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

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

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,448 reviews

Weight loss after body contouring (body lift)

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 365 reviews

Weight loss after body lift not recommended.

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 248 reviews

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Post-operative Weight Loss

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.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
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The Impact of Weight Loss on Body Lift Results

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.

Christopher K. Patronella, MD, FACS
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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!


Morgan E. Norris, III, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Be sure your weight is right BEFORE you body lift.

One area where pre-operative screening is key is when making plans for body lifting.  I need to know that they have achieved a weight within 10% of their goal.  For example, if the realistic goal is 150 pounds, then 165 is okay but 175 is not.  Body lifting is a big step.  We (the patient and I) need to be sure that it is a single step and not just the first rung of a staircase that may never end.  The best policy is:  Do it once and do it right!

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Body lift results

If you loose or gain significant amounts of weight following post bariatric body contouring your results could be affected. That is why we like patient to maintain there weight for at least 6 months prior to undergoing these procedures. If you did loose weight there may be a need to remove additional skin

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Weight loss and body lift

You are always better to get to your goal weight before undergoing a body lift.  It may sag more after losing weight.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Weight loss after body lift

Loss of weight during the immediate recovery process of a body lift will not substantially affect your longterm result.   The best results are obtained when patients have the body lift procedure at their ideal weight.   This mean that they have not only met their target weight, but maintained it for greater than six months.

This tells the surgeon that the patient can not only maintain a healthy weight, but has the dedication to maintain a healthy lifestyle.    At this point, a bodylift will address the excess skin and deliver a life changing result.  

The ideal bodylift result will be achieved at your ideal weight.   It is important to demostrate the ability to maintain a healthy weight longterm, as significant weight fluctuation post bodylift will affect the end result.  This is where close followup with a dietician and bariatric medicine physician is crucial to ensure longterm success.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 85 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.