Lower Body Lifts and Post Weight Loss Surgery in Atlanta

Working with the weight loss patient is incredibly rewarding to me.  Those patients have worked so hard to get where they are, but unfortunately, they can’t see the results of all of their efforts.  That’s where I come in!  I can trim and re-contour all of the excess skin of the abdomen, buttocks, and legs so that the underlying contour of their fit muscles can be seen.

If you’re interested in a lower body lift in Atlanta and Buckhead, contact Dr. Alderman today and learn more about what she can do for you.

What Can a Lower Body Lift Do for Me?

Patients who lose a lot of weight are often on an emotional roller coaster.  They have worked so hard to get 60, 80, or 100 pounds off, but unfortunately, the more weight they lose, the more their progress is reflected in excess skin and lack of contours.  Dr. Alderman often worries that if they don’t have body contouring surgery, they may relapse because they can’t see the benefits of all of their hard work.  Body contouring surgery can honestly be life-changing for these patients.

A lower body lift can tighten the skin on the following areas of the body:

  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Abdomen
  • Waistline

The legs and abdomen are often a high priority for weight loss patients.  Re-contouring these areas will dramatically change their choice in clothing and their self-confidence with and without clothing.  Dr. Alderman spends a great deal of time with patients prior to surgery to help them prioritize their concerns and design a surgical plan that optimizes outcomes in their high priority areas.  Many different surgical techniques are available to lift/tighten/correct extra skin around the buttocks, abdomen, and thighs, and she provides an individualized plan for each patient.

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If you’re in the Atlanta area and have any questions about a Lower Body Lift or wish to schedule a consultation on a Lower Body Lift with Dr. Alderman, please contact our office.

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Am I a Good Candidate for a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

If you have had weight loss surgery and have been left with lax skin on the lower body, you may be a good candidate for a lower body lift. Candidates for the surgery should be in good general health, and you should not have plans to lose additional weight. Loss of more weight could result in more sagging skin.

Post Body Lift Surgery: Recovery and the Patient Experience

Drains are often required after a lower body lift. These drains remove the excess fluid created from the liposuction portion of the surgery. They are generally removed five to seven days after surgery.

Managing your comfort is of utmost importance to us. Exparel, which is a long-acting local anesthetic, has provided significant pain relief for our abdominoplasty patients. Exparel is injected into the muscle repair and along all of your incisions at the time of surgery and provides pain relief for up to three days.

In addition, we allow patients to start anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen soon after surgery, which provides additional pain relief along with the narcotic pain medicine. We find that with the use of Exparel, patients are more comfortable and require much less narcotic pain medicine.

Providing Safe Lower Body Lifts in Atlanta

Dr. Alderman is nationally known for her efforts to reduce surgical risk. She is a frequent lecturer at national meetings on measures that lower patients’ risks of complications with body contouring surgery. One area of particular interest to her is the prevention of blood clots. In her practice, all patients undergo a risk assessment scale for blood clots. Patients at increased risk are treated with Lovenox, a type of blood thinner, for one to two weeks.

This approach has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of blood clots for surgical patients. Additional measures such as sequential compression devices (boots that squeeze your legs) are placed on all patients during surgery. With aggressive pain management such as the use of Exparel, patients are able to ambulate or move around sooner, which also reduces the risk of blood clots.

In addition, we abide by current national standards to reduce the risk of infection. All patients receive a dose of antibiotic on the day of surgery prior to incision. The surgical site is irrigated with antibiotic solution, and patients are often placed on oral antibiotics after surgery, depending on the procedure.

Meet Dr. Alderman

Dr. Amy Alderman is a nationally known, board-certified plastic surgeon located in Buckhead near Atlanta. As a female surgeon and mother of two children, she provides a unique perspective to patient care. Each surgical plan is individually tailored to each patient’s needs and lifestyles and is aimed at enhancing her patient’s natural beauty and restoring confidence. She is known for her personal approach to patient care and has unparalleled commitment to patient safety, which can be attributed to years of education, professional experience and involvement in national patient safety initiatives.

Meet Dr. Alderman

What Happens During the Lower Body Lift Procedure?

General anesthesia is required for a lower body lift. The surgery is highly customized based on where you have excess skin and remaining pockets of fat. Therefore, the surgery may take a few hours and will require a hospital stay of one to two nights. Dr. Alderman will remove and tighten excess skin in the abdomen and reposition abdominal muscles, if necessary. If there are remaining pockets of fat in the abdomen after your weight loss surgery, liposuction will be used to remove it. Your belly button may need to be repositioned as well. This is the abdominoplasty or tummy tuck portion of the surgery.

Excess skin and pockets of fat can also be removed from the inner and outer thighs in a thigh lift procedure. A buttock lift may also be performed to remove excess skin and fat in that area.

For those with considerable excess skin, a circumferential body lift can be performed in order to remove the excess skin all around the lower body. The tissue is then lifted and contoured for a smoother look.

If liposuction is used, it involves placing a cannula (tube) within an incision and using a suction device attached to the cannula to extract the excess fat. Almost everyone has localized pockets of fat that do not respond to weight loss surgery. Removing these can improve body contours considerably.

