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Body Lift

Dramatic weight loss has many benefits. But after weight reduction surgery or any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size. The experienced plastic surgeons at Fox Valley Plastic Surgery perform body lift surgery in Wisconsin for men and women after massive weight loss to remove excess sagging fat and skin, while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue. The result is a more normal appearance with smoother contours.

What Is a Body Lift?

Front Vertical Post 5 monthsA body lift (lipectomy) may include these areas:

  • Abdominal area – locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area
  • Buttocks that may be low, flat or shaped unevenly
  • Groin that may sag into inner thigh
  • Thigh – the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or the thigh’s circumference

The operation is a demanding surgical procedure with a lengthy recovery. There may be one to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care at home. In addition, there will be a scar that will be hidden in the bikini line. In spite of this, patients consider body lifts when one or more of these conditions are present:

  • Dramatic weight loss due to bariatric surgery or dieting
  • Relatively thin layers of fat below the skin in the hip, thigh, abdomen and buttock areas
  • Overhanging skin in the lower body which restricts mobility and/or causes painful chafing, rashes or infection
  • Distress caused by sagging skin in the lower body


Insurance companies will not pay for a lower body lift. Insurance companies will only pay for procedures they (not the doctors) have determined are “medically necessary” and usually have strict criteria for each procedure to be covered.

Because there are so many variations of a body lift, it is not possible to give an accurate estimate of the price. It is best to schedule a consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons, who will give an honest assessment of what is needed to accomplish the patient’s goals. Generally, the cost of a body lift ranges from $24,000 – $32,000. The price includes the surgeon’s fee, the facility fee at the Theda Care Surgery Center, and anesthesia. The pricing is subject to change, and will change if the surgery is done at another facility, and if there are unique circumstances surrounding the surgery, etc.

The use of Strataderm® immediately after wound closure and for several weeks afterwards, is highly recommended for optimal healing. Stratamed is the first film-forming silicone gel-based wound dressing approved for the use on open wounds and compromised skin. Depending on the length of the incision, a tube of Stratamed® costs $32-$54.

Usually there are multiple procedure discounts for cosmetic procedures: 15% off the surgeon’s fee for the 2nd cosmetic procedure, and 30% off the surgeon’s fee for the 3rd procedure. The operating room fee is discounted 50% for the 2nd+ procedure, while anesthesia is based solely on time. Although there are zero interest financing options available through Care Credit and Alphaeon Credit, payment by cash gives an additional 5% discount. There may be additional discounts, which are too varied to be mentioned here.

Best Candidates

A body lift, which leaves a circumferential scar hidden in the bikini line, is appropriate if there is excess skin along the lower abdomen, relaxed abdominal wall muscles, and loose and wrinkled skin along the thighs and buttocks. Ideal candidates are:

    • Adults who are near their ideal weight and whose weight loss has stabilized
    • Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
    • Non-smokers
    • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
    • Individuals who are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness

Procedure Description

patient going under anesthesiaA complete lower body lift has the advantage of treating the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs in one procedure. Basically, the lower body lift extends the tummy tuck incision completely around the lower torso, which allows the surgeon to lift or re-suspend the thighs and tighten the buttocks as well as to execute the traditional tummy tuck. The length and the pattern of incisions depend on how much extra skin is removed and where that skin is located.

Although there are many variations of a body lift, here is a typical scenario for performing this procedure:

body lift

  • The surgeon will create a circumferential incision extending around your torso, through which he will remove an apron of excess skin and fat below the incision and reposition and tighten your tissues.
  • The remaining skin in the buttocks and thighs will be pulled upward, and the skin and underlying tissues will be suspended and tightened. The patient will be positioned on the tummy or side during this part of the procedure.
  • Once the back and sides have been addressed, the patient will be positioned on the back so the surgeon can work on the front side.
  • At this point, the surgeon can combine the lower body lift with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or an inner thigh lift, if the abdomen does not require contouring.
  • The incisions will be closed in multiple layers over drains to control stretching and swelling. Deep support sutures within the underlying tissues help to form the newly shaped contours. Sutures, skin adhesives or tapes are used to close the skin incisions.
  • Incisions extend around the body to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, outer thighs, buttocks, hips and waist.

