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Thomas P. Sterry, MD

Lower Body Lift

Lower Body Lift

A body lift from Dr. Sterry at his Manhattan office can be the finishing touch on the total body transformation that comes from losing 100 pounds or more. Basically, a lower body lift procedure is a tummy tuck + a butt lift + an outer thigh lift. When it comes to a body lift, New York men and women who have lost 100 pounds or more are hard pressed to find a more experienced surgeon to complete the transformation than board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Sterry.

Let Dr. Sterry develop a personalized plan for you, request a consultation in his Manhattan office or call (212) 249-4020.

If you've lost 100 pounds or more, a lower body lift can complete your transformation.

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Dr. Thomas P. Sterry

After massive weight loss, the most dramatic body contouring procedure you can get without multiple surgeries is this combination of a tummy tuck, outer thigh lift and butt lift. NYC patients can come to Dr. Sterry for this impressive surgical treatment and leave with the surgical equivalent of lifting your pants up from your hips to your waist. Essentially, this means the excess tissue left over from excess fat is raised and removed. When the excess tissue is removed from the back as well as the abdominal apron of loose skin known as the panniculus, the skin of the lower body is lifted from its sagging position.

Dr. Sterry has done hundreds of plastic surgery cases for patients who have undergone extreme weight loss after bariatric surgery. He has authored two book chapters on the subject and has some of the greatest experience among plastic surgeons in New York City.

Lower Body Lift Before & After

Lower Body Lift

Because a lower body lift is more extensive than a tummy tuck alone, it can produce a dramatic improvement in the hips, buttocks and outer thighs. Without the thigh and butt lift, patients would not get the total body transformation they're looking for.

A lower body lift that combines a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, with a butt lift and outer thigh lift is a plastic surgery procedure that produces dramatic results. A completely rejuvenated torso, thighs and buttock area where excess skin and fat once hung are replaced with a better-balanced and toned body. Anyone who has lost more than 100 pounds should seriously consider a lower body lift. Getting a tummy tuck without the thigh and butt lift simply won't achieve the same results. By treating the whole torso at the same time as one aesthetic unit like Dr. Sterry does, you can achieve the best results possible.

Lower Body Lift FAQ

What is a lower body lift?

A lower body lift is a plastic surgery procedure that combines a tummy tuck with a buttock lift and outer thigh lift to remove loose skin (especially after weight loss surgery). It results in a completely rejuvenated torso, thighs and buttock area.

Who is a candidate for a lower body lift?

Anyone who has lost more than 100 pounds should really think about a lower body lift, not just a tummy tuck. By treating the whole torso at the same time as one aesthetic unit, you get the best possible result.

It's not what I take away that's going to give you shape—it's what I leave behind that creates the sexy curves.

Do all plastic surgeons perform lower body lifts the same way?

No. A lot of my colleagues in Manhattan say they're doing a lower body lift, but they're really not—they're doing a belt lipectomy. They're taking away a lot of loose skin around the torso, and the scar pattern is similar, but a lower body lift should also include an outer thigh lift. And there are a few things you need to do to make that happen. It takes longer than a belt lipectomy and is technically more challenging, but it helps to eliminate cellulite down the thighs in addition to removing the loose skin.

Can patients keep their curves after a lower body lift?

Yes—if you choose your surgeon carefully. I make it a point not to cut off anybody's rear end. Some patients come in and say, ‘I want a lower body lift, but I heard it cuts your butt off.’ And it does—if the skin and fat not carved artistically. Over the years I've developed several techniques to prevent that from happening and to create a nice silhouette when I'm done.

I even tell patients, ‘I'm here to save your ass.’ I realized back in 2001, after my third body lift that It's not what I take away that's going to give you shape—it's what I leave behind that creates the sexy curves. This is my strong suit, and I have great confidence in this area.

How have lower body lift techniques been refined over the years?

The lower body lift has come a long way since it was introduced in 1989 by Dr. Ted Lockwood. The original operation (type I) combined a tummy tuck with a complete thigh lift and a buttock lift—plus liposuction wherever it was needed. This was a very extensive operation requiring the patient to remain in the hospital for five days after surgery.

Today, most surgeons perform a modification of this procedure without the inner thigh lift. Dr. Lockwood referred to this as a lower body lift type II. This is now the generally accepted method for performing a generic body lift but many surgeons have forgotten the history.

Furthermore, as I've said, many surgeons perform belt lipectomy procedures and call them body lifts. These two terms should not be confused.

What is a belt lipectomy?

A belt lipectomy is a procedure developed in the 1960s to remove excess fat and skin from around the torso of an obese patient or in those with extra skin after weight loss. The procedure may or may not include a truetummy tuck. While a belt lipectomy offers some improvement to the lower body, it is by no means a type II lower body lift.

Does a lower body lift replace liposuction?

No, a lower body lift is not a substitute for liposuction. However, I may perform the two procedures in combination, just not on the exact same areas of the body.

It's important to understand the difference between what a lower body lift does and what liposuction does. A lower body lift makes your body look younger by tightening the sagging skin associated with aging or weight changes.

By contrast, liposuction re-contours the body by removing fat—but it does nothing to remedy loose skin. In fact, liposuction alone can make loose, sagging skin worse because it removes volume from the tissues.

Does a lower body lift require a hospital stay?

My classic answer has always been "yes", but I must admit that lately I've done a few on an outpatient basis here in New York surgery centers. These have been only for carefully selected healthy patients when I expected very little blood loss or anesthesia issues. The truth is that the operation is essentially skin removal, so for the right person, I have been comfortable sending them home.

What kind of anesthesia is used for a lower body lift?

A lower body lift is performed under general anesthetic, so you will be asleep for the entire procedure.

Where are lower body lift scars placed?

The incisions I use in lower body lifts are designed to be hidden by a swimsuit or underwear. The day before the operation, the patient and I create skin markings and determine where they want their final scars to be placed. I can typically create scars that are very close to those marks.

What should you expect immediately after a lower body lift?

As I've mentioned, some patients go home after this procedure, but this is a select group. Most patients stay in the hospital for one night for observation. Interestingly, few patients complain about "pain". They say they are exhausted and feel like they were hit by a bus, but they do not typically say that the operation hurts.

You will have two to four surgical drains to prevent fluid build-up—two in front and two in back. The drains will stay in for 7-10 days. I will also apply dressings, and in most cases, you will need to wear a girdle-like compression garment.

How long is the recovery after a lower body lift?

You can expect to be back to work in 2-3 weeks after a lower body lift, depending on the nature of your job. You should wait six weeks before resuming your exercise regimen, and stay away from weight-lifting for three months.

What results can you expect from a lower body lift?

It's important to understand that you may still have some loose skin on your inner thighs after a lower body lift. If this poses a problem, you may want to consider having an inner thigh lift in the future.

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Dr. Thomas P. Sterry

Thomas Sterry, MD, is a board-certified New York City plastic surgeon with over a decade of experience. At his inviting, boutique-style practice in Manhattan, he focuses on each patient's unique needs and aesthetic goals so that he can provide the most attractive and natural-looking outcomes possible.

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