Choosing between getting a body lift and a tummy tuck is a decision Montreal patients should make in consultation with a plastic surgeon. The answer will depend on your cosmetic needs, medical history, and your budget. That said, if you want a rough guide to when most surgeons will recommend each, here are the situations for which each procedure is used:
Tummy tucks are the best way to contour the stomach after weight loss. In addition to removing excess skin and fat, they tighten the muscle wall, making abs permanently tighter.
A tummy tuck is most useful when weight loss is concentrated in the stomach. Concentrated weight loss tends to leave much looser skin than general weight loss. A common cliché among surgeons is that 100 lbs of weight loss over the whole body leaves less looseness than 50 lbs of weight loss in the stomach area. A tummy tuck is the least invasive way to handle extra loose skin up front. Furthermore, it can affect the appearance of the groin, bust, and lower back.
Many surgeons recommend starting with a tummy tuck and then adding more procedures if you feel you need them. This approach has its disadvantages, though. Adding surgeries, such as a thigh tuck or buttocks enhancement will require additional incisions and scars. Three surgeries will be much harder on the body than just a lower body lift. If you have multiple problem areas and know you will need to deal with them eventually, a tummy tuck is probably not your best option.
One final consideration: tummy tucks should only be done if you know you will not become pregnant again. The tight ab lines look great but can be quickly broken apart during a pregnancy. If pregnancy is on the table, a lower body lift is much safer.
Lower Body Lift
Lower body lifts are more invasive and leave more scars than tummy tucks, but are less invasive and produce less scarring than multiple surgeries. A lower body lift will tighten the skin of the stomach, back, buttocks, and thighs. It may even cause a slight firming of the bust.
Along with these benefits come additional risks. The incision for a lower body lift circles around the body, removing much more tissue than a tummy tuck. In some cases, a second incision around the lower buttocks may be needed. As with all surgery, these incisions carry risks of infection and scarring. They also cause trauma to the underlying tissue, leading to longer recovery times.
In a Nutshell
Most surgeons will recommend you start with a tummy tuck and add additional surgeries as needed. However, if you already know you want to seriously firm up your whole lower body, pursuing a lower body lift will ultimately be less of a hassle than multiple surgeries.