Is a full body lift recommended or is it very dangerous?

Tags:woman age 45-54 excess skin recovery pain multiple procedures massive weight loss

I have lost a lot of weight and almost my whole body sags. I want to get rid of all this excess skin and I think that a full body lift would do that but I am afraid of the painful recovery and the dangers of the operation. I considered doing different lifts individually so that I could monitor the surgeries and my recovery but undergoing multiple surgeries can be drainful for my body. Do you recommend a full body lift or separate operations?


F, 48, Texas

A full or total body lift is a complicated procedure involving multiple cosmetic surgeries in different areas. If you have lost a significant amount of weight through dieting or gastric bypass bariatric surgery (anywhere from 50 to 350 pounds) and are now at your target body weight, you may be a good candidate for this procedure.

If your weight loss has left you with significant skin laxity on the outer thighs, inner thighs, lower abdomen, hips and/or buttocks then body lift surgery can be a good option. However, keep in mind that a total body lift is not the only body contouring procedure that will reduce loose skin after major weight loss. It might make more sense to perform a belt lipectomy, breast lift, or a selection of individual cosmetic procedures instead.

It’s imperative that patients understand the procedures involved and their associated risks. Body lift surgery has a relatively long recovery time compared to other procedures. It is not recommended for patients with certain health problems, who smoke, regularly drink alcohol, or intend to become pregnant.

I can’t speak to your specific case without a proper consultation, but I encourage you to do your research carefully. I highly recommend that you only consult with board-certified plastic surgeons who have verifiable records of prior successful body lift surgeries and can show you before-and-after photos of their work.

Hi Lezlie10

Post massive weight loss cosmetic rehab is totally elective.  That said, it is important that you be healthy because the procedures tend to be large, and complications do occur, and some of those complications can be very significant.

In considering procedures, it is always important to think about the possibility of performing them in a staged fashion.  It is often safer, takes less time, and often can produce a better outcome.  If enough time is allowed, there is no evidence that they would "drain" your body.

I recommend that you seek consultation with a plastic surgeon comfortable and experienced with these procedures and who will work with you to achieve your goals safely. 

Only through a consultation can your question be answered.


Hi and thank you for your question!  Body lift is a great procedure to accomplish lifting in multiple areas all at once.  Of course, this can be done in stages by doing the front side first and then the back side, but for people who are good surgical candidates, doing the full body lift can be done vey safely.  There is pain after any surgery, but this can be easily controlled with medications and rest.  Since there are many factors that go into the decision making process of who is a good candidate, it would be best to consult with a plastic surgeon who is experienced with body lift surgery after weight loss.  I would be happy to consult with you if it's convenient for you.  Best of luck!

Body lift surgery consists of multiple procedures. Body lifts are primarily recommended for patients who have achieved massive weight loss constituting 30% to 50% of their body weight. This weight loss often leaves loose excess skin that lacks adequate elasticity. This surgery results in better body contouring in the areas where there is loose skin.


Plastic surgeons often categorize the total body lift procedure into a set of sub-procedures including upper, mid, and lower body lifts. These are all very invasive procedures. As such they are only recommended for patients who are in good health and definitely not for those who smoke or drink excessively. Patients with serious health issues like heart disease, immunological deficiencies, or diabetes need to inform their plastic surgeon of these conditions so he or she can assess their ability to undergo body lift procedures. Often it can be more appropriate to consider a surgery that is directly focused on a specific area of the body, such as a tummy tuck, thigh lift, arm lift or mastopexy.

Body lift surgery requires anesthesia — either a local or general anesthesia depending on the situation. The potential risks include embolism, blood clots, infection, deep vein thrombosis, seroma and bleeding.

Because of these risks, it’s impossible for me to say if you are a good candidate for body lift surgery -- or whether multiple staged operations are advisable in your specific case. An without a consultation I can’t accurately estimate how long your recovery will be, as this will depend on the specific procedures included in your body lift.

In light of the complexity and risks inherent to body lift surgery, for the best, safest results, always be sure to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Full body lift may be needed if a patient would like improvement of not just the abdomen but also the sides and the lower back / buttocks.  It all depends on your individual situation and your medical condition.  Be sure to discuss with your surgeon during your consultation if in your case it is advisable to all in one sitting or to separate.

Thank you for the question but a full examination and review of your medical history is really needed..  So go on some consults and be evaluated


Dr Corbin

Staged operations are very reasonable and depending on your size may be a very good option to consider. Your PS should be able to go over the best options for you. Good Luck!