Body Lift or Tummy Tuck?

The abdomen is the most common location for which weight loss patients seek plastic surgery.

Skin can be loose or there can be substantial folds and overhang of skin at the waist.  It is also common to have skin laxity wrap around towards the back.  The front of the thighs can be loose as well.  So while a tummy tuck in the typical mommy makeover focuses on their abdomen, weight loss patients often have issues in the body parts near the abdomen, which need to be considered as well.

With individualized planning, tummy tucks can improve the front of the thighs.  The laxity around the trunk needs to be considered so that the incision is made at the right height and continues as far around the flanks as necessary to create the ideal shape.

It is important to evaluate whether there is laxity in the low back or in the buttock.  If there is laxity in the low back but the buttock and thighs are not too low, then a so-called “belt-lipectomy” is done, which is essentially a tummy tuck that goes all the way around the body to remove all the extra skin at the waist level.

If the buttock and outer thigh have fallen, then a “lower body lift” is done. Both the belt-lipectomy and body lift scars go all the way around the waist, but the body lift focuses on raising the buttock and thighs while the belt-lipectomy focuses on removing the excess skin around the waist.  Dr. Teitelbaum performs both of these procedures and can help explain which best solves the problems you have.

When planning a tummy tuck for a man or a woman who has lost significant weight, mapping out the extent of laxity is important because everyone is so different following weight loss.  Only after assessing a patient’s condition can a proper surgical plan be created for the patient.

In all of plastic surgery, there is no procedure with the results as dramatic and life-changing as is a tummy tuck on a patient that has lost a significant amount of weight.  Because of the large amounts of skin that are often removed, extraordinary attention must be paid to carefully designing and executing the surgical plan.