We are a leading provider of lower body lift surgery in Portland, Oregon. A lower body lift is a tummy tuck combined with a circumferential thigh and buttock lift. This remarkable procedure treats the trunk from the rib margin to the thighs as an entire aesthetics area.
An increasing number of patients are requesting body contouring to remove excess skin remaining after massive weight loss. Whether you are unable to lose the weight with diet and exercise alone or you have excess skin from massive weight loss, body contouring could work for you.
Lower Body Lift Versus Abdominoplasty
Some patients with excess abdominal skin and fat are inclined to proceed with an abdominoplasty. Also, since the lower body lift procedure is not universally performed by plastic surgeons some surgeons will not present the lower body lift as an option to patients. However, in patients with excessive abdominal skin excess, which extends to the flanks, an abdominoplasty is often inadequate to fully treat the affected areas. In such cases, a circumferential procedure such as the lower body lift should be considered. Indeed, in patients with circumferential skin excess, the lower body lift is the most powerful and effective procedure for full rejuvenation of the trunk.
Some surgeons will recommend an abdominoplasty as a first-stage procedure and treatment of the back and flanks as the second operation. In some patients, this strategy may be effective. However, in many cases a staged approach leads to under-treatment of the flanks and the outer thighs. In addition, an abdominoplasty-only approach in patients with marked skin excess of the flanks will often lead to less than optimal skin removal at the front of the abdomen. For all the above reasons, we usually recommend a lower body lift for patients with significant skin excess around the waistline.
Candidates for a lower body lift must be in good health and near ideal body weight. For all patients that have undergone weight loss, especially those that have lost weight after bariatric surgery, the weight should be at an optimal low level and stable. In most cases, female patients should be finished having children before proceeding with lower body lift surgery.
About Lower Body Lift Surgery
Once you have decided to proceed with the surgery, our staff will begin preparing you. We will see you for a preoperative evaluation in our office about two weeks before your surgery. We will ask you that you stop taking certain medications, especially those such as aspirin that can affect bleeding.
We will also ask you to stop taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy as those has been associated with increased risk of blood clots after surgery. In addition, if you smoke cigarettes, we will ask that you quit cigarette smoking in the weeks before surgery. This is critical, as cigarettes have severe adverse effects on tissue healing and put patients at increased risk for wound healing problems after surgery. Indeed, the wounds from a lower body lift procedure are long and thick and can be difficult to heal. To ensure an optimal chance for healing, variables before surgery such as cessation of cigarette smoking and a good nutritional status must be optimized.
Lower Body Lift Procedures Details
We have extensive experience in performing lower body lift procedures. We feel that our experience and integrated staff approach gives our patients the best chance of an optimal outcome.
There are multiple terms that may be used to describe a lower body lift procedure. These include a circumferential abdominoplasty and belt lipectomy. We categorize all the circumferential procedures as lower body lifts. However, the procedure is tailored to the individual patient’s need. In some cases, the skin removal may be emphasized at the waistline. In other cases, the skin removal may emphasize the outer thighs and buttocks. These are significant procedural differences which are tailored to the individual patient. Our experience with all the variations of skin excess and body forms allow us to provide optimal results for all types of lower body lift patients.
Anesthesia for a Lower Body Lift
A lower body lift is a lengthy and complex procedure. We performed the lower body lift using general anesthesia. Therefore, you will have no pain or awareness during surgery. However, we use a rapid recovery anesthetic technique so that our patients are awake immediately after surgery. The general anesthetic is augmented with local anesthetic use in the abdominal region. Like all our procedures, we perform the lower body lift at our affiliated surgery center, the Meridian Center for Surgical Excellence. The Meridian Center for Surgical Excellence was designed with lower body lift surgery procedure in mind. Therefore, the surgery center is equipped to provide optimal support for our patient, the anesthesia provider and surgical staff.
Lower Body Lift Technique
A lower body lift is a circumferential procedure. Therefore, to prepare you for surgery, the skin around the body from the collar bone to the ankles must be prepared while you are standing in the operating room. After that, you are positioned on the sterile operating table. You are then gently placed under general anesthesia.
The key incision for the lower body lift is placed along the lower abdomen and flanks and just above the buttocks. This incision and the areas for skin removal are designed with long-term aesthetics in consideration. The incisions are guided based on markings that are placed immediately before surgery (drawing these markings after you wear your favorite underwear) so that the incisions are designed to keep the scar within the underwear line. With this technique, most of our patients can wear low-rise pants without exposure of their scars. After the procedure, the incisions are covered with tape and soft gauze dressings. In some cases, an abdominal binder or compressive liposuction garment is placed to hold the dressings in position.
Lower Body Lift and Body Jet Liposuction
Liposuction is used as a concurrent procedure to contour the areas treated with the lower body lift that are not improved by skin removal or tissue lifting and repositioning. Often liposuction is performed with a lower body lift procedure to treat the pubic area, back and thighs. The combination of the skin removal and liposuction allows us to perform optimal body sculpting. We use water-assisted liposuction with the body jet liposuction machine.
Body Lift Recovery
The recovery begins at the Meridian Center for Surgical Excellence. There you will recover for one to two hours, so you are awake, have good pain control and can take oral medications. You are then discharged to recover at home.
The lower body lift procedure is a major commitment in time and energy postoperatively. Expect to need at least two to three weeks to recover from this procedure before you can return to basic work and home activities. After four to six weeks you may resume light exercise and after six weeks you will resume full activity.
After your lower body lift you will find that your tummy is flat, and the pubic area and groin areas are elevated into normal positions. Also, your waistline and flanks will be flat and narrowed and the outer thighs and buttocks will be elevated. The results are very dramatic and life-changing for most patients and usually greatly exceed the results that can be accomplished with an abdominoplasty alone.
Since smoking has an adverse effect on the wound healing and infection after surgery, lower body lift and body jet liposuction surgery are not performed in smokers. In some patients with marked weight loss, standard nutritional parameters may be abnormal. It is important that nutritional intake and status is within normal limits before undergoing lower body lift surgery.
A lower body lift is a major surgical procedure. Indeed, this is one of the most complex and lengthy body contouring procedures performed today. Candidates for this procedure must understand the complexity of the procedure and be prepared for a lengthy and challenging post postoperative recovery.
Lower Body Lift and Buttock Augmentation
With a lower body lift the buttocks are lifted and reduced in size. In some patients the buttocks are small and flat before surgery. A lower body lift can make such flattening worse. A nice solution to this problem is to perform simultaneous buttock augmentation.
The classic approach to simultaneous buttock augmentation is to use the adjacent tissues. With this procedure the fatty tissues above the buttocks (that are normally discarded with the body lift procedure) are sculpted and repositioned into the mid-buttocks to provide a rounder, fuller and more projecting buttocks. While effective, this approach can lead to problems such as wound breakdown, fluid collections, and chronic discomfort.
Our preferred approach is to transfer fat into the buttocks at the time of the lower body lift and later as a second stage procedure if needed. This buttock fat grafting technique is like the Brazilian Butt Lift. It is safe, effective, and has a lower complication rate than the classic autologous augmentation technique.
Treat the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs in one procedure with a lower body lift. Schedule a consultation at our office in Portland. Call (503) 783-0544 to get started.