've already completed a lot of the process.  You want to be done with it and move on.  Yes, it's possible to combine arm lift and thigh lift surgery.  That combination is pretty difficult, though, in terms of recovery.  The arms swell and for a few days it's kind of like the "Michelin Tire man".  The legs swell and they hurt.  The groin area is an area that is prone to infection and wound healing problems.  To minimize risks of blood clots in the legs, as you know by now, a person needs to be up walking around as much as they can as soon as they can.  However, if your legs are swollen and sore, you might need to use your arms to push yourself up out of bed.  If your arms are swollen and sore, you might not be so interested in doing that.  There are certainly all kinds of issues when deciding what to do, and cost enters into that in a big way.  Time off from work, time away from the family, time away from doing all the things you do in a normal day.  So, it's natural to want to do as few operations as you can.  Yes, it's possible to combine these operations, but no, it may not be the safest combination to undergo.  The one thing that concerns me the most about your question is that it sounds a bit like you're "surgeon shopping", that you've had one or two operations by one surgeon, that maybe you visited with another surgeon for whatever reason and that surgeon told you something you may not have wanted to hear.  If this is the case (and I'm not saying it IS the case, just that it sounds like it MAY be), be cautious.  Find someone in your area who has a lot of experience with this type of surgery.  If what that surgeon tells you makes sense, but may not fit into your ideal financial plan or time plan, you should still probably listen to, and hear, what that surgeon says.  Bargain shopping or shopping until you find someone who tells you exactly what you want to hear may be a "recipe for disaster".  I hope you are able to successfully complete this transformation.  Congratulations on making it this far!

Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Combining Brachioplasty and Thigh Lift

It's not unusual for patients who undergo massive weight loss following gastric bypass to develop excess redundant thigh and arm tissue. When this situation arises, a variety of treatment options are available.

When the upper arm is involved, patients usually benefit from a brachioplasty which is occasionally extended onto the lateral chest. When patients have significant amounts of excess medial thigh skin, a medial thigh lift is indicated. This procedure removes excess skin in both the transverse and vertical dimensions. Both procedures are associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to address the arms and medial thighs simultaneously. This results in improved synergy, less expense and only one recovery.

When these procedures are performed together, safety has to be the first priority. For this reason, we believe it's important to minimize the length of these operative procedures. An experienced surgeon, first assistant and surgical team that focus on efficiency can minimize the length of the procedures and reduce the potential for complications.

When these resources aren't available, it's appropriate to stage these procedures. Combination surgery isn't for everyone. Patients may have co-existing health problems which prevent this approach. If you're considering combination massive weight loss surgery, it's important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that safely treats your anatomic deformity and achieves your aesthetic goals.

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

Combo procedures and safety

Multiple procedures can be safely performed in one setting. But it depends on your health status (past medical history), your anatomy, and the amount of surgery/type of procedures to be done. Your surgeon will recommend an overnight stay depending on the overall length of your procedure(s),.  Please confirm that your plastic surgeon is board certified plastic surgeon specifically by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Thigh and arm lift

Most patients that need thighs also need other procedures done, like brachioplasty. Therefor, these two surgeries are very often combine.

Alejandro J. Quiroz, MD, FACS
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Arm Lift and Thigh Lift Combination

   To some extent, this will depend upon individual needs and goals.  If the arm lift and thigh lift are both extended, I would not do both at the same time.  I perform these procedures frequently and quickly, but an extended arm lift will take 2.5 hours and the extended thigh lift will take 3 hrs minimum.   In addition, taking care of yourself can be an issue afterwards.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of body contouring porcedures each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Arm and thigh lift

I think your surgeon is right. While you can have both done at the same time, it may limit your ability to get around. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

What procedures can I combine for a body lift?

Thank you for your excellent question.  The short answer is yes, you can combine arm and leg procedures in one setting.  There will be mobility issues in that with  what i am assuming the medial thigh lift and the brachioplasty will have you sore in all four of your extremities.  You need to work with a surgeon who has extensive experience in performing these procedures and you need to make sure that you have adequate help at home and time off from work.  Best of luck with your procedures and congratulations on achieving your new body following that massive weight loss.

Stephen M. Chen, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Can An Arm Lift And Thigh LIft Be Combined?

The quick answer to your question is yes, you can combine an arm and thigh lift as long as long as you are medically stable and can tolerate a potentially prolonged operation.  While I can understand your desire to limit yourself to three post-bariatric plastic surgery procedures, combining these two is likely to make maneuvering during the first one to two weeks of your recovery difficult.  Since it is uncomfortable to walk, and strenuous arm activity (which is not advised while recovering from an arm lift) is sometimes required to pull oneself out of bed or into a sitting position, combining the two is not an ideal match.  Congratulations on losing 100 lbs. and on already having a body lift, both are great accomplishments!

Mark Schwartz, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Arm Lift Combined with Thigh Lift After Weight Loss

Both an arm lift and a thigh lift are recoveries that can be extremely aggravating.  My patients tolerate lower body lifts and upper body lifts more easily.  The fresh incisions on your arms and legs rub with every movement, so you are inclined not to move in the first couple of weeks. Immobility sets you up for complications.  It really is a better idea to have these two separated in time sequence for reasons of mobility and comfort, even if it is inconvenient to take more time for an additional procedure.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Can You Combine an Arm and Thigh Lift Together?

The one problem with this particular combination is that if it hurts to walk enough to need crutches you may be out of luck. Otherwise, if your health is good, and neither procedure is more complex than usual, doing both at once can be done. Three months should be enough time for recovery.

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.