How Long After Excess Weight Loss is the Ideal Time for a Body Lift?

When should someone consult a surgeon to discuss a body lift? Should the surgeon see the patient while they are loosing weight or after reaching an ideal weight? Will removing any excess skin cause scarring? Will the skin still look natural?

Doctor Answers 15

How Long After Excess Weight Loss is the Ideal Time for a Body Lift?

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Thank you for your question.  Congratulations on your weight loss.  Your weight should be stable for 3-6 months.  Get to your ideal weight or close to it before your body contouring surgery.  Consult with a board certified Plastic surgeon.  Best wishes!


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A consultation with a surgeon can be done whenever you are ready to discuss your best options for obtaining the look you desire.  Before scheduling a consultation be sure the surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon who also has experience treating patients who have successfully lost large amounts of weight.  I request all of my patients be at a stable weight for at least 3 months before proceeding with any cosmetic surgery.  In regards to scarring, unfortunately with any surgery there will be a scar.  During a body lift a circumferential incision is made that typically can be hidden with underwear or a bathing suit bottom.  How that scar will look depends on your body and how you heal.  If in the future the scar is too unsightly for you, a scar revision can be done to try and improve the appearance of the scar.  However, a scar can never be completely removed.  Be sure to discuss all of your concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon.  You should have a thorough physical exam to confirm that you are a good candidate for a body lift.

Be well and good luck!


Ideal time for a body lift

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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 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.

Timing of Body Lift after massive weight loss

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Lower Body Lift Timing after Significant Weight Loss

This is a good time to set up a consultation so that you will be well informed of the procedures that are recommended, be able to do some research, find out how long the recovery period is and to make sure you have picked the right doctor. I personally like to have patients maintain their stable weight for a minimum of 6 months and one year is even better to be an ideal candidate

When to consider plastic surgery after weight loss?

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I think you should make sure you are not active losing weight.   If your weight loss has stablized for a period of 4-6 months, then you are likely ready to consider body contouring procedures.   Please visit with a board certified PS to learn more about your options.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

After massive weight loss, when is the best time for a 360 bodylift?

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Weight stability is the most important consideration when contemplating a 360 body lift.  Your weight should be stable for about 6 months.  In general, most of my patients lose the majority of their weight 8-12 months after a RNY, duodenal switch, and sleeve procedures.  Patients who have lost their weight with a lap-band, typically, have lost their weight after 20-22 months.  These are generalizations and every patient is different.  Weight stability after massive weight loss is the key, not the number of months after a procedure.  Weight fluctuations of 3-5 pounds are acceptable.  However, you should not have a 360 body lift if you are gaining weight; this would not give you great results. 

Once your weight has stabilized, I would suggest you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in massive weight loss patients.  I would suggest you see this plastic surgeon after you have lost the weight because areas that may not have concerned you before the complete weight loss, may concern you more after you have lost all your weight.  I have had patients who at first were only concerned about their abdomen, and we had planned an abdominoplasty.  However, after their complete weight loss, they were concerned about their abdomen, hips, saddlebags, and buttocks.  The surgical plan was then changed from an abdominoplasty to a 360 body lift.

Yes, the 360 body lift will leave a scar.  The final scar is multi-factorial.  The final result depends on your plastic surgeon's technique, your healing, and post-operative care.  Overall, most 360 body lift scar are "acceptable".  Almost all of my massive weight loss patients would trade in all that excess skin and fat for a 360 body lift scar. 

A 360 body lift should lead to a significant improvement  in your body shape and form.  It should result in a flat abdomen, minimized saddlebags, and a raised buttock.  Good luck in your weight loss journey.  Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

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

Body lift after massive weight-loss.

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There is significant discomfort to having a lot if loose skin. Basically, it all gets in the way and is hard to take care of. Therefore, once you feel like you are stable at a certain weight, which you are happy with, you can proceed with surgery to remove the excess skin and lift the area of concern.

Ramin Behmand, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Best timing for Body Lift after Significant Weight Loss

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The best time to pursue surgery is at least 6 months after weight loss has stabilized. During significant weight loss, particularly with gastric bypass surgery, there is a period of relative malnutrition in the body. Once weight stabilizes, the body builds its stores back, and that takes at least 6 months. Optimal nutrition is critical to optimal surgical healing and outcomes.

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

Timing of Post Weight Loss Body Lift

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The timing of post weight loss body contouring and body lift surgery should be considered only after the patient has reached their goal weight and been stable at that weight for several months.  Then, only after appropriate medical clearance would surgery be considered.

Patients often require more than one, and even several procedures to achieve their body contouring goals.   

These include Facelift, Brachioplasty or arm lift, breast lift, upper body lift, abdominoplasty, lower body lift, thigh lift and buttock lift.  

Because of this a strategy for sequencing  and when appropriate combining surgeries is needed. 

A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is necessary for proper evaluation and discussion of your treatment options.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Consultation For Body Lift

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Even though you should delay your body lift until you have reached a stable weight (hopefully at or near you ideal weight), it sounds as if you have enough questions that it would be beneficial for you to proceed now with an initial consultation.  Removing you rexcess skin will definitely result in scarring which will vary a good bit from patient to patient.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville 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.