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What to Expect After a Lower Body Lift

If you’ve recently experienced dramatic weight loss, congratulations! You’ve achieved an important step in improving your health and quality of life. However, you may now be dealing with stretched out or flabby skin around certain areas of your body. A lower body lift can be the ideal solution. The lower body lift is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess skin and any remaining fat deposits around the butt, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs—all in one procedure. The results are immediate and quite dramatic. Skin that was once loose and saggy will now be tight, smooth, and more attractive.

However, you should be aware of that recovering from lower body lift surgery can be a lengthy process. At Northeastern Plastic Surgery, we’re lower body lift experts and wanted to provide specifics about the recovery process.


Upon waking from surgery, you’ll be bandaged and wearing compression garments. You’ll also have a few surgical drains to help remove fluid that accumulates within the incisions. When the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some pain. Typically, people spend at least 48 to 72 hours in the hospital. However, some of our smaller patients can go home that same day, and don’t usually need to spend more than two days in the hospital. During this time, you’ll learn how to take care of your drains and how to take any medications. You will be encouraged to walk the day after surgery.


You can expect some redness, bruising, and swelling to develop after the surgery. You’ll continue to wear compression garments for 2 to 3 weeks, which will help reduce swelling and smooth and flatten the skin. You’ll check your drains daily and measure the amount of fluid collected. This is important information for your doctor. After about 1 or 2 weeks, you’ll return to your doctor’s office to have the drains and sutures removed.

Recovery can be painful, but your doctor will prescribe medication to help with the pain that you should take as directed. Make sure you continue to have lots of help at home—this cannot be stressed enough. You won’t feel like yourself for at least two weeks, and you shouldn’t do anything strenuous, including lifting or exercise for 4 to 6 weeks. You can, and should, be sure to walk a bit every few hours. If you have small children, you should arrange to have someone else be totally in charge of their care for at least 2 weeks.

Be Prepared for Scarring

Today’s plastic surgeons are skilled at making the smallest and most inconspicuously placed incisions possible to reduce visible scarring. However, the extent of work that is done during body lift surgery makes scarring inevitable, and your scars may be distinct for the first few months after the procedure. However, you can talk to your surgeon about how to mitigate scarring. Know that your scars will most likely fade over time and become quite subtle.

How to Help Yourself Heal

Now that you know what may lay ahead, there’s actually a lot you can do to assist your recovery following body lift surgery. For example, you may try:

How to Cope with Emotional Challenges

Aside from the physical challenges you may experience during recovery, there are also emotional and mental challenges. Plastic surgery in general, and especially something as dramatic as a lower body lift, is a major life event. There’s actually a recognized phenomenon called post-plastic surgery depression. You’ve dreamed and planned, and now that the surgery is done, there’s a certain letdown or a spontaneous negative reaction that comes from change. You may even feel a certain sense of regret.

Be comforted by the fact that your feelings are perfectly normal, and you are not alone. If you find yourself feeling sad or depressed, there are a number of things you can do:

All in all, it can take a full 12 months before you are fully recovered from body lift surgery. If you are interested in body lift surgery, then talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Fodero. Together, you can create a recovery plan that will help you heal, reduce scarring, stay positive, and truly enjoy the results of the surgery.

Northeastern Plastic Surgery understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. We use the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have about the procedures we offer. We strive to ensure that your experience with us is positive. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.

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