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Body Lifts

A great body can't always be achieved through diet and fitness alone. Heredity, weight fluctuation, pregnancy and aging can influence the shape and tone of every body zone. From the arms, breasts, tummy to the buttocks, hips and thighs.


                           Measuring after a body lift

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Body lifts can be a difficult surgical procedure and also requires a lifestyle change. It is important that the patient be at a stable weight at the time of surgery. It is also very important that a lifestyle change be evident with a consistent and healthy pattern of exercising and dieting that will help maintain the result long term.


A body lift is indicated when a patient has had a massive weight loss and they end up having sagging and drooping excess skin afterwards. The body lift can be done in stages or in one surgical session, however; if a total body lift is being attempted - this is completed in two separate surgical procedures.


Some people refer to the this procedure as a "face lift" for the body. 

There are various types of body lifts that are available depending on the extent of the excess skin and fat. Body lifts reduces excess sagging tissue and re-shapes the specific area of the body. Surgical incisions will differ on the area treated, the amount of correction that is needed. One universal procedure of a lower body lift will use an incision that is similar to a bikini pattern to tighten the abdomen, groin, waist, thigh and buttock area. 


A total lower body lift will treat the following as one procedure:

  • buttocks

  • abdomen

  • waist

  • hips

  • thighs


The incision pattern for a complete lower body lift is a circumferential incision which will remove a "apron" of excess skin and fat and repositions and secures the tissues. Sometimes it is necessary to have liposuction added to this procedure to achieve the proper contour. Surgeons use deep support sutures in the underlying tissues to help secure the new shape with sutures, skin adhesive (such as fibrin tissue glue), tapes or clips.






 Incisions for a Body Lift    Incisions for a Body Lift    Incisions after a body lift


 Incisions for a Lower Body Lift    Incisions for a Lower Body Lift   Incisions after the Lower Body Lift

                                           Copyright 2010 ASAPS - Used with permission             

                                          Incision Sites for a Lower Body Lift




The following procedures are all considered Body Lifts:






There are three different types of body lifts that are available. The type of lift is predicated on where the excess tissue and skin is located.





A Belt Lipectomy - LBL or Lower Body Lift is surgical procedure that is done with an incision that goes around the entire belt-line of the waist - across the lower portion of the abdominal wall and down the inner thighs. A lower body lift is also known as a "belt lipectomy" can transform a patient's mid and lower body. 

The excess fat and tissue are surgically removed and the incisions are closed.  Most surgeons use a compression garment for the patient to wear so that their new shape will be contoured.  Just getting a lower body lift and not tightening the stomach or abdominal wall can be more difficult. 

Most patients however, prefer to combine a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty with the lower body lift so that they will end up with the best results. 


A Upper Body Lift refers to:


A Mid-Body Lift (Torsoplasty) refers to:


A Lower Body Lift (LBL) re-shapes the following:





With the mid-body lift, the abdominal area is addressed at the same time as the lower body lift (hips, buttocks and thighs). There are distinct advantages to a mid-body lift over a lower body lift, as the surgeon is able to create a smooth continuous contour from the abdominal wall all the way down to the the thighs. 

The surgeon performs this procedure with an  incision around the entire waist to access the abdominal muscles to tighten them. The muscles are pulled together and sutured into place to help create a flatter stomach and smaller waistline. 






Patients who have lost dramatic amount of weight and have excess skin in which elasticity has been lost - a total body lift would be recommended. Excess skin can cause other medical issues, including discomfort and chafing. A total body lift will address every part of the body that has accumulated fat and excess skin/tissue - and be re-contoured to achieve a much more trim and lifted appearance.

The following areas are addressed with a total body lift:

A total body lift refers to both the upper body lift as well as the lower body lift.  The upper body lift is done separately from the lower body lift. 

Having a Total Body Lift is a very comprehensive surgery and requires at least six weeks for post operative recovery.





The Upper Body Lift consists of:


                                                   Brachioplasty or Arm Lift Surgery

                                             Copyright 2010 ASAPS - Used with permission      

                                                        Brachioplasty Procedure


A brachioplasty can improve the shape and contour of the upper arm area with incisions that are placed in the inner arm area. This procedure takes care of the "bat wings" that occur from excess skin and fat.  The skin quality is improved greatly in appearance and feel.  Depending on the extent of the excess skin in the upper arm region, will predict what type of brachioplasty will be right for you and the length of the incision. Typically a full brachioplasty incision will run from the axillary or arm pit area down to the elbow.





The fat that is on your legs is different than the fat that is located in other parts of your body.  The distribution and proportion of fat on the female legs is often genetically predisposed - making it more resistant to diet and exercise. Leg fat is superficial - unlike the abdominal area and hips, legs do not have any deep fat compartments. 

