A Lower body lift has become a mainstay procedure of post bariatric surgery. This surgery is dedicated to improving the entire mid torso including:

  1. reducing the prominence of the lateral thigh
  2. lifting sagging lateral thighs
  3. removing prominent love handles, flanks, and lower back tissues
  4. lifting of the drooping buttocks cheeks
  5. narrowing the waistline

The lower body lift has been developed to improve the appearance of prominent lateral thighs, sometimes referred to as saddlebags, as well as prominent lateral flanks, love handles, and lower back. Lower body lift surgery is designed as an extension of the tummy tuck excision lines that are modified to accommodate the planned excision of the lower back and flank prominence. While the lower body lift dramatically improves the lateral thigh contour, its excision lines are actually placed over the lower flank and upper buttocks junction such that the waist can be narrowed. The lateral thigh contour is improved by removing excess fat with liposuction and by lifting sagging tissues by traction placed form excisions designed over the lower back and flanks. Patients considering a lower body lift cannot achieve appropriate narrowing and contouring of the torso just with a tummy tuck as the prominence of the flanks, love handles, and lower back are just as bulky as the front abdomen. In most cases, post bariatric patients will not be able to attain the hour glass shape without a lower body lift. Finally, lower body lift patients will often combine this procedure with a Brazilian buttocks lift which refers to the transfer of any residual fat from areas of planned excision, as well as the abdomen and lateral thighs, to the buttocks cheeks. The Brazilian buttocks lift augmentation of the buttocks cheeks allows for the completion of the mid torso transformation.

Procedure: Elimination of redundant skin and excess fat accumulated over the lateral thighs, love handles, flanks, and lower back and lifting of sagging buttocks cheeks.
Length: 1 to 2 hours depending on the amount of soft tissue being removed.
Anesthesia: General anesthesia.
Place of Treatment: Outpatient surgical suite or hospital operating room.
Side Effects: 1) Due to extent of redundant skin excised, patients may experience temporary tightness surrounding skin incisions

2)Temporary numbness may be caused by increased tension in the region; Dr. Mowlavi utilizes hydrodissection of the lower back and flanks to ensure that permanent nerve injury does not occur during excision of redundant skin.

Risks: 1) Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may occur in the legs immediately following surgery. DVT refers to the clotting off of leg veins which may result in compromised blood flow return from the legs; a more critical consequence may develop from this clot if it is dislodged and travels to the lungs causing a pulmonary emboli. Although rare, pulmonary emboli are the leading cause of death following surgery. This complication is avoided by providing intermittent pneumatic compression garments.

2) Local skin infection is not uncommon in a patient who has diabetes, iron deficiency anemia (low blood count), and protein deficiency. All of these conditions are corrected well before surgery to avoid this complication.

Recovery: The recovery for lower body lift surgery is as little as 2 weeks.
Duration of Results: Patients are extremely pleased with lower body lift surgery and return of their hour glass appearance and they enjoy physical and mental confidence of showing off their back and sides as much as the improvements gained from their extended tummy tuck. Patients can expect the cosmetic results to last a lifetime as long as they avoid weight gain.

What does lower body lift surgery involve?

Lower body lift surgery involves removal of redundant skin and residual fat that may have resulted following weight loss over the lateral thigh, love handles, flanks, and lower back as well as sagging of the buttocks cheeks. Lower body lift surgery requires direct excision of redundant skin and removal of the redundant skin of the lower back, love handles, and flanks, which then allows for lifting of the lateral thighs and buttocks region. Liposuction is used to remove residual fat from the lower back, love handles, and flanks as well as the lateral thighs both for hydrodissection of tissues as well as to gather fat when a Brazilian buttocks lift is intended. The resulting incision is repaired using a layered plastic surgery closure in 3 layers that minimizes tension on the closure. Patients undergoing lower body lift surgery will enjoy a lifelong of narrow waistline with an improved hourglass shape.

Am I a good candidate for lower body lift surgery?

You are a good candidate for lower body lift surgery if you have significant amount of lower back and flank prominence that is blunting your waist line and thus eliminating your hour glass appearance. Most post bariatric patients find the prominence of their lower back and flanks as much as if not more than the prominence of their abdomen. The goal of a lower back lift is to narrow your waist line circumferentially when combined with an extended tummy tuck. Finally, a lower body lift will result in lifting of your sagging lateral thighs and buttocks.

How do I plan my lower body lift surgery?

On your initial visit, Dr. Mowlavi will evaluate your health status, determine the amount of skin redundancy and residual fat, and show your customized excision lines; You will have your blood checked to make sure that your blood count is adequate and that you clotting factors are normal. If you are a smoker, then you should quit for 1 month prior to your lateral thigh tuck surgery in order to allow your body adequate time to rid itself of any residual nicotine. Nicotine in your system results in shutting off of small blood vessels which carry nutrients to the skin; this event could be catastrophic in lower body lift surgery resulting in extensive wounds requiring months to heal.

How do I prepare for my lower body lift surgery?

Since your lower body lift surgery will require general anesthesia, you must take several precautions prior to surgery. First, you will have to avoid eating and drinking after midnight on the day before surgery. This precaution ensures that your stomach is clear of digested foods that could potentially be aspirated and contaminate your lungs during induction of anesthesia. Since, you will have anesthetic medications administered throughout the case, you will remain groggy for some time and will require a ride to and from the surgery center. You should choose a caretaker who is conscientious and who can spend the first night with you.

