Body Lift

Upper Body Lift – Lower Body Lift – Back Lift – Belt Lipectomy

When a person loses a significant amount of weight, through gastric bypass, lap band surgery, post-pregnancy, or diet and exercise, they can be left with an abundance of excess skin that cannot possibly conform to the new contours of their body. The lose skin makes it difficult to feel confident, fit into clothing, and or it may get in the way of maintaining personal hygiene and cause rashes and skin infections.

In this case, a body lift will remove excess skin, help to repair and adjust the contour of underlying tissues, and remove any excess fat that may remain.

While this surgical procedure can be applied to the entire body, it may be limited to the arms, breasts, chest, and middle back (upper body lift), the midsection, lower back, buttocks, groin, hips, and thighs (lower body lift), or in conjunction with a Tummy Tuck, or Mommy Makeover.

Who Is a Candidate for Body Lift?

  • People who are in good overall health
  • People who have maintained a stable weight for at least 6-12 months
  • Women who do not intend to become pregnant
  • People with excess loose skin due to significant weight loss

Who Is Not a Candidate for Body Lift?

  • A person who is still in the midst of weight loss
  • A woman who may become pregnant
  • A person who still has significant health issues related to obesity or other causes

Intended Results of Body Lift

  • After a body lift, the results will be dramatic and immediate and permanent.
  • Although it is not the primary objective, removal of excess skin and minimal fat will result in additional weight loss.
  • As the body heals, the results will continue improving until two years after the surgery, at which point they are considered final.
  • There will be some visible scars but the improvement of the contours of the skin adds confidence and helps individuals gain the full benefit of their new shape.

Procedure Description for Body Lift

  • The specific procedures will vary significantly from one patient to another depending on the complexity of the surgery, the individual’s aesthetic priorities, and the cosmetic surgeon’s preferences. The following procedures are very general and are provided only as an example.
  • The surgery will take several hours
  • Anesthesia is administered
  • The incisions are made
  • Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat and improve the contour at the same time
  • The underlying tissues are repaired and shaped
  • The incisions are closed with sutures
  • Drains will be placed temporarily to aid recovery

Healing and Recovery for Body Lift

  • It is extremely important that you follow your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions very closely.
  • The body lift is an extensive surgery and achieving optimal results will require your compliance in your initial home care, follow up, and long-term recovery.
  • You will be given medications to control pain and aid recovery.
  • You will need to monitor your incisions and change dressings regularly.
  • Your surgeon will provide guidelines for the appropriate level of activity as your body heals.
  • Within 12 weeks, most of the swelling should have dissipated.

Options for Body Lift


The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.

Are you considering a Body Lift? Visit our Find a Surgeon Directory to find a highly-qualified cosmetic surgeon near you.

Reviewed by Jason Emer, MD, FAAD, FAACS, who specializes in cosmetic dermatology and body contouring in West Hollywood, California.