How to Decide Between a Tummy Tuck and a Lower Body Lift?

I weighed 247, had lipo when I weighed 205, then I lost more weight to 185. I received different opinions about a tt and lbl. In my picture you can see me before lipo, after lipo, losing more weight, now all that skin. Which way is better to go the tt or lbl? Thank you so much for your time.

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy Tuck vs. Lower Body Lift

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Hi there-

It appears that either technique would be a reasonable option for you to consider, but in my opinion, you would be relatively unhappy with a simple abdominoplasty, as this would only further draw your attention to the large amount of loose, saggy skin on your thighs and buttocks.

The tremendous magnitude of the difference in outcome between a tummy tuck and a lower body lift in patients like yourself, combined with the fact that the surgery and recovery are only marginally longer (of course I can only speak to my own practice and experience), make it very easy for me to recommend to patients like yourself that they have a lower body lift.

Having said that, if for whatever reason you elect to proceed with a tummy tuck, you aren't burning any bridges- it should be possible to complete the lower body lift at any time in the future after you have healed from the tummy tuck if you so choose.


Tummy Tuck VS. a Lower Body Lift?

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As long as the wight loss has been stable for 4-6 months, your body restoration may begin. Weight gain and weight loss affect people very differently resulting in various patterns of skin excess and deformity. In addition, people view themselves differently and may wish different things corrected and doing so in a different order.

The overwhelming majority of people benefit from a modified High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). The procedure flattens the tummy, narrows the waist, lifts a sagging Mons pubis and sagging anterior thighs. It may be combined with liposuction of the back to define the upper buttocks, and hips.

Although a Lower Body Lift (which comprises a Tummy Tuck AND a Buttock Lift) can be be done, it is associated with a higher complication rate and longer recovery than doing the procedures in separate (staged) fashion. A Buttock Lift lifts sagging buttocks to their normal youthful position AND lifts sagging lateral thighs greatly smoothing away cellulite. I prefer to perform the Buttock Lift 6 months or more after a Tummy Tuck to allow my patients a smoother recovery as well as to allow me to lift the lateral and anterior thighs and correct any sagging that took place after the Tummy Tuck has healed.

Which one should YOU have? It totally up to you. Either you you will look a LOT better and odds are you will have a hard time remembering you ever looked the way you do today or when you were bigger.

Good Luck!

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Body Lift, vs. tummy tuck

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To me, your flank area has a lot of excess skin/fat, possible muscle weakness.  I don't see quarter views or back views to tell.   Only an exam can tell for sure.

Another thing to think of.  If you don't feel satisfied with your tt, you can go back in a year, and get the back done.  It is safer, and easier recovery.

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Lower body lift surgery or abdominoplasty?

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After significant weight loss there is often loose skin involving the abdomen, lateral thighs, and buttocks.  The best procedure for any patient depends on the aspects of their shape that they are interested in improving.  If all someone is interested in fixing is their abdomen then an abdominoplasty is all that is necessary.  If their goal is to also improve the shape of their lateral thighs, hips, and buttocks then something else is needed to improve that too.  A lower body lift is a much more powerful procedure in reshaping the body after significant weight loss.  It also for tightening of the abdomen, lateral thigh and correction of droopiness of the buttocks.  I will also often perform reshaping of the buttocks in order to avoid a flat look after surgery.  The best surgery really depends on what goals someone has.  Only by starting with the end result in mind can the best surgical procedure be recommended.

Jason E. Leedy, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Tummy Tuck versus Lower Body Lift

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You have several options.  Basically the lower body lift or circumferential body lift has an incision that goes all the way around your body (including the abdominoplasty incision).  You can have it all done at one time or stage it.  My usual suggestion is to stage it into two different procedures so that your recovery is less involved.  However, after examining you, determining your health status, etc, you and your surgeon can decide what is best for you.


Good Luck.

Abdominoplasty vs. thigh buttock lift

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Your posted photo shows a lot of excess abdominal skin so you are clearly a candidate for a tummy tuck - abdominopalsty. A side and back view however are necessary to see how far towards the back the excess abdominal skin fold extends and to see if the buttocks are drooping. I would guess your best options are really extended abdominoplasty vs. lower body lift. In a lower body lift the incision goes all the way around you, 360 degrees. In an extended abdominoplasty the outer ends of the incsion extend toward the back but do not meet in the midline of the back. That depends to some degree on how far back the fold of the hanging abdominal skin extends. The lower body lift is indicated when there is also a lot of excess thigh skin and the buttocks are sagging as well. Without these last 2 components there would be no need for the lower body lift.

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

How to Decide Between a Tummy Tuck and a Lower Body Lift?

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Thank you for your question and congratulations on your successful weight loss.  The tummy tuck procedure addresses the anterior abdominal wall whereas the lower body lift addresses the torso circumferentially.   In other words, the lower body lift will address the lateral thighs, back and buttocks areas (to some degree).

 Which operation you should undergo will depend on your areas of concern (goals) best communicated directly with your plastic surgeon in front of a full-length mirror and with the help of goal photographs.

 Best wishes.

Tummy Tuck vs Lower Body Lift

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They are technically separate procedures.  However, they can be performed at the same time.  A tummy tuck is basically contouring the front part of the torso, the body lift extending this to the back part of the torso plus helps lift the gluteus.  Some patients have a tummy tuck first, then proceed with the lower body lift at a later time.  However if you desire the lower body lift for sure , then the tummy tuck portion is usually performed at the same time to get the full circumferential effect.

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Tummy tuck vs body lift

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Thank you for your question. A consultation would help determine which of the following procedures is the right one for you:

1) Traditional tummy tuck: Reduces a great amount of skin laxity, tightens the abdominal wall muscles and keeps the incision hidden in the underwear line.
2) An extended tummy tuck: Same as a tummy tuck, but helps to reduce more skin laxity around the flanks.
3) A corset tummy tuck: Adds a vertical scar and breast fold scar, but reduces a significant amount of vertical skin laxity in addition to the horizontal skin laxity and creates the most hour-glass type figure. Downside is more visible scar
4) A belt lipectomy (or lower body lift) helps lift the outer thighs and buttock in addition to the benefits of an extended tummy tuck.

Based on your photos, options 3 and 4 will give you the strongest result. I would recommend visiting with a board certified plastic surgeon who can spend time with you to explain the different options in more detail.

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.