What results can I expect after lower body lift surgery?

By providing you a final skin reduction procedure for the flanks and lower back, we are able to obtain for you a narrower waist line and the tightened lateral thighs that you have dreamed of. Patients are extremely satisfied with their surgery and their ability to wear pants and jeans comfortably. By providing a thorough preoperative workup, safe intraoperative course, and frequent postoperative visits, patients should expect a speedy recovery and return to a more aesthetically pleasing torso region and enjoy more freedom with their choice in clothes.

Where will my lower body lift surgery be performed?

Since your lower body lift surgery will require general anesthesia, it must be performed in an operating room that is part of an outpatient surgery center or in an in-house office based operating room, but it is of utmost importance for patients to make sure that the office facility has been accredited by a surgical accreditation body such as AAAASF.

What type of anesthesia will be used for my lower body lift surgery?

Since your lower body lift surgery requires removal of moderate amounts of skin over the lateral flnaks and lower back that are very well innervated, it will require general anesthesia. This is because skin in this area possesses a large number of sensory nerves (pain fibers) that would be triggered during cutting of the redundant skin; general anesthesia ensures that these pain fibers are shut down during the operation.

What should I expect after post bariatric surgery?

You should expect to feel sore throughout the lateral flank and lower back in the early postoperative period. The soreness can be minimized by continuous wearing of the compression garments. In general, the compression garments should be worn for at least 2 weeks in order to prevent development of any contour abnormalities.

When will I be able to return to work following lower body lift surgery?

Patients can expect to return to work within 2 weeks following lower body lift surgery. When patients combine the lower body lift with a full tummy tuck, they can expect up to 4 weeks to recover. Patients are advised to gauge their return to work by their overall soreness which dictates the tasks which they may perform.

Do patients undergoing lower body lift surgery require buttocks enhancement?

Patients who undergo lower body lift will find their buttocks lifted and skin tightened; however, the act of tightening the buttocks via a lower back and flank excision may result in blunting of the buttocks check prominence. This effect of lower body lift in addition to the fact that post bariatric patients lose buttocks cheek prominence results in a significant percentage of patients having fat transfer to the buttocks performed at the same time as their lower body lift. This is an ideal time to perform this procedure as liposuction is already being performed and thus the fat can be utilized instead of being discarded.

Where is the incision for a lower body lift?

The redundancy of skin and fullness of the lateral thighs is corrected with a combination of liposuction of the lateral thighs but excision of tissues at the flank and lower back tissues. The lift of the lateral thighs is achieved by superior transposition of the lateral thigh tissues in order to close the flank and lower back incision. During you initial consultation with Dr. Mowlavi, you will have the opportunity to visualize exactly where your incision will fall; the incision is customize to your favored bikini bottoms and undergarment wear.

What steps can be taken to minimize scarring of the flanks?

We utilize an aggressive scar prevention protocol to ensure optimal incision line healing. This starts with minimizing tension of the incision line with a multi, 3 layered closure of the incision line. In addition, specialized tapes, called Steri-Strips, are applied to the incision lines which act as an external stitch without the risk of railroad tracking. Steri-strips are maintained for one month, after which, topical silicone tape and/or gel is recommended for another two months. During this recovery period, Intense Pulse Light therapy and steroid injections will be implemented when necessary.

How our patients feel about us:

Made me feel comfortable from the very beginning... Dr. Mowlavi and his entire staff are the best. My reconstruction surgery was a year long journey and I could not be happier with the results. Dr Mowlavi is a compassionate and caring surgeon. He and his staff have become like an extension of our family. I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction in a single surgery. Dr Mowlavi answered all my questions and made me feel comfortable from the very beginning.

Anonymous Laguna Beach, CA

The procedure brought back years of confidence in myself... From the moment I stepped into the office I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly disposition of all the staff... After the procedure I was floored! I was surprised that such a great result could be achieved without the use of an implant which I did not want to get. As I admired myself in the mirror 2 weeks post op, Dr. Mowlavi smiled and said modestly, "Its all you!" I nearly cried as I had not perceived of my natural body looking truly beautiful in over 20 years. This procedure brought back years of confidence in myself that I had lost 90 lbs, 20 years and 2 children ago. For anyone considering plastic surgery but has fears and feelings such as I did you owe it to yourself to consult with Dr. Mowlavi and his staff. They are truly the best at what they do.

Lorene B.

Dr. Mowlavi is the best choice in Orange County... My highest recommendations go out to Dr Mowlavi for the skilled and fantastic work he performed on me... Being post bariatric surgery and not being the easiest of cases, Dr Mowlavi made sure we addressed the areas that I would gain the best results, made me fully aware of what to expect from the surgery, recovery and results. From my consultation to my post-surgical appointments... the entire Mowlavi staff treated me with special care, always making me feel like I was family, greeting me with hugs, smiles and ensuring I am doing well from the many follow up calls to all of the post-operative visits. I can not say enough to express how thankful I am to Dr. Mowlavi and his staff, and to let people know that if you are post cancer, bariatric or just need to have work performed to improve your appearance and quality of life, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Institute with Dr. Mowlavi is the best choice in Orange County. You are all the BEST!

Jenifer D. Irvine, CA

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