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What Is a Body Lift?

A body lift is a surgical procedure that can result in a more toned and proportionate appearance of the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and upper arms. This procedure removes excess sagging fat and skin and then shapes underlying tissue. This plastic surgery procedure is also treatment for cellulite or dimpled, irregular skin surface and is often used for patients who have undergone bariatric surgery.

Who Is a Good Candidate?
Weight fluctuations, sun damage, pregnancy and heredity can contribute to poor tissue elasticity. Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone, but if the skin has lost elasticity, the underlying tissues are weak or there are localized fat deposits, you are a good candidate for a body lift.

In addition, a good candidate for a body lift is an adult in good general physical condition whose weight is relatively stable and who is not significantly overweight. Patients should not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase surgical risks. The ideal candidate will also have realistic goals for improvement.

What to Expect
Based on the amount and location of the excess skin to be removed, your plastic surgeon will determine the incision length and pattern. A complete lower body lift treats the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs. In this procedure, a circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat, then the tissues are tightened and repositioned. Deep support sutures within underlying tissues are left in place to support the new shape.

The incisions will be closed with absorbable sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or sutures that will be removed one to two weeks later. While results will be visible almost immediately, it may take up to two years for the permanent results to fully develop.

Initially after surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions. A small, thin tube (drain) may be temporarily placed under the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.

Recovery Information
You will be given specific instructions after cosmetic surgery, including:

  • How to care for yourself
  • Medications to apply or take orally
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
  • When to follow up with your cosmetic surgeon

Resources
For more information about this cosmetic procedure, visit The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Find a Doctor
To locate a board-certified cosmetic surgeon affiliated with Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, search the online physician database or call 678-312-5000.