Weight Loss After Body Lift

If I lose weight after my body lift procedure, will the skin become loose again? I'm not really planning on losing extra weight after my surgeries, but if I were to lose weight during the recovery period (I hear body lift recovery is pretty harsh), would that ruin the work?

Doctor Answers 17

Weight Loss after Body Lift

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Thank you for your question.

You should be at your baseline / stable weight prior to having surgery.  During the recovery process, you may have some weight gain/loss and that does not affect the results (usually not more than 10 pounds), but if you lose a significant amount of weight after any type of surgery then it will affect the results.  After the tummy tuck surgery, if a patient loses 15 pounds or more, they will notice loose skin.

The recovery process is very important (and a bit difficult) but as long as you have realistic expectations and someone to help you through the recovery, you should be fine.

Best Wishes

Weight loss after body contouring (body lift)

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Ideally you should try to maintain your body weight after a body lift or any body contouring procedure (tummy tuck or arm lift).  The reason for this is to maintain your skin tone and not loosen the tight result which was obtained during your surgery.  A mild amount of weight loss (10 lbs) if done gradually, should not affect your result too much.  However a larger or more sudden amount of weight loss can possibly compromise your cosmetic result.

Discuss this in more detail with your plastic surgeon prior to planning your body lift.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Weight loss after body lift not recommended.

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During the healing period, you will have reduced activities, and modest fluctuations in weight (up or down) should not affect your overall result to any great degree. That being said, if you have not yet reached a healthy plateau in your weight, it is best to defer surgery so you will get the best result possible.

As far as "harsh," I have been doing outpatient body lifts in our accredited office surgical facility for 13 years, and we have over 250 body lift cases during this period of time (obviously, more recently). Our patients often walk (assisted) to their cars, and every patient is expected to return the next day for recheck. Patients are up and moving around, and often require no strong pain medication after a few days. Some require longer; every patient is different.

What you need to know is that body lifting does NOT HAVE to be a "big operation" requiring hospital stay or expensive inpatient care and surgery. I believe that not exposing patients to other sick patients or hospital bacteria is a significant benefit of outpatient surgery that forces patients to be up, active, and moving around, which further reduces the risk of blood clots.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

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The Impact of Weight Loss on Body Lift Results

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This is highly dependent upon how much weight is lost. A modest weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds can enhance tummy tuck results. A 50 pound weight loss, on the other hand, could negatively impact the skin tone over the abdomen and other areas. It is best to be at a weight that can be maintained before pursuing body lift surgery.


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The simple answer to your question is yes your skin could become loose again with significant weight loss after any surgery.  If this happens, revision procedures can be done to excise the loose skin at a later time.  I recommend my patients wait 6 months before having any revisions done because if revisions are done too soon, the risk for the need of another revision procedure increases.  As far as the recovery process after a body lift, every patient is different so what someone considers pretty harsh someone else would consider mildly uncomfortable but during your recovery it is possible that you could lose a few pounds if your food intake lessens after surgery.  However, in my experience most patients do not lose enough weight during their recovery period to have an effect on the long term result of their body lift.  Be sure to research only board certified plastic surgeons in your area.  Then schedule a consultation for a thorough exam to confirm you are a candidate for a body lift.

Be well and good luck!


Weight loss after bodylift

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Weight changes after body contouring surgery are common. Some weight may be gained due to fluid retention and swelling, then you may gain weight due to less activity during recovery. Later, as swelling improves and activity increases, weight may be lost. Some patients are able to be even more active a few months after surgery as they are able to exercise more. Small weight fluctuations (+/- 10 pounds) are unlikely to make noticeable changes in your new look and won't undo the body contouring procedures. A large weight change (>50 pounds) would be more likely to affect your results.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Weight Loss After Body Lift

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You want to proceed with a body lift once you have stablized in your weight loss.  (in other words you are still not losing significant weight).   Addtional weight loss after body lift surgery may necessitate additional skin tightening procedures.  Since a body lift is a fairly involved procedure, most plastic surgeons will recommend this procedure after you done with your weight loss and your weight has been stable for several months.

Now if you've already had your body lift and you lose a few pounds during your recovery period, don't worry, you will likely be just fine.   Losing a few pounds after surgery is not a big deal.  However, if you lose 10, 20, or 30+ lbs, you will likely experience a recurrence of skin laxity. hence, you may need additional skin tightening procedures.

Weight Loss after Body Contouring

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Patients who still have a large amount of weight to lose when they seek out plastic surgery for body contouring need to know that if they lose more weight after surgery, there is the possibility of a need for further surgery. Further surgery can range from a "touch-up" done in the office under local anesthesia to a full revision requiring a formal surgical procedure. 

Most patients who seek out a body lift do so after losing a majority of their excess weight. Patients who have been overweight for extended periods often no longer have effective elasticity of their skin and as they lose weight, their skin starts to sag. An analogy I give my patients is the transformation of a balloon (healthy elastic skin) to a plastic grocery bag (worn-out inelastic skin). 

In my office, each patient is evaluated as an individual examining such factors as skin quality and elasticity, stretch marks, and excess fat still present. These findings are discussed with the patient and all options and long term results are discussed as well. 

Weight loss after Body Lift improves result.

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Depending on your size before a body lift, some weight loss after the procedure can improve the result. If you have already lost the majority of your weight and you have the surgery a small amount of weight loss will not affect the result.  However, if you are just starting the process of weight loss and have a body lift to jump start the process then additional weight loss will improve the result. Often patients elect to have liposuction to improve the total body contour at the time of a body lift.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Post-operative Weight Loss

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When weight loss occurs following lower body lift surgery, the response varies from patient to patient depending upon a multitude of variables. When weight loss is relatively minor, the vast majority of patients don't notice changes in their bodies. In contrast, significant weight loss can result in the development of loose, saggy skin.

Under these circumstances, revisional lower body lift surgery may be necessary. For these reasons, we generally recommend that patients be within 10% of their ideal body weight before proceeding with lower body lift surgery. When this approach is taken, the need for secondary revisional surgery is markedly decreased.

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.