Should I Have A Body lift At The Same Time As Liposuction?

Q: I am 50 years old and my average weight hovers around 108 lbs. I have had four pregnancies. I have already had a mini tummy tuck but now have belly fat above my belly button and at the rib cage. There is also fat around the hip area as well. I have a surgery scheduled for liposuction but was told I would have to later have a “full body lift” to get the loose skin off. There is maybe two inches at the sides. I am in good shape. I use to go to the gym. Is it possible to do the liposuction with the other procedure or will it “kill the skin” as I am told and would not a tummy tuck be preferred to a “full body lift”?

A:  At your age, regardless of how good your skin quality may be, liposuction will not tighten up the skin to any significant degree. While I can’t see what you look like, your statement that you have extra skin now is a certainty that you will have more extra skin after liposuction.

It makes sense, therefore, to consider some type of skin removal when you are doing the liposuction procedure. It would be unusual for someone like you to need a full body lift. Body lifts are exclusively done on patients who have lost a lot of weight, whether by bariatric surgery or on their own. You more likely need an extension of your previous tummy tuck out to the hip areas or maybe a little beyond to get the excess skin. The 360 degree or circumferential scar that results from a body lift is not likely needed in your case.

Liposuction can be safely done at the same time as the skin excision. While devascularizing the undermined skin is possible  (‘killing the skin’ as you have indicated), an experienced plastic surgeon will know how to blend those two together to minimize that risk.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana