Tummy Tuck vs. Body Lift

I am a 27 year old mother of 3. I'm 5'5" and 133 lbs. Have been planning my mommy makeover for a while now and have even had a couple of consults. I am having a breast lift and implants. I was also planning a tummy tuck and it was suggested to consider a medial thigh lift as this area drives me crazy. I don't have much fat on my body, just lots of stretch marks and some saggy skin. I am not at all excited about the scars in my groin, because I've heard that they always migrate down and show, so bathing suites would be an issue. I was looking at the pics of body lifts and wondering if this would be a better option? How well does the inner thigh area get lifted? Wouldn't mind a little boost in the booty anyway... I don't mind the scar from the body lift that goes all the way around, but I don't want to do this if the thigh results aren't substantial... Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 25

Tummy Tuck vs. Body Lift Surgery

The upper third of front of thigh and the outer thigh is lifted reasonably well with a body lift as are the hips and the buttocks. The inner thigh is not lifted at all in a body lift. A  medial thigh lift is ideal for a woman who is willing to accept the scar, which can be concealed in shorts but often not in a swimsuit. It is definitely a trade-off which requires an individual to determine if that trade-off is acceptable when weighing the pros and cons.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Medial thighs and abdominoplasty

I think a well done abdominoplasty (where the skin and fat are undermined in the suprapubic region and pulled up tight and Scarpas fascia is carefully closed) can improve the medical thigh quite a bit, expecially if there is not a lot of extra fat.  Try this on yourself.  Stand in front of the mirror and grab a handful of your lower abdominal fat and yank it up.  See the improvement in your medial thigh?  Your post-surgical improvment won't be as much as you may be able to demonstrate, but it will be significant.  I personally am not crazy about medial thigh lifts unless there is a lot of laxity.  It's a tough area to get to heal well and the scar can be nasty.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Massive weight Loss Surgery Options

Both tummy tuck and body lift surgery are utilized to address excess skin in the trunk area. Tummy tuck surgery addresses loose, saggy skin when the abdomen is the primary area of involvement. When this excess skin extends posteriorly into the back, a circumferential body lift may be necessary. This procedure also elevates the buttocks in an upward direction. Both procedures lift the thighs, but this is more pronounced with a body lift procedure because more skin is removed.

Both of these procedures minimally impact the medial thighs when excess skin is present in this area. Under these circumstances, a secondary medial thigh lift may prove necessary.

In your particular case, it's virtually impossible to make a treatment recommendation without pictures or a physical examination. For this reason, 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 addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

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

Contouring options

Its really difficult to tell what you need wihout photos and a  physical exam.  If you are considering a lower body lift - this procedure (LBL) is also referred to as  circumferential body lift = belt lipectomy.  This procedure is essentially 3 procedures in one: extended tummy tuck + waist/lateral thigh lift + buttock lift.  The buttock lift can also include buttock augmentation.  The lateral thigh lift will help contour the lateral aspect of your thighs.  The procedure can taken between 5-7 hours depending on the amount of tissue/skin that needs removal/treatment.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options.

Dr. Sugene Kim

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs Body Lift; Go conservative first

I would not rush to jump into a body lift so soon.  Without an examination it's hard to tell, but a mommy makeover would seem very reasonable.  You will get a tremendous improvement just from that procedure alone.  Your breast will be improved, Your abdomen will be tightened and there will be some lift on your thighs.  If after having this procedure you feel that you need more lift in the flanks and buttocks, then you can have your posterior lifted.  Make sure you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy Tuck v. Lower Body Lift

Both a tummy tuck and a lower body lift give improvement in the thighs by pulling on adjacent areas.  I often will have patents wait until after the body lift or abdominoplasty before making a decision on thighs because considerable improvement is possible.  A body lift allows more thigh  improvement than the tummy tuck because a wider belt of skin can be removed on the sides giving better lateral pull.  The decision on which is best for you should be carefully considered with a surgeon with lots of experience in both procedures.  I generally reserve medial thigh lifts for people with extreme excess of skin.  There needs to be a good upside to trade for the scar.

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

Body Lifting

Thank you for your question.

This is difficult to answer without examining you to see how much of an improvement the inner thigh lift will provide.  I would highly suggest that you meet with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons who work with weight loss patients (different skin elasticity issues, etc.).  Also, I do not recommend doing all of these procedures at the same time. You may want to consider doing the lower body lift and after things have healed, you can re-assess the inner thighs to see if they still bother you.

If you do decide to proceed with the inner thigh lifting surgery, you do have to be realistic in regards to trading off the loose skin for some scarring.

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Body lift and inner thighs

Lots of good advice has been given to you. In general I tell patients that are doing a lower body lift that in fact there is a 20-30% improvement in your inner thighs. The inner thighs are some what lifted. Of course individuals who have significant excess, need a medial thigh lift at some point. Significant past experience has thought all of us who do a lot of massive weight loss body contouring not to do a medial thigh lift at the same time that a lower body lift is being done. There are many reasons behind this including the fact that you might not need it after the body lift. So get good advice and see if you need a body lift. Once that is determined then address your thighs at 3-6 months after that. Good luck.

Sepehr Egrari, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Lower body lift wont help your inner thighs

A circumferential abdominoplasty (i.e. lower bodylift or belt lipectomy) is an excellent operation that is designed to address the laxity of the torso. The tightening effect will translate to the outer thigh somewhat, but there will be no effect on the inner thighs. You will need an inner thighlift.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

What is lifted by a body lift?

Body lifts work well with tummy tucks.  The body lift and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) will together lift and tighten the abdomen, back, hips, buttock, posterior thigh, lateral thigh, and anterior thigh.  The medial thigh is least effected with the body lift and often requires its own operation.  For limited skin excess, the scar can be tucked high in the groin.  After massive weight loss patients will also need an incision (which leaves a scar) lengthwise along the inner thigh to achieve adequate inner thigh skin tightening.  From your question, I am unclear if you have lost a lot of weight or you just have a little skin excess.  When a groin incision is sufficient, the strong, deep layer under the inner thigh skin is secured to the dense, strong tissues high in the groin to limit the downward scar migration.  If migration occurs. revisions are possible.  You should discuss these concerns with your surgeon so you know exactly which operations will address your issues.

Bruce E. Genter, MD, FACS
Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 16 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.