Operation Guide: Lift a Sagging Buttocks After Weight Loss


Dr Bernard Beldholm

Many people have a sagging buttocks after weight loss. A saggy bum can’t be fixed with diet and exercise when there is a lot of excess skin; a buttock lift may be needed to lift your bum.

In this article, Dr Beldholm explains what a buttocks lift can and cannot do. He reveals why some weight-loss patients need a bum lifting treatment, how the surgery works, and what results to expect. If you consider a butt lift after weight loss, many of your questions will be answered in today’s blog post.

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What is a buttock lift?

This section explains what a bum lift is, the pros and cons, and how it compares to other buttock enhancements.

What is a buttocks lift?

A buttocks lift is also known as gluteoplasty or a gluteal lift. It is done to tighten the skin on your bum after weight loss. Saggy thighs and saddlebags also improve to a degree. Doctor Bernard surgically removes and tightens the excess skin through an incision on your lower back. As the incision is closed, it lifts your bum to a higher position and tightens the skin. As a butt contouring procedure, Doctor Bernard also performs liposuction to remove fat and shape your buttocks, waistline, and sides. After recovering from surgery, the buttocks looks more lifted and taut.

What causes loose buttocks skin?

When you lose weight, you lose it all over. Your buttocks are no exception. When a person gains weight, excess fat causes the skin to stretch until it is bursting at the seams. Skin can only stretch so much before it loses elasticity. Youthful skin is firm and “snaps” back into place when it is pinched. Skin that has stretched out looks loose and deflated after losing weight.

Who is a candidate for buttocks lifting?

Reaching a healthy weight is a great accomplishment. Unfortunately, fat loss leaves some people with droopy buttocks. You may have mild sagging or skin folds that cause discomfort depending on how much fat you lose. If you find the loose skin cosmetically displeasing or uncomfortable, you may be a candidate for a buttock lift.

It’s important to reach a healthy weight before the surgery. If you haven’t reached your weight loss goal, give it time. Losing weight is a major cause of saggy skin. You don’t want to fix your lax skin now, only for more sagging to occur later.

To qualify for cosmetic surgery, you must meet certain criteria. Some health conditions may prevent you from having surgery, such as obesity or a history of stroke. If you’re a smoker, you will need to quit first. Nicotine is proven to delay healing and increase the risk of complications.

What can’t a buttock lift do?

It’s important to have realistic expectations of what a bum lift can and can’t do. Doctor Bernard’s bum lift surgery lifts and tightens the buttocks, but it won’t add volume or make your butt bigger. Instead, it improves your silhouette and makes your bum look more proportional.

If you’re looking for a ‘big Brazilian butt”, a traditional buttock lift is not going to give you that. To make your butt bigger without surgery, you either need to gain weight or muscle. Buttock implants, bum injections, and buttock fat grafting can also increase butt size. Those procedures can be risky, so Doctor Bernard does not offer them. He does not specialize in making bums bigger; His focus is making your buttock, waist, and sides look more lifted, taut, and shapely.

Operation Guide: How Doctor Bernard performs a buttock lift with VASER liposuction

Doctor Bernard’s bum lift with liposuction aims to correct buttock sagging, thigh laxity, and reduce excess fat on your buttocks, sides, and waistline — all in one surgery.

Phase 1: Surgical Prep

This is what to expect when you arrive at the hospital.

1. Surgical markings

Before surgery, Doctor Bernard meets you in the anaesthetic bay at the hospital. He will draw markings on your skin. The markings help him plan the surgery. If you have any questions before heading in the O.R., he will take the time to address your concerns.

2. Anesthesia

A bum lift is performed under a full anaesthetic. Sedative drugs are administered through an IV. You will drift off to sleep as you lie on the operation table. A team of nurses and an anaesthetist oversee you for the entire surgery. Once you are safely sedated and intubated, the operation can begin.

3. Body positioning

You will be placed on your left side on the operating table. This provides access to your left buttock, waist, and sides. Doctor Bernard operates on one side at a time. Once the left side is complete, you will be turned to your other side.

Phase 2: VASER Liposuction of the Buttocks, Waist and Lateral Thighs

First, Doctor Bernard does extensive liposuction to contour your buttocks, waist, and sides. The goal is to achieve a slim, proportional look. Your individual anatomy and aesthetic goals guide him in determining how much fat to remove. Fat reduction is done to improve the shape of your buttocks and sides. It also helps reveal muscle tone that is hiding beneath the fat.

What is VASER liposuction?

VASER is a high-def liposuction device. VASER melts fat cells with pulsed ultrasonic energy. Once melted, the fat is easily removed with suction. The treated area looks noticeably slimmer, and the results are long-lasting.

Benefits of VASER lipo

VASER does more than reduce fat. Better lifting and tightening of saggy outer thigh skin is possible when VASER is done during a bum lift. VASER also helps partially dissect the tissues, which makes it easier to remove any excess skin you might have later in the surgery. VASER is also gentler on your body than ordinary liposuction, which may mean an easier and more comfortable recovery.

