A lower body lift, sometimes called a belt lipectomy, combines a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) with a thigh lift. People who have lost a lot of weight, often through bariatric surgery, sometimes want to have a lower body lift to remove excess sagging skin. Other people who want a tummy tuck may also opt to tighten the skin in their thighs at the same time.
The cosmetic surgeons at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, Maryland, will do a lower body lift to tighten loose sagging skin in the abdomen, posterior thighs, hips, outer thighs and anterior thighs.
What to expect during a lower body lift
The plastic surgeon makes incisions from the back around to the front of thighs to allow excess skin and fat tissue to be removed. The remaining tissue is used to stretch and smooth the lower body. The procedure can be an outpatient procedure.
Recovery from a lower body lift
You will have some discomfort, however, this is expected and typically easily controlled with pain medications. Discomfort will dissipate over a week or two after the surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication for you to take after you return home. You will also need to wear a compression garment for a few weeks after the surgery, and your plastic surgeon may recommend that you follow a special diet.
You will need to take at least two weeks off of work and will have to restrict normal activity for 4-6 weeks. You will have to wait approximately 6-8 weeks before you can resume exercise. Swelling should begin to disappear in a matter of weeks and resolve completely in a few months. While the scars will be permanent, they will fade in about 12 months and can be hidden by clothing.