Dr. Alderman takes care to make only those incisions necessary to provide you with your desired outcome and tries to place incisions in discreet areas. However, the incision lengths are commensurate with the amount of skin that must be excised. For this reason, scarring is inevitable after a Lower Body Lift. With proper care, the scars will heal quickly, becoming softer, flatter, and lighter in color so that they are less noticeable.

After surgery, your incisions are sutured and dressed. In some cases, drains may be placed within the incisions to capture fluids. These will be removed within a week.

What Can I Expect During Recovery from a Lower Body Lift?

A lower body lift is one of the few cosmetic surgical procedures Dr. Alderman offers that require a hospital stay of one to two nights. You will be able to walk after a few days, but you must take it easy for four to six weeks and avoid strenuous exercise or lifting. Most patients take two to three weeks off from work after a lower body lift depending upon the extent of the surgery.

For a few weeks, you will wear a compression garment that will aid in the healing process. After the first few days, we will ask you to walk several times throughout the day to encourage circulation and prevent blood clotting.

All surgeries cause some bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Oral medications and ice packs can help you through this time. You may feel more comfortable sleeping on your back for the first week or two.

Your body will be trimmer and smoother right away, but the swelling will resolve slowly over a period of about six months. You will then see your final results. Most importantly, Dr. Alderman will monitor your progress in follow-up examinations and will be available to answer your questions as you heal.

Have you been left with excess skin after weight loss surgery? Call us today to schedule a consultation to find out more about a lower body lift in Atlanta and Buckhead with Dr. Alderman.

Dr. Alderman’s National Efforts on this Topic

Chairperson of the Body Contouring Section for Aesthetica, a national cosmetic surgery meeting sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgery

American Society of Plastic Surgery Patient Safety Committee

ASPS Aesthetic Surgery Advisory Committee

Vice Chairperson, ASPS Education Aesthetic Council

Advances in Post-Bariatric Body Contouring, December 20, 2007, University of Michigan Bariatric Program.

Managing the Unfavorable Scar: When to Perform Surgical Revision.  Challenging Complications in Plastic Surgery Symposium: Successful Management Strategies.  Washington, DC, July 2012.

VTE Prevention in Cosmetic Surgery.  Georgia Society of Plastic Surgery Annual Meeting, Aug 2013, Brasstown Resort, GA.

Patient Safety: Prevention of VTE in Cosmetic Surgery.  QMP Aesthetic Surgery Symposium, Nov 2013, Chicago, IL

VTE Prophylaxis and Body Contouring: What is the Evidence?  Aesthetica 2015, Las Vegas April 30-May 2, 2015.

Combining Multiple Abdominal Procedures and Related Complications. Aesthetica 2015, Las Vegas April 30-May 2, 2015.

Thunderdome: Risk/Reward of Combined Surgical Procedures: What’s Too Much?  American Society of Plastic Surgery, Oct 20, 2015. 

The Complex Scar: New Strategies to Improve Appearance.  Aesthetica, June 2016, Washington, DC.

How Long of Surgery is Too Long?  Length of Surgery and VTE.  Aesthetica, June 2016, Washington, DC.

The Complex Scar: New Strategies to Improve Appearance.  Aesthetica, June 2016, Washington, DC.

VTE Prophylaxis: What are our options?  Aesthetica, March 2017, New Orleans, LA.

Alderman, AK. Body contouring. In The Michigan Manual of Plastic Surgery. Ed Brown & Borschel, Lippincott, Philadelphia, 2004.

Pannucci, C, Alderman, AK.  Venous Thromboembolism and the Aesthetic Surgery Patient.  Essentials of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Alderman, AK, Kerrigan, CL, Lemaine, V, Pusic, AL, Vidal, DC.  Evidence-Based Medicine &Health Services Research in Plastic Surgery.  In Plastic Surgery  1st Edition

Alderman, AK, Chung, KC.  Outcomes for Surgical Guidance in Plastic Surgery: Measuring Outcomes in Aesthetic Surgery.  Clinics in of Plastic Surgery, 2013:297-304.

Alderman, AK, Kerrigan, CL, Lemaine, V, Pusic, AL, Vidal, DC.  Evidence-Based Medicine &Health Services Research in Plastic Surgery.  In Plastic Surgery 4th Edition

Kassen, AF, Cano, SJ, Alderman, AK, et al.  The BODY-Q: A Patient-Reported Outcome Instrument for Weight Loss and Body Contouring Treatments.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Glob Open 2016;4:e679, April 13, 2016.

Murphy, RX,Jr, Alderman, AK, Gutowski, K, Kerrigan, C, Rosolowski, K, Schechter, L, Schmitz, D, Wilkins, E. Evidence-Based Practices for Thromboembolism Prevention: Summary of the ASPS Venous Thromboembolism Task Force Report. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: 130: 168e-175e, 2012.

Pannucci CJ, Alderman AK, Brown SL, Wakefield TW, Wilkins EG. The effect of abdominal wall plication on intra-abdominal pressure and lower extremity venous flow: a case report. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery: 65(3):392-4, 2012.

Alderman, AK, Collins, ED, Streu, R, Grotting, JC, Sulkin, AL, Neligan, P, Haeck, PC, Gutowski, KA.  Benchmarking outcomes in plastic surgery: national complication rates for abdominoplasty and breast augmentation.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2009;124:2127-33.

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