Chapter 4 Page 5 | Body Lifts and Butts
Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)
A lower body lift removes excess tissue from the lateral hip and inner thigh, addressing sagging skin resulting from aging, pregnancy, or extreme weight fluctuations. It is often performed in combination with liposuction and a tummy tuck and other procedures, which makes pricing a highly individual matter.
Lower body lifts are frequently part of so-called “extreme makeovers” for people who have lost large amounts of weight, either through diet and exercise or as a result of weight loss (bariatric) surgery. While insurance may cover weight loss surgery, I have yet to hear of an insurer that covers the cosmetic surgery many patients feel is necessary after losing 150 pounds or more.
Such patients may want a range of procedures that can cost $20,000 to $50,000 and more in the United States. The price range abroad can be more like $8,000 to $15,000. Patients having such extensive surgery abroad must be prepared to be away from home for at least a month, or to make more than one trip. There are various procedures that are less drastic, including procedures that address only the buttocks, lower back and/or upper thighs.
Buttocks Implants (Gluteal Augmentation)
Buttocks implants are exactly what one might imagine — implants that shape and/or raise the buttocks area. People interested in buttocks implants should be aware of some recovery issues in addition to those expected normally. Someone who has had a butt implant will be unable to sit for at least ten days and will not be allowed to sleep on his or her back for at least a month. Prices vary, though the usual “overseas discount” of 40 to 75 percent seems to apply. Butt implants in Brazil can cost $2,500 to $3,500; I have seen costs in the United States range from $5,000 to $10,000.
Some surgeons will also do a procedure that involve injecting a patients own fat, obtained by liposuction, into the buttocks area. This can cost $500 to $1,000 abroad, in addition to the cost of the liposuction. Results can be mixed, as some patients absorb some of the fat back into their bodies.
Butt implants have increased in popularity in recent years, as have a host of other more esoteric procedures such as refashioning the labia.