Lower Body Lift

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Losing a significant amount of weight is a tremendous achievement that can dramatically improve a person’s overall health as well as their self-esteem. Still, after major weight loss many people are troubled by loose, saggy, excess skin that can negatively impact them both physically and emotionally. By removing excess skin through a circumferential body lift procedure, Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Scott Reis, helps post-weight loss patients achieve a more toned appearance to the abdomen, back, thighs, and buttocks. Dr. Reis is especially proud to have joined with TLC Surgery, helping post-bariatric surgery patients improve their figure and self-esteem with post-weight loss body contouring.

What is a Lower Body Lift?

As a Board-Certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Reis understands that after major weight loss, excess skin can hide a person’s true contours and make them appear heavier and less toned than they really are.
A lower body lift (or circumferential body lift) is a fully customized suite of plastic surgery procedures designed to eliminate excess skin that is often the result of massive weight loss, and is commonly performed after bariatric surgery. By combining a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) with surgery to contour the waist and hips along with a buttock lift, often with fat grafting augmentation, Dr. Reis is able to help patients achieve an outward appearance that more accurately reflects their new weight and slimmer physique.

Preparing for Lower Body Lift Surgery

When you attend your lower body lift consultation with Dr. Reis, you will go over pre-surgical guidelines together. Dr. Reis recommends that you discontinue use of all herbal supplements, fish oil, and other non-prescription medications for at least two weeks prior to your surgery. Dr. Reis will also prescribe a simple preoperative skin care regimen that will prepare your skin and tissues for the procedure. This will help minimize swelling and bruising, speed the recovery process, and minimize scarring. You will continue this regimen after surgery.

Once you and Dr. Reis have determined that a lower body lift is the ideal procedure to help you reach your goals, a complete personalized surgical plan will be developed and your surgery will be scheduled. We want you to ask as many questions as possible as you prepare for your surgery, because it is so important to us that you feel Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Body Contouring American Society of Plastic Surgeons Go to Source comfortable and confident about your procedure.

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The Lower Body Lift Procedure

Dr. Reis performs customized lower body lift surgery as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. He begins the procedure by making an incision that extends from the lower abdomen to across the lower back, just above the buttocks, where any scarring will be hidden by a bathing suit or underwear. Dr. Reis then removes excess skin, tightens the abdominal muscles, lifts the buttocks, and uses liposuction to remove stubborn pockets of fat and Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Body Contouring American Society of Plastic Surgeons Go to Source reveal the patient’s natural body contours.

Recovery After Lower Body Lift

During a lower body lift procedure, Dr. Reis treats patients with Exparel, which is a non-opioid pain medication that is used during surgery for nerve blocks and provides patients with three days of pain control, in order to reduce their discomfort during the early stages of recovery. Patients will wear a compression garment to aid healing along with memory foam inserts underneath to further help speed recovery and optimize results. Swelling and bruising can be expected around the surgical site, and patients should avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for up to six weeks after their procedure. That said, it is important for patients to maintain their healthy lifestyle by walking or engaging in other non-strenuous activities.

Dr. Reis also requires his patients to undergo a series of postoperative lymphatic massages after a lower body lift to help them enjoy a faster recovery and optimal results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lower Body Lift Surgery

Who is a candidate for lower body lift surgery?

The best way to determine whether lower body lift surgery is right for you is to have a private, in-person consultation with Dr. Reis. In general, the ideal candidate for post weight loss lower body lift surgery:

  • Is in good overall health
  • Is a non-smoker that does not use other nicotine products
  • Has had a stable weight for at least three months
  • Understands and is committed to the lifestyle changes necessary for post-bariatric body contouring surgery Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Body Lift American Society of Plastic Surgeons Go to Source success

When patients come to Dr. Reis from TLC Surgery, he consults with the team there to review each patient’s overall health, weight loss, medical history and other factors that may determine candidacy for a lower body lift.

