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Lower Body Lift

A well-toned body with smooth contours is often a sign of fitness achieved by healthy diet and exercise. But exercise cannot always achieve results for individuals who have loose, sagging skin, often associated with losing weight.

If you desire a firmer, more youthful looking body contour, then plastic surgery may help achieve your goals. Think of both the front and back of the torso. To address the front, individuals will have either a tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, or will have a panniculectomy. There are also body contouring procedures to address excess, loose, wrinkled, sagging skin at the buttocks and across the back.

These go by a variety of names such as a buttock lift, belt lipectomy, or lower body lift, but the goal, no matter what the name, is to reduce the excess unwanted skin in the vicinity of the upper buttocks. Individuals who have lost a great deal of weight, in particular, may be candidates for these procedures on the back of the torso.  The best way to learn how body contouring can help fulfill your personal goals is a consultation with a plastic surgeon.



A circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat and repositions and tightens tissues.




A complete lower body lift treats the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs in one procedure.

What are lower body lifts (buttock lift, belt lipectomy)?

These procedures target excess loose and sagging skin and correct irregular contours of the body. They can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface.

Body lifts are not intended only for the removal of excess fat since they target skin in addition to the underlying fat. Liposuction alone can greatly minimize excess fat deposits, leaving skin behind, where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours (*).

Body lifting procedures may be appropriate for individuals who are of stable weight that is reasonably proportionate to their height and body frame. Since pregnancy may diminish results, childbearing women, ideally, should be through with childbearing. Body lift procedures may be performed on adults of any age who have realistic goals in mind for improvement of their body contour.

Good candidates are:

  • Individuals with significant soft tissue looseness, typically from losing a great deal of weight
  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring

Where do I begin?

A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how body lifting procedures can improve your body contours.  A consultation is designed to fully educate you about your body lift in a non-pressured environment, and will include:

  • A discussion of your goals and an evaluation of your individual case
  • The options available in body lift surgery
  • The likely outcomes of body lifting procedures and any risks or potential complications
  • The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon

Your Body Lift (buttock lift, belt lipectomy)

  • Your lower body lift will be individualized to your specific conditions and the regions to be treated.

Body lifts are surgical procedures and they require incisions. Most often, incisions are lengthy. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits.

Not all surgeries someone desires after losing a great deal of weight are done at the same time.  Usually they are performed in a few,separate surgical procedures, so patients decide what feels important to them to address first.  Not all people are good candidates for combined procedures, but some surgeries, like a panniculectomy and a lower body lift, are often combined because they are nicely designed together. Your case will be evaluated on an individual basis.

How is a Lower Body Lift Performed?

 The details of your procedure will be discussed at length during your consultation with your Minnesota plastic surgeon.

Your plastic surgeon marks you prior to surgery to design the best plan, which is often coordinated with either a tummy tuck or panniculectomy, depending on the circumstances.  Surgery is done under general anesthesia.  After receiving your anesthetic, you are positioned carefully on your abdomen, so the surgical care at the buttocks and back can be completed.  Following this, you are positioned on your back to complete your care at the abdomen, as planned.  One or more small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid or blood that may collect. Dressings and an abdominal binder which gently supports you are applied.

Following Surgery

Before you are released following surgery, you and an accompanying family member, friend or caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for the surgical site and drains
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in the overall health
  • When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon

Progress and Healing

Your plastic surgeon may instruct you to avoid bending over and stressing any internal sutures on the upper buttocks as incisions heal. Follow all instructions carefully – this is essential to the success of your outcome. A return to light, normal activity is possible as soon as you feel ready, usually within 2-3 weeks following surgery.

Initial wound healing may take up to a few weeks. You will be ready to return to work and normal activity in a few weeks, so long as you do not engage in any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise.

Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling dissipates and incision lines continue to improve.

When will I notice my lower body lift results?

The results of a lower body lift are visible almost immediately, however it will take several months for your final results to fully develop. Numbness and a firm feeling over the skin’s surface will improve over time. It may take a year or more for incisions lines to refine and fade to some degree. These lines can usually be hidden by most clothing and swimsuits.

Your new uplifted body contours should be long lasting provided that you maintain your weight and general fitness. With time, it is natural to lose some tightness of your result, although you will continue to see a significant improvement from your preoperative contour.


Our goal at Midsota Plastic Surgeons is for you to walk out our doors feeling refreshed and more confident than when you walked in. Our dedicated team of Minnesota plastic surgeons and caring staff put your safety first and will work closely with you on your journey to your new self. For more information on any of our procedures, or to schedule a private consultation, please give us a call at one of our locations in St. Cloud, Alexandria, Brainerd or Minnesota.


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