How is VASER performed during a bum lift?

VASER is a three-step process.

Wetting solution

A wetting solution is injected into the target fat. It contains adrenaline, which helps to reduce bleeding. You can expect pain relief for 12 to 18 hours after surgery.

Fat melting

Doctor Bernard moves a handheld probe in a back and forth motion under your skin surface. Ultrasound energy is transmitted through the probe. This liquefies the fat until it is the consistency of hot butter.

Fat removal

At this stage, the VASER has melted all of the fat. Now that fat needs to be removed. A machine-powered suction tube removes the fat from your body. The treated area looks more slim and contoured. Because the fat has been liquefied, it is easy to remove. Less suction is needed to remove it. For this reason, VASER causes less damage to blood vessels than traditional liposuction.

Buttock Lift Cannula selection and Fat aspiration

Phase 3: Buttocks Lift

This part of the operation corrects loose skin on your buttocks and thighs.

Skin removal

After the VASER lipo is done, Doctor Bernard makes a horizontal incision on your lower back. The excess skin is elevated and trimmed off. He works in sections, about 10 to 15 cm at a time. During the operation, Doctor Bernard seals each blood vessel he sees. This lowers your risk of uncontrolled bleeding and hematoma for a safer surgery.

Buttock Lift Tissue Excision

Incision closure

Closing the incision takes time. The incision is closed in layers.Doctor Bernard also uses medical-grade tissue spray glue to seal the layers further. The glue closes all the empty spaces in your tissues to reduce the risk of seroma and hematoma in recovery. He closes the incision tight initially because there is a lot of swelling. As the swelling subsides in the next few months, your tissues will relax.

Buttock Lift Incision Closure

Drains and dressings

Drains are hollow tubes inserted into your skin to remove fluid buildup. Doctor Bernard will remove the drains in a few days. Sterile dressings are applied to keep your incision clean and protected.


Compared to other body contouring procedures (such as tummy tuck), a bum lift does not have a long recovery time. You will need to take some time off work and daily activities. Most patients get back to the gym in six weeks. During recovery, Doctor Bernard may ask you to wear a compression garment. Gentle compression relieves swelling and inflammation. He will explain everything to you before you go home.

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Your body contouring consultation

Choosing to have surgery after weight loss is a big decision. Doctor Bernard wants to help so you can make the right choice for you.

When should I get a buttocks lift?

When you come in for a consultation, Doctor Bernard will help you decide if a buttocks lift is right for you. You can schedule your visit when you are close to your weight loss goal. If you have small fat pockets that won’t go away with diet and exercise, don’t worry. He can easily get rid of small fat bulges during any body contouring surgery he performs.

What happens during the consultation?

During your initial visit, Doctor Bernard will listen carefully to your concerns. He will examine your buttocks to determine if gluteoplasty is the right approach. He will note the extent of loose skin, ask about your cosmetic goals, and answer all your questions.

Planning your post-weight loss surgery

Doctor Bernard will create a surgical plan designed just for you during your consultation.

Why address the tummy area first?

After massive weight loss, you may have loose skin on several body parts. Skin removal surgery after massive weight loss is done in stages. If you have excess skin on your tummy, addressing your abdomen is the first. Usually, a buttocks lift is done after a tummy tuck. There are different types of tummy tucks. You can read more about them here.

The next step is the buttock lift, then the thighs

A buttocks lift comes after a tummy tuck. Bum lifting fixes sagging on your buttocks. It also helps tighten the skin on your inner and outer thighs. If you still have saggy inner thighs after your buttock lift, you may need an inner thigh lift.

Some patients need a buttock lift and extended tummy tuck

When an extended tummy tuck and bum lift are done at the same time, it’s called a belt lipectomy. That will tighten loose skin 360 degrees around your abdomen. A belt lipectomy can be done in one day, or it can be split into two surgeries with a recovery time in between.

The first surgery is an extended tummy tuck. This corrects loose skin around your abdomen and hips. The bum lift is done a few months later. Afterward, your waistline (front, back, and sides) will look more shapely, lifted, and firmer. As the skin is lifted and sutured closed, it also has a skin tightening effect on the thighs.

If you have lots of excess skin on your bum and thighs, it’s better to do the surgery in two stages. More aggressive liposuction and thigh lifting can be achieved when a belt lipectomy is done in two surgeries.


Doctor Bernard’s bum lifting procedure aims to improve your proportions and restore your body after weight loss. It can help your bum, waistline, and sides look more shapely, tight, and toned, but it will not make your bum bigger. If you have sagging on other body parts, he will help you plan the surgeries during your consultation.

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30 Belmore Rd
Lorn NSW 2320


This website contains adult content. You must be 18 years or over to read. All surgery carries risks. You should seek a second opinion before proceeding. Results vary from patient to patient. See our disclaimer.
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