This means that if liposuction is used for the leg or ankle area, it is done much closer to the skin than any other part of the body. The area behind the knees is full of nerves and important blood vessels, that is vulnerable to injury. If liposuction is indicated - it should be done with great caution in that area. The lower leg area can be tricky as what we might perceive as fat could be muscle structure.

In women, fat is found throughout the thigh area, specifically the inner and outer thighs, saddlebags, and hips.  Some women only have fat deposits on the outside edges of the thigh area, while others may have fat deposits on the inner portion of the thigh. The thighs and hips contain a large amount of an enzyme called lipase, which can cause these areas to store fat quickly. 

This is why the thighs and hips might be resistant to diet and exercise. When liposuction is done on the outer portion of the thighs - it is often done in conjunction with the buttocks and upper inner thigh for a more streamline look. When liposuction is performed on the inner thigh - the inner knee area is done at the same time.

Read more about Thigh Lifts and Thighplasty





There are some distinct differences between the various methods of body lifts. Each patient carries excess skin and fat accumulation differently, so there are different methods of lifting the body after weight loss.





Some patients have might have accumulated fat and excess skin around the abdominal wall, back, and waist - however; their lateral thighs are in good shape. In a belt lipectomy the excess skin and fat is removed circumferentially and the skin is sutured. In a body lift the thighs and buttock attachments are released and these structures are lifted.





A panniculectomy is similar to a tummy tuck in that it removes a large amount of abdominal skin and tissue.  A panniculectomy is designed specifically for the patients who have an very large hanging "pannus" or "spare tire".  An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is indicated for the patients who have excess loose skin (but not a spare tire).

The procedure of a panniculectomy is limited in that it does NOT:

  • tighten the abdominal muscle wall like an abdominoplasty with muscle repair would  

  • make the waist narrower

  • tighten the upper thigh region





An abdominoplasty will only correct the looseness and sagging tissue of the abdomen area. A body lift combines the surgical procedure of a tummy tuck with the lifting and tightening of not only the back skin folds - but helps lift the sagging buttocks area and the outer thighs.

A body lift is a much more comprehensive and extensive surgical procedure with it's main goal of "lighting and tightening the entire lower body".  Most patients who are considering surgery and have sagging or loose abdominal skin and some sagging of the buttocks can use the procedure Extended Tummy Tuck or High Tension Tummy Tuck. For the other patients who have had massive weight loss and have a lot of sagging or loose lower body skin - a Lower Body Lift would be suggested.





Patients who benefit from lower body lift surgery have:

  • Loose or sagging skin in their buttocks and back of their thighs

  • Loose or sagging skin in their hips and side of their thighs

  • Loose or sagging skin in the front of their thighs

  • Loose or sagging abdominal skin or in their inner thighs

  • Relatively thin layers of fat below the skin of these areas

  • Patient is aware of the thin scars around the waist that will be permanent

  • Patients who are at a weight loss "plateau"

  • Patients who have had massive weight loss

  • Patients who have their lower body muscles stretched out from pregnancy

The amount of loose skin of course will vary from patient to patient depending on their own unique anatomy.





It is important to your surgeon that your body lift incision will be camouflaged as best as they can be. Most patients are able to still wear most swim-suits and low rise jeans with no problem. The incision for the lower body lift is done around the entire mid-section - the abdominal muscles and fascia (connective tissues) are tightened and repaired - and the excess skin is trimmed away.

This is followed by deep and superficial skin closure. Several drains are usually placed to prevent fluid collection. Dressings may include light dressings or girdle-like pressure garment. You will stay at least overnight at the surgery center or hospital for careful monitoring prior to discharge.





Advantages of a Lower Body Lift

  • Removes excess skin and fat around entire mid-line and torso

  • Directly removes excess fat

  • Strengthens and repairs the abdominal muscles

  • Reduces regional fat with liposuction

  • Sculpts abdominal area and re-contours

  • Lifts upper thighs and buttocks

  • One surgery will address multiple areas (including buttocks, thighs, abdomen)

  • Removal of the excess skin will allow the lower body area to be tightened in the back (buttocks area) as well as the front of the thighs

  • A total body lift will include improvement to the breast and arm area - breast augmentation, breast lift as well as a brachioplasty (arm lift) can be combined with a Lower Body Lift

  • The newer Bra Line Back Lift can also be utilized with lifting sagging or excess skin from the upper to middle back





Facts you need to know about your Body Lift

  • Surgery Length: 4 to 8 hours

  • Back to Work: 14 to 21 days

  • Return to Exercise: 10 days (light exercise) - 6 to 8 weeks for strenuous exercise





Other Body Lift Links:
















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