Body Lift (After Weight Loss Body Contouring or Post-Bariatric Surgery) - San Diego, CA*

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Losing a large amount of weight is a huge step, but it's only the first step. Whereas before you had to contend with carrying around all that extra weight, you now find yourself weighed down trying to hide all that extra skin, skin that after many years of being stretched, now sags and is unable to snap around your new shape. This stretched skin can make wearing the clothes you like uncomfortable, doing the things you like difficult, and can even result in moisture forming between the skin folds, which itself can result in irritated skin or an infection. To complete your weight loss journey, consider a body lift (also known as after weight loss body contouring or post-bariatric surgery) to remove excess skin and reveal the beautiful contours you earned.

If you live in the San Diego, CA area, a body lift can help you look your best after weight loss. Body lifts are not just about removing a large quantity of skin; they also help to improve the quality of your life and boost your confidence. At La Jolla Plastic Surgery in San Diego, triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Chaffoo performs body lift surgery to restore the contour you desire by removing excess skin (and fat) and then by tightening the skin for a more youthful appearance and a more comfortable physique.

Before Surgery

At your complimentary body lift consultation, Dr. Chaffoo will share with you the options for sculpting your new body. He will also discuss in detail what to expect with your body lift procedure including:

  • Whether your body lift will require a hospital stay and if so how long (usually no more than 2 days)
  • Surgical technique specific to your anatomy
  • Incision size and location
  • Recovery and risks associated with a body lift

Surgical Technique

A body lift is safe and effective when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Chaffoo. During your procedure, which can last upwards of 6 – 8 hours, as much as 10 – 15 pounds of fat and skin is removed from your waist, hips, buttocks, thighs and abdomen. During the lift, Dr. Chaffoo may also tighten your stomach muscles with an abdominoplasty.


After a body lift, you may spend as many as 2 nights in the hospital where medical professionals can care for you and monitor your recovery. Once you are released to go home, you should follow all post-operative instructions given by Dr. Chaffoo, including taking any prescribed medication and attending follow-up appointments at La Jolla Plastic Surgery. Since a body lift can leave many surgical scars, it is important to follow all scar care management instructions and suggestions to make sure the scars heal properly so they will flatten and fade over time. In most instances, you should be able to return to work approximately three weeks following your body lift.


Since a body lift removes the flaps and aprons of loose skin throughout the body that can weight up to 15 pounds, visible results will be seen immediately after your surgery. As the inflammation continues to decrease and the body heals, your results will improve. Most patients see their full results about 2 years after their surgery when the body is fully recovered and scars have faded. As the body continues to age, your skin may begin to sag again, but it should never be as bad as it was before your body lift.

Expected Costs

It can be difficult to estimate the cost of an average body lift since each one will vary greatly depending on the number of areas treated and the amount of skin and fat that will be removed, but you should expect to spend around $17,500. During the consultation, Dr. Chaffoo will be able to give a better estimate of your expenses and discuss medical financing options.

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Average Cost  
From $17,500
Recovery Time  
Average Procedure Time  
Up to 8 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Body Lift FAQs

Conditions Treated?

A body lift is good for anyone who has significant amounts of loose skin throughout several areas of the body. The loose, sagging skin may be the result of extreme weight loss, sun damage, pregnancy, genetic factors, or aging, but patients should be at a healthy stable weight before they schedule their body lift surgery. A body lift may include several areas of the body, including the stomach/abdomen, the back, buttocks, groin, and the thighs (inner, outer, or whole thigh). While small amounts of stubborn fat may be removed during a body lift, removing excess skin is the main priority. For patients with larger amounts of fat, liposuction may be combined with a body lift.

Combining Treatments?

Due to the length, as well as the complexity of post-bariatric surgery, other procedures are not normally performed at this time. Later, many patients elect to have liposuction, a breast lift, or other procedures to put the finishing touches on their new look.

Getting Insurance Coverage?

Your health insurance may cover part of the cost if the surgery is deemed medically necessary to stop chronic skin infections caused by the loose skin. Patients who want to use their insurance should work closely with our office to understand the rules and restrictions of their coverage.

Natural Skin Tightening?

Loose skin, whether it's caused by aging or massive weight loss, cannot be fixed naturally with things like lotions and pills. The only way to truly eliminate sagging skin is with a surgical lift. Dr. Chaffoo does recommend that patients wait at least 3 – 4 months after they are at a healthy stable weight to allow the skin time to recover on its own.

Upper or Lower Body Lift?

For an easier recovery and less risk, Dr. Chaffoo may split a body lift into 2 or more surgeries. Typically, a body lift is spilt into an upper body lift (also known as a back lift) and a lower body lift (also called a belt lipectomy). During your consultation, Dr. Chaffoo will discuss his recommended treatment plan, including how many surgeries should be scheduled to get your best results.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.