What will my scars look like after lower body lift surgery?

Whenever possible, Dr. Reis places lower body lift incisions so that they can be hidden by swimsuits or underwear. The typical body lift patient has a horizontal scar that extends along the lower abdomen (the same as a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty) and fully across the lower back just above the bottocks. Another commonly used term for Lower Body Lift is Belt Lipectomy, since the incision is similar to a belt around the lower body. Some patients also have a vertical incision on the abdomen if needed to remove additional excess skin laxity here.

A lower body lift can dramatically change a patient’s appearance for the better, but Dr. Reis understands that patients may still have concerns about scarring after their procedure. With that in mind, he is pleased to offer skin care regimens for optimization of the incisions both before and after surgery that can greatly reduce the appearance of scars. He also offers postoperative CO2 laser resurfacing treatments to improve skin tone, texture and blending to reduce the appearance of scars. Learn more about minimizing the appearance of scars from lower body lift surgery here.

What are the risks of lower body lift surgery?

Dr. Reis is highly experienced and always makes patient safety his highest priority at all stages of treatment. Still, all surgical procedures do carry some risk. The most common risks associated with post weight loss  lower body lift surgery include:

As with any surgery, it is important to understand the complications and risks associated with a circumferential body lift. Post-weight loss surgery results are highly dependent on each patient’s skin quality, thickness, elasticity and overall BMI, even more so than with other types of cosmetic procedures. These characteristics vary widely amongst post-weight loss patients and are often the reason that these surgeries have a higher revision rate. This is why it is so important to seek out a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with significant experience in post-weight loss surgery body contouring procedures, like Dr. Reis.

Can I combine my lower body lift surgery with other procedures?

While Dr. Reis generally recommends that patients do not combine additional excisional procedures along with a lower body lift, other contouring procedures patients can elect to receive during their lower body lift surgery include: ultrasound-assisted VASER liposuction of the abdomen and back, as well as fat grafting to other areas of the body using this harvested tissue. He is happy to discuss scheduling additional post weight loss procedures such as a breast lift, arm lift, thigh lift or facelift in subsequent stages once patients have recovered from this procedure.

How long after weight loss surgery should I wait for lower body lift?

Dr. Reis likes to make sure patients’ bodies have fully healed from bariatric surgery and that they have reached and can maintain their new ideal weight before he schedules their lower body lift. In most cases, he advises patients to wait one year between weight loss surgery and lower body lift surgery. For patients who have achieved their weight loss thanks to bariatric surgery at TLC Surgery, Dr. Reis works closely with their doctors to determine the optimal timing for a lower body lift.

Contact Dr. Reis

Dr. Reis recognizes the hard work and dedication his weight loss patients have exhibited to lose weight, and is honored to be part of their journey to a healthier life and improved self image. If you have undergone massive weight loss but are uncomfortable in your body due to excess skin and stubborn fat, a lower body lift may help you achieve a figure that more accurately reflects your true shape and inner beauty. To learn more about post-weight loss body contouring options and Dr. Reis’ partnership with TLC Surgery, please contact us to schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Reis.

Patient Testimonials


I had a great experience with Dr. Reis. He explained everything to me in depth so I felt at ease prior to my procedure. I appreciated...


I think Dr. Reis did a wonderful job and the outcome is perfect for me. I think he is an awesome person, and from the beginning...


Dr. Reis was a pleasure to speak with. He was very knowledgeable about current procedures and put me at ease right away...

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Trused Source Icon - Checkbox Sources

1 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Body Lift. Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-lift/candidates. Accessed February 5, 2021.

2 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What are the risks of body lift surgery? Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-lift/safety. Accessed February 5, 2021.

3 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Body Lift. Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-lift/candidates. Accessed February 5, 2021.

4 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What are the risks of body lift surgery? Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/body-lift/safety. Accessed February 5, 2021.

Dr. Scott Reis has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Page Updated:


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