Would a Plastic Surgeon Do a Lower Body Lift if the Patient Hasn't Met the Goal Weight?

I'm 40, had 2 children via c-section. I'm 5'10. At my max weight I was 260lbs. Now 220lbs. 3 dr.'s have told me I'm not big enough for The Band. I've had c5, 6 and 7 fusion. When I tighten my stomach muscles I have pain and my stomach forms a strange large cone shape. Most of my weight is in my stomach, as I am asked daily, when is the baby coming. Would the lower body lift benefit me? I want to be healthy and be able to move around with less pain in my stomach and neck. Please advise.

Doctor Answers 9

Would a Plastic Surgeon Do a Lower Body Lift if the Patient Hasn't Met the Goal Weight?

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Goal weight is not as essential for you. Since you have not had a lap band or gastric bypass there is no "goal weight". Before undergoing reconstructive plastic surgery, I would ask that your weight be stable for at least three months Before surgery, I would ask that you conscientiously diet and exercise for about three months. Since you did not include pictures, I cannot accurately determine if you need an abdominoplasty or 360 bodylift. To determine if you need an abdominoplasty or a 360 bodylift, you need to decide if your hips and buttocks bother you. If you are content with your hips and buttocks, I would suggest an abdominoplasty. If the excess skin and fat of your hips does bother you, I would suggest a 360 lower bodylift. Congratulations on your weight loss. Good luck on your reconstructive plastic surgery journey. Sincerely,

Dr. Katzen.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Weight loss and body lift

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I think that once you hit your goal weight it is probably OK to have the lower body lift. I certainly have treated patients at 220 lbs without major complications. It really depends upon how high your weight was to start with and where you are now.  An exam in person would be most beneficial.

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

Lower Body Lift after Goal Weight

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A lower body lift is a procedure that all patients choose to only have done once. In order to do it right you must be at a stable and healthy body weight. We take into consideration your current body weight and see that the risks and the potential for good results are lower now than if you were at the healthy target weight for someone your height. If you find that your weight loss is hard to achieve it might be best to see a weight loss doctor to help you achieve your goal; then you could consider the procedure. Your safety and best results are always our priority. 

How much weight to lose before lower body lift?

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There are a few things to consider when searching for your goal weight:

Have a goal and work towards it. If it is unrealistic you may have to change it. It does you no good to achieve a goal weight that you cannot keep

Once there, allow your weight to stabilize ( recognizing that some fluctuations will occur) for 3 months.

We know that when your BMI is over 30 you start increasing your risk associated with the procedure ( risk is higher due to the nature of the procedure alone)

When your BMI is above 35 it rises even further. 

It is great to look good after losing weight but we must achieve this safely!

Jeffrey Kenkel, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck

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As you heard idealy would like to see you loose a little more weight. However if you are comfortable with your present weight I see no reason not to proceed if you understand that you are at a higher risk for complications.

I am concerned about your description of the abdomen, when you tighten the abdominal muscles you get a cone shaped bulge, could this be a VENTRAL HERNIA? and that is what is causing the discomfort.

If that is the case then you need a tummy tuck and ventral hernia repair, the extent of the repair depend on the size and the amount of muscle seperation. In that case I would do your surgery in the hospital and keep you 24 hours in the hospital and start you on blood thinners.


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Bodylift Surgery

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Dear Kaco,e

Unfortunately, it would be extremely difficult to give you an answer as to whether a body lift would help you without seeing you or at least pictures of you.

That being said, when calculating your Body Mass Index, which takes into account your height and weight, it is 31. A person who undergoes major surgery with a BMI over 30 is at a greater risk for complications.

But through a healthy diet and exercise I'm sure you could easily get yourself to a more ideal weight to have a big surgical procedure.

I would recommend you see a plastic surgeon who can thoroughly evaluate you and answer your questions thoroughly.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.


Body lift before achieving full weight loss

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As with any surgery, your best results from surgery would be when your weight is stable and you are no longer losing/gaining weight.  Your description of an uncomfortable bulge in your abdomen when you tighten your stomach muscles suggests that you might also have a hernia in your abdomen.  You might check with your doctor to confirm this as it might require surgery to repair.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lower body lift before meeting weight loss goal

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Thank you for your question. While it is unreasonable to expect you to reach your ideal body weight, the results from the surgery are better and the complications less if you approach your target weight. You have done a great job in losing 40 pounds, but lossing some additional weight will make your ultimate result much better.

There are many opinions on limits of BMI and weight before surgery. However, these should be used as guidelines rather than absolute rules. Every person is different and needs to be assessed individually. This can only be done with a full consultation and examination.

I would suggest meeting with a plastic surgeon who has experience with body lifts. They can look at your torso and develop a plan with you.

Best of luck with your ongoing weight loss.

Jeff Rockmore

Lower Body Lift if the Patient Hasn't Met the Goal Weight?

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The risk benefit ration is less favorable with somewhat higher risk, and lower the outcome not quite as good.  Some photos would help me make my own personal guess. 

If you really can't lose more weight, that is a consideration.Often a BMI of 30 is a "cutoff" to some surgeons, and you are close enough (31.4).

Again without a photo I wouldn't speculate as to whether a tummy tuck or a lower body lift is in order.  A tummy tuck alone would be preferable in this setting if more is not needed. 

Consider reposting this question with photos attached. When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S. Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.