After Weight Loss

Lower Body Lift Houston

Lower body lift or a belt lipectomy can offer a dramatic change in appearance for massive weight loss (MWL) patients or those who are victims of time, gravity or genetic predispositions. This procedure is tailored toward those who not only have excess skin in the abdominal area, but sagging tissue extending 360 degrees around their torso. Body lift surgery helps elevate the entire lower body by tightening the abdominal wall and removing excess skin on the tummy, thighs and buttocks. In some cases, liposuction may be combined with the lower body lift to further enhance the results of the procedure.

A lower body lift offers the following benefits:

  • Removes excess, hanging skin after weight loss
  • Prevents skin rashes and irritation from skin folds rubbing together
  • May improve mobility that has been hindered by large skin folds
  • Helps clothing fit better and provides a more streamlined body contour
  • Puts the final touch on your weight loss efforts with a new body profile

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Lower Body Lift Houston

Options in Lower Body Lifts
A lower body lift may be performed alone or in combination with the following procedures:

Tummy tuck – this procedure focuses on excess fat and skin from the abdominal area

Liposuction – used to remove isolated pockets of fat that have not responded to diet and exercise

Breast lift – removes excess tissue and skin from the breasts and moves them to a more youthful position

Arm lift – focuses on excess skin below the upper arm, resembling “bat wings”

Dr. Rappaport will make a full assessment of your needs prior to surgery and discuss options with you. As a surgeon who is experienced in all types of lift procedures, he can create a customized procedure that will provide you with the best possible results for your unique situation.

How is a Lower Body Lift Performed?
A lower body lift is performed under general anesthesia and usually requires at least one night in the hospital. The incisions extend completely around the body, allowing Dr. Rappaport to create a proportionate, symmetrical body contour. Surgery may take 4-6 hours to complete with the patient in various positions during the procedure to address every area of concern. Proper closure of incisions is of prime importance in this procedure, to ensure the best possible healing and minimize residual scarring as much as possible.

What is the Recovery Like?
The lower body lift and belt lipectomy procedures require an overnight stay in the facility. You will have multiple drains placed during surgery. These stay in place for 5-14 days and are removed based upon the amount of drainage recorded. Most all of the stitches are dissolvable. The incisions are covered with surgical glue (Dermabond) and/or tapes. We will ask you to wear a compression garment for up to 6 weeks. Some numbness around the trunk region is common, but usually temporary.

In general, it takes 10-14 days to comfortably perform daily activities. Driving is discouraged for 2 weeks. It may take several weeks to return to preoperative energy levels. A reasonable assessment can be seen immediately with continued improvement over 12-18 months. The scar will take at least one year to mature and fade to a lighter color.

Dr. Rappaport Answers Questions about the Lower Body Lift

I just have some fatty deposits along the outer thighs. Wouldn’t liposuction be effective in treating this area?
For women, this is a common location of fat collection. It is common for MWL patients as well. Treating this area with liposuction alone, however, may not improve the appearance and contour. In patients with marked laxity of the skin and underlying soft tissue, I have found a lateral thigh lift to be effective. When MWL patients are having a lower body lift, the outer thigh often needs to be treated with liposuction in order to optimize contour. With the accompanying lift, there is little chance the tissue will fall and the results are more permanent.

Can I have a lower body lift if I smoke?
Smokers are not good candidates for this procedure because of the detrimental effects on wound healing. Patients, who do smoke, will have to stop completely for one month prior to and after the procedure in order to optimize their healing process. Patients with bleeding disorders, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure have higher risk factors that will be discussed during the consultation. This is not an operation to counter obesity. Those over 50% of their ideal body weight are not good candidates. Patients who have experienced massive weight loss may be asked to wait 12 to 18 months for their weight to completely stabilize prior to scheduling this surgery.

What kind of scars can I expect?
The scars extend circumferentially (in a complete circle) around the body. The scar will take at least one year to mature and fade to a lighter color. The scars may become slightly widened. Though rare, scars may become raised and thickened.

What complications are associated with the lower body lift?
Complications are a risk of all surgical procedures. It is important to carefully choose a surgeon experienced in this particular procedure. My patients have had few complications; however, it is essential that all candidates understand the risks. The most serious complication is deep venous thrombosis, a blood clot that forms in the lower leg. If it breaks off, it can lodge in a lung and cause a pulmonary embolism. Compression stockings worn during and after the procedure will help decrease this risk, as will getting mobile early in the postoperative period. Prescription blood thinners may also reduce the risk.

When can I return to work?
This, of course, depends upon what you do for a living. In general, it takes at least 10 days to two weeks before returning to daily activities.You will constantly be monitored and evaluated during your follow-up office visits and together we can determine what is best for you.

Houston Center For Plastic Surgery

6560 Fannin Street, #1812
Houston, Texas 77030

Phone: (713) 790-4500
Fax: (713) 793-1299