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Body Lift - Lower Body Lifts


                             Lower Body Lift

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When you hear the terms "thong lift", "lateral tension lift", "circumferential lift", "belt lipectomy" and others to describe surgery that reshapes target zones or the entire body from the waist area to through the hips. A lower body lift can address the tummy, love handles, flanks, buttocks, hips and thighs individually or collectively. The result is a more defined and proportionate contours with a smooth appearance of your skin that will conform to your new shape. This form of body lift surgery is the fastest growing cosmetic surgical procedures.

There are various ways of attempting a Lower Body Lift - each method is dependent on the amount of skin or tissue that is sagging and the location.  It is important that a cookie cutter approach is not taken, as no two people are the same. There are various methods that can be utilized based on a patient's need. The skin reduction reconstruction surgeries must be custom designed for each person. 

Before considering body contouring after massive weight loss, patients should be at a stable weight for a minimum of six months - which will depend on the weight loss procedure that has been used.  The body lift procedures, which are normally done in stages - can be limited to a certain area of the body, including the breasts, arms, stomach, thighs, and buttocks, or address multiple regions with the circumferential body lift.

If the procedures are done in stages, it can take up to a year or more to complete and bring the patient back to the world of "normalcy".



The procedure calls for strategically placed incisions in which the plastic surgeon will reshape your body contours by reducing fat, lifting, tightening, and shaping the underlying skin matrix and smoothing and reducing the overlying skin.  Depending on your skin quality and the regions your body lift will address, incisions could be limited or extensive.  Most patients are willing to accept the trade off of visible scars for improved contour and shape.

For example, a thigh lift takes a vertical scar from the groin, down. If patients can get a dramatic change in their clothing, most are willing to accept the scars.

The lifted shape of new and improved body zones is visible immediately after surgery, but contours, skin tone and scars will continue to refine for as long as six months to a year after surgery.

After the procedures, it is so important to maintain a stable weight, practice good nutrition and exercise regularly -  to keep your form from bulging again.


                        ASAPS - Lower Body Lift Incisions

                                         Front Image of Lower Body Lift Incisions

                              ASAPS - Lower Body Lift

                                               Front Image of Lower Body Lift Incisions

                              ASAPS - Lower Body Lift 

                                                 Copyright 2010 ASAPS - Used with permission     

                                              Back Image of Lower Body Lift Incisions                 




A belt lift is considered a mid and lower body lift. The "belt lift" got it's name from where a belt would rest on the body....and the surgeon uses specifically targeted incisions to remove the excess skin and fat and then sculpts the area into the desired shape. Both excess fat and skin is removed.  Not all patients are considered good candidates for this procedure, as it is dependent on where the fat is located.



The belt lift 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 and around the back. This procedure is considered a "circumferential incision" around the waist and back.  It is through this incision that extra skin and tissue are permanently removed and reshaped. If the patient is committed to a new healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise - this procedure can last a very long time.

Large amount of loose skin where the excess is circumferential involving the:

  • abdomen

  • hips

  • buttocks

  • outer thighs

  • back



A central body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is a cosmetic surgery that involves tightening and removing the excess skin and fatty tissue circumferentially (in a circular incision) from the belly, hips, back, buttocks, and outer thighs.



Removing excess skin and tissue from the buttocks region is called a "thong lift". Through the incisions the area is reshaped and contoured to a more attractive look.



The high lateral tension abdominoplasty was developed by Dr. Ted Lockwood in 1993. This procedure places less tension on the pubic mons area and most tension over the anterior thigh region. Conventional Abdominoplasty tightens muscles only in a vertical line. With the lateral tension lift, the waist - hips - thighs are the targeted areas. 

A high lateral tension abdominoplasty combines the effects of a tummy tuck and a lateral thigh lift without the need to undergo an extensive body lift. The incision is a longer and is located higher up the sides of the abdominal area than the traditional tummy tuck incision. This technique also allows removal of maximum skin from the flanks giving a more sculpted appearance. The final result with High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty is a flatter abdomen area with significantly better-defined waistline.

The Lateral Tension Lift does the following:

  • Emphasis on the lateral lower abdominal wall skin excess excision and the post surgical skin tension

  • Use of the super-fascial system for incision closure - helps with minimizing the scar

  • Limited undermining of the upper abdominal wall skin flaps - which preserves abdominal flap blood supply and allows for liposuction of the abdominal region without compromising skin viability

  • Liposuction to treat upper and lateral abdominal wall and hip/flank fat deposits

High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia and requires a recovery time of one to two weeks.  Abdominal exercises should be avoided for a period of six to eight weeks. This is to avoid undue tension on the tightened muscles until healing is completed.



A torsoplasty procedure is not a surgical treatment for being overweight. Obese individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body contouring surgery until they have reached a stable weight. 

A torsoplasty is a series of surgical procedures, usually done together to improve the contour of the torso, usually female (though not exclusively). This series would include abdominoplasty with liposuction of the hips/flanks and breast augmentation and/or breast lift/reduction. In men, this could include reduction of gynecomastia by suction assisted lipectomy/ultrasound assisted lipectomy or excision.



A circumferential torsoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that is performed in order to improve the appearance of the trunk or torso after a massive weight loss. It involves a circular incision around the body that is used to rid excess fat and skin.  This procedure combines surgical procedures that are able to remove and tighten excess skin on the stomach, lower back, buttocks and thighs.  Significant swelling is to be expected for several weeks, with mild swelling continuing for up to a year.



An abdomen reduction and buttock reduction done together is called a circumferential body lift.  The incisions are made around the entire circumference of the body - normally from hip to hip (front and back). The excess skin between the incisions is removed and the incisions are then pulled together and closed. 

A circumferential lift address the following areas:

  • overhanging abdominal skin

  • lifts the pubic area

  • lifts sagging buttocks

  • lifts thighs and hips


The circumferential lift includes:

The circumferential body lift procedure requires at least six to twelve weeks to return to normal activity.  This is to allow the incisions and surrounding tissues to heal properly without having any complications.




           Incisions for Circumferential Body Lift


                                            Copyright 2010 ASAPS - Used with permission



An extended circumferential body lift involves removing a triangle of tissue from the abdomen and suturing each side of the body like a vest to develop a waistline. This eliminates excess tissue from top to bottom as well as across the body. Liposuction is added to help contour the area to a more pleasing shape.



A lower body lift is a procedure that treats the lower trunk and thighs as a unit by eliminating a circumferential wedge of tissue that is generally more inferiorly positioned laterally and posteriorly than a belt lipectomy. A lower body lift can sculpt the stomach, love handles, hips and thighs, and buttocks. The lower body lift typically includes an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck.



Panniculectomy involves the removal of hanging excess skin/fat in a transverse or vertical wedge but does not include muscle repair or flap elevation. A cosmetic abdominoplasty is sometimes performed at the time of a functional panniculectomy or delayed pending completion of weight reduction.



A circumferential lipectomy combines an abdominoplasty with a “back lift”, both procedures being performed together in succession and includes suction assisted liposuction, where necessary.






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