Dr. David Janssen and Dr. William Doubek are experts in body lifts. The Wisconsin plastic surgeons are helping women and men from places such as Green Bay, Appleton, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan perfect their personal Renaissance. Contact Fox Valley Plastic Surgery at (920) 233-1540 to request your consultation in either the Oshkosh or Appleton office.

Real Patient Story

Real Patient: MandyRead about Mandy’s experience with her breast augmentation and other real patient stories in the Real Patient Stories section of our website.  Although she was an employee of ours, we treated her like we would any other patient.  She got her breast augmentation for all the right reasons, and is thrilled with the results.

Scar Placement

The lower body lift scar, which extends around the circumference of the torso, is designed to be hidden by underwear. The scar is placed low on the stomach, just above the pubic hair area, and extends toward the hip bones. At the hip bone the scar gently curves toward the top of the buttock crease to meet the incision from the other side. The scar is easily hidden by clothing.


Back Vertical post 5 monthsImmediately after surgery, patients can generally expect to be bandaged and wearing compression garments, and have some surgical drains. Patients may spend at least two days in the hospital or another setting in which there is skilled nursing care. During this time patients will receive training on taking care of the drains, get comfortable walking and moving, and feel comfortable with oral pain medications.

Once the anesthesia wears off, there may be some pain. There will be some redness and swelling after the surgery. In some cases, the swelling will remain for weeks or even months.

Patients need help at home after surgery. Patients will not feel like their normal selves for at least two weeks. Strenuous activity, including lifting, should be avoided for 4-6 weeks. This is especially important during the first two weeks.

Compression garments, which are usually not comfortable to wear, controls swelling, supports the suspended tissues, and smooth and flatten the skin.

Drains, which also control swelling, are placed to remove fluid that accumulates within the incisions. The amount of fluid in the drains are measured daily. Once the output falls low enough, the drains are removed in the office. Drains typically remain in place two to three weeks, but may be left longer. Most patients complain about the drains the most, but they are a necessary component of the procedure. Once the drains are removed, movement is easier.

Discomfort will dissipate over a week or two after the surgery. Pain medication is prescribed before the surgery so that it is available immediately after the surgery. Sutures are typically removed about two weeks after surgery in the office. Full healing of the circumferential incisions may take four weeks or even longer. Wound separations may occur, delaying wound healing (but rarely requiring further surgery). Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, tend to have the most complications and slowest healing times. It is vital to follow physician orders to order to fully recover.

Person workingThe ability to return to work at a desk job depends on a patient’s individual healing ability, pain tolerance and motivation. Body lift patients typically take off 10 days before returning to a desk job. Only a highly motivated patient can return to a desk job in less than 10 days because there will still be discomfort from the surgery and the drains interfere with clothing options. Lifting is absolutely forbidden for the first 6 weeks, so an early return to work is not suggested for patients with active jobs.

Find out more about achieving the body you want with board certified plastic surgeons Dr. David Janssen or Dr. William Doubek. The Wisconsin plastic surgeons perform cosmetic surgery for Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, and other communities in the New North. Contact Fox Valley Plastic Surgery at (920) 233-1540 or request your consultation online.  The non-refundable $100 cosmetic consultation fee can be applied towards the cost of the procedure.

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Oshkosh, WI (920) 233-1540

Oshkosh Location

Oshkosh Location
  • Fox Valley Plastic Surgery
  • 2400 Witzel Avenue, Suite A
  • Oshkosh, WI 54904
  • (920) 233-1540
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  • Monday: 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

Appleton Location

Appleton Location
  • Fox Valley Plastic Surgery
  • 2500 East Capitol Drive #1500
  • Appleton, WI 54911
  • (920) 358-1810
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  • Monday–Thursday: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

Learn more about your rights and protections related to the No Surprises Act (HR133).

Wisconsin plastic surgeons Drs. David Janssen and William Doubek perform breast augmentation, breast lift, laser hair removal, vein treatment, face lift, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and liposuction. They serve Wisconsin communities including Oshkosh, Appleton, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Fond du Lac and Neenah.

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