Complications Following a Lower Body Lift Surgery

Complications Following a Lower Body Lift Surgery

21st Oct 2017

This is a surgical procedure used to remove excess fatty tissue and excess skin from the lower and middle abdomen, thighs and hips. Also known as belt lipectony, it can greatly reduce wrinkles in thighs and buttocks and give that abdominal area a dramatically new look and youthful appearance. This procedure is not a weight loss solution but an effective surgical intervention that addresses lower body aesthetic issues resulting from considerable weight loss, natural aging or weight fluctuations. Any obese or overweight person should first use other measures to lose weight before considering a lower body lift procedure.

During the consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss with you if there is a need to combine lower body lift procedure with other cosmetic surgery procedures, depending on your desired results as a patient. A lower body lift, combined with abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck procedure delivers more impressive results than a stand-alone lower body lift.

Are you a good fit for a body lift?

Before going under the knife for body lift surgery, a person should be in good physical health and near ideal body weight to increase the chances of successful results. It’s also advisable that women planning to get pregnant should avoid any plastic surgery procedure involving the abdominal area such as a lower body lift. Lower body lift surgery is suitable for individuals who understand what the procedure entails and for people with realistic expectations. It is also a procedure for people dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle before and after undergoing this procedure.

Electing to go through a lower body lift surgery requires a lot of thought and preparation. Do your initial research and consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to better understand what the procedure entails. Maintain open communication with your surgeon. Be honest with your plastic surgeon and let him know what you want or expect. This will allow your surgeon to recommend the best procedure or combinations to use and the options available for you. It is also crucial that you give your complete medical history and a list of medications you had taken or currently taking. Some medications can complicate body lift surgery results so your surgeon will need to know so he can advise you accordingly.

Having an elective surgery is an extremely personal decision and you must consider possible outcomes and see whether you could realistically achieve the results you want through the surgery you chose. Weigh your reasons for having this surgery. Is it really what you want or are you simply doing this to please a loved one? Do the benefits far outweigh the risks? It is important for a patient to understand that a body lift surgery involving multiple procedures can increase the possibility of risks and complications, especially scarring. Multiple plastic surgery procedures obviously increase chances of visible scarring. You should discuss such things with your plastic surgeon to see how to reduce complications. Some of the complications discussed here are just the same complications linked to any form of plastic surgery procedure.

Here are some of the complications and risks following a lower body lift surgery:

1. Visible scarring:

This risk is not only linked to lower body lift surgery but also to other types of plastic surgery procedures. Most procedures involving the use of incisions usually leave scars and a lower body lift surgery is no different. If the sutures used take longer than expected to disappear, the resulting scars may be visible and easily noticeable. If a patient heals swiftly then there may be minimal scarring, which can be hidden by your swimwear. Depending on how a patient heals and recovers from lower body lift surgery, resulting scars may be minimal, excessively wide and can be asymmetrical in some cases. During recovery, avoid exposing your incisions to direct sunlight as this may lead to extremely dark and unattractive scars. In cases where there is abnormal scarring, there is a possibility of another surgery or treatment to reduce the scars.

2. Infections

Infections after lower body lift surgery are usually uncommon but if they occur, your plastic surgeon should be informed immediately. It is usually recommended that lower body lift surgery patients to avoid smoking or drinking alcohol. Smoking can lead to infections after body lift surgery, which is why it is not advisable to smoke while recovering from surgery. If there is a severe infection after this surgery, your plastic surgeon may recommend antibiotics or another surgery to remove any dead tissue due to an infection. Diabetic patients and patients who were not physically fit prior surgery are also more likely to develop infections.

3. Poor healing of wounds

Successful healing from lower body lift surgery can also depend on a patient’s lifestyle before and after surgery. Patients who go under the knife while still smoking are usually prone to infections. On the other hand, patients who are healthy and within their ideal body weight usually take a much shorter time to recover compared to the less healthy ones. Smoking after a body lift surgery prolongs healing, can lead to swelling, and in worse cases, sutured areas may also reopen.

4. Bleeding

Bleeding is a common risk for all plastic surgery procedures, which involve the use of incisions. If the lower body lift procedure leads to abnormal wound healing, it is very likely that the patient may also experience bleeding. To reduce risks of bleeding after undergoing this plastic surgery procedure, it is always important for patients to avoid some medications such as aspirin weeks before surgery. Herbal supplements should also be avoided during recovery to avoid bleeding. Bleeding may sometimes lead to hematoma, a condition in which there is an aberrant collection of blood outside of the blood vessel so that it accumulates under the skin forming a bulge. Any hematoma or bleeding after lower body lift surgery requires immediate action and your plastic surgeon should be informed immediately.

5. Accumulation of fluids

This condition is also known as a seroma. After drains are removed from the wound, a patient may experience what is known as fluid accumulation. If fluids accumulate in the wound after a lower body lift surgery, the patient should inform his plastic surgeon immediately to avoid further complications. New drainage can be inserted by your plastic surgeon to drain all fluids and leave your wound dry.

6. Skin Necrosis

After body lift surgery, the skin at the area of treatment may die. Anything that interrupts the flow of blood to the skin often leads to necrosis, healing problems and dehiscence. A necrotic skin usually falls off which may sometimes lead to infections. This is rare and if it occurs, your plastic surgeon should be informed immediately to prevent infection or accumulation of harmful microorganisms in your wound area.

7. Changes in skin sensation

Most plastic surgery procedures usually lead to changes in skin sensation at the site of surgery. Patients may also experience some pain in the area due to increased sensitivity of the skin. This change in skin sensation may ease after a few weeks following a body lift surgery, but this would again depend on how a patient responds. After some time, there is also a possibility of experiencing some itchiness and pinprick sensation under your skin, which is due to nerve regeneration and quite common after surgery.

8. Swelling

Some patients experience swelling and discoloration of the skin after undergoing body lift surgery. This can be avoided by not exposing your wounds to direct sunlight. Incisions should not be exposed to UV light because it may lead to discoloration of the skin and dark scars.

9. Nerve damage

Nerve damage is a complication, which is common in plastic surgery. If the surgery is not performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, a lower body lift can lead to serious nerve damage. It is important to discuss this complication with your surgeon and to know how such risk can be minimized. In most cases, there is numbness and sensitivity changes at a surgery site due to nerve damage. Lower body lift surgery can also lead to extensive damage to internal structures. This injury to internal organs may end up being permanent or temporary.

10. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

This condition occurs when blood clot is formed deep in veins especially in the legs after undergoing surgery. Though rare, this condition can lead to further complications if it occurs. During plastic surgery procedure such as liposuction, fats may end up entering the blood and transported through blood vessels, which can cause DVT. These fat deposits may end up in lungs, brain and the entire system, which may lead to fatal pulmonary complications.


A lower body lift may lead to undesired results, which may require undergoing another surgery for corrections. It is a risk common to any type of plastic surgery. However, despite the complications, the body lift surgery is a common and popular plastic surgery procedure designed to address sagging and loose skin in the abdomen and lower parts of the body and create a greatly improved silhouette and youthful, slimmer appearance.

Share this article: