Extreme sagging in the skin usually develops after some kind of dramatic fluctuation in weight, especially after weight loss surgery or pregnancy. Other culprits include aging, gravity and a loss of skin elasticity. If your skin no longer hugs the contours of your body, or has become so loose it impedes your mobility, a body lift, lower-body lift (belt lipectomy) or thigh lift may benefit you. These makeover procedures target sagging skin to result in a dramatic transformation following weight loss. Combined with liposuction, they can lift and tighten the underlying skin matrix, and smooth the overlying skin. Beauty bonus: They can also improve the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite.

A body lift, lower-body lift or thigh lift procedure is ideal for:

• Post-bariatric patients

• Patients who have experienced massive weight gain and loss and have excess skin as a result.

•  Patients who need a tightening of the skin in their thighs and buttocks along with a tummy tuck.

What To Expect

There is no way to avoid a scar, but incision length and pattern will depend on the amount of skin to be removed and its location.


If you’re committed to getting any type of surgical lift, plan to reach your ideal weight before surgery – that weight should be stable for about a year. You'll be under general anesthesia for the procedure, so you’ll need to make arrangements for someone to drive you from the surgery center after the surgery. Your surgery can sometimes require recovery overnight at the surgery center or in the hospital. Once you’re prepped for the procedure, Dr. Kirman will mark the locations on your body where the incision(s) will be made.


Excess skin and tissue will ultimately be removed through incision(s) and the skin will be pulled taut and tightly closed with stitches that dissolve. If you undergo a body lift, long-acting anesthetic numbing medication may be placed into your abdomen area, which will help control any pain for days after your surgery.


About an hour after your surgery in our Walnut Creek, CA practice, you’ll be awake and alert, wrapped in a custom-fitted compression garment and a dressing or bandage on your incisions. A small drain may temporarily be placed under your skin to help drain excess blood or fluid that may collect. To reduce the risk of potential complications, a special diet may be prescribed. Do not expect to resume normal activities for four to six weeks, and that includes driving.

Things To Consider

• A body lift, lower-body lift or thigh lift isn’t for anyone who is hoping to cheat their weight loss efforts with a quick fix. If fat reduction is your goal, we may suggest liposuction or less-invasive body contouring.

• A tummy tuck and buttock lift may also be performed all in one operative session. Sometimes these are performed in stages (for instance, an inner thigh lift is usually performed in a second surgical session).

• If you’re considering a future pregnancy, postpone having any type of bodylift. Pregnancy will dramatically change the result.


Q. Will it hurt?

A. In this instance, any form of surgical lift will probably hurt because it is an extensive surgery, but you’ll be given anesthetic medications to help you get through it at home.

Q. When can I expect to see results?

A. Results are visible immediately, but final results may take several months to fully develop. Your scars will remain, but the overall results can last a lifetime with consistent exercise and healthy eating habits.

Q. How long do these procedures take?

A. About two to five hours is the norm, although your surgery may very well be split into two separate sessions if there are different body areas (arms. thighs, or belly)  to address.

Q. What is the downtime?

A. You need to give your body ample time to heal but you will likely be able to resume a normal, light routine in two to three weeks time, with some limitations.

Q. How long do the results last?

A. The results last a lifetime with good nutrition and regular exercise, but gravity and aging never stop, so you will still be faced with the challenge of skin laxity as you get older.