I think it's a good idea to start planning before you're ready. The plan needs to be individualized for each patient so it's a good idea to have a consultation before the time that you think that it's the most suitable time in your life to have the body lift. When someone is actively losing, they can get an idea of what's about to happen, where their problems will be, where the skin is going to retract, where they are going to have excess. And a meeting with the plastic surgeon can help them to make a plan for what the future will hold.

The procedure should probably not occur until weight is fairly stabilized. You don't necessarily have to be at your ideal weight but getting close to it is a good idea. It also depends upon where the residual weight is left. For example, if you've lost a lot of weight throughout your body but still have a great deal right in your stomach and you're going to have a lower body lift or a tummy tuck anyhow, and that weight is going to be discarded, you don't really have to diet that weight away before having your procedure.

It varies from person to person. If you deflated enough so there's very little subcutaneous fat left, you won't see a lot of change on the scale itself. Hopefully, you'll see a dramatic change in body shape. For some women, we might see a good 10 or 20 pounds that could come off around that time. It may look like a great deal more of weight came off than actually did come off the scale.

There are long scars but you're able to get rid of a great deal of skin that has no way of bouncing back on its own. For most people, it's a transformation. It's a really life-changing decision to make and the scars are a small price to pay.

I like them to choose it for themselves. I like them to come with an open mind without numbers or measurements in mind. I like them to try on sizes in front of a mirror without knowing the numbers at first, and I want them just to get an idea of where their comfort zone is. When they get to a look that they like, something that they think matches their waist and hips, then we take out the implants. We look at the numbers, we take some chest wall measurements, then we pull out the chart of the various sizes that are available and fine tune it. If we've done work for you anatomically, we altered the profile or some variable about it. But I think coming with an open mind is really important in getting a good result.

When to Start Planning a Body Lift for Post- Massive Weight Loss

Dr. Mary Lee Peters discusses when the right time is to begin planning with a plastic surgeon for a body lift.