incredible-marketing Arrow

Life is a journey marked by transformations, and our bodies often bear the evidence of these changes. One of your most significant transformations may have involved a commitment to a healthier lifestyle and considerable weight loss. If you’ve achieved this, it was likely through a lot of dedication, determination and perhaps the aid of bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass or gastric sleeve.

Despite the achievement of relieving yourself from obesity and its chronic health problems, you may find yourself facing a new challenge — loose, sagging skin that remains unresponsive to diet and exercise. Your body may fail to reflect the vibrant and youthful spirit you’ve cultivated throughout your weight loss journey. This discrepancy between your external appearance and inner self-image can be frustrating. Fortunately, body lift surgery offers a potential solution to these concerns.

What Is a Body Lift?

A body lift is a specialized surgical procedure or combination of procedures designed to enhance your body’s shape and tone by eliminating excess skin. Typically performed after bariatric surgery and/or significant weight loss, body lifts create firmer, smoother body contours. This type of plastic surgery results in a more youthful, rejuvenated physical appearance that better reflects your vitality and spirit.

In most cases, a combination of procedures is required at staged intervals rather than in a single surgery. For example, the first stage may involve lower body lifting (abdomen, thighs, buttocks) followed by a procedure for upper body lifting (breasts, arms, face).

A body lift can treat the following concerns:

  • Loose, sagging skin
  • Stretched structural support tissue that leads to hanging fat and skin
  • Skin folds that cause discomfort or irritation
  • Disproportionate body contours due to excess skin

What Areas Can a Body Lift Address?

A body lift can target multiple areas and may include some or all of the following procedures:

  • A panniculectomy to remove an overhanging apron of skin from the lower abdomen
  • An arm lift to address “batwing deformities” caused by excess skin on the upper arms
  • A breast lift to restore perky breasts
  • A breast augmentation with implants to restore lost breast volume and shape
  • A back lift to remove unwanted back skin folds and tissue rolls or bulges
  • A thigh lift to restore more slender inner and/or outer thighs
  • A butt lift to elevate and reshape the butt
  • A face and/or neck lift to tighten the face and neck skin and muscles

Using a combination of procedures, a body lift can treat the following areas:

  • Waist
  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Mons pubis
  • Groin
  • Lower back
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Arms
  • Breasts
  • Face
  • Neck

Body Lift Surgery: Identifying Ideal Candidates

Significant Weight Loss, Often Post-Bariatric Surgery

An ideal body lift candidate has accomplished considerable weight loss, often through the help of bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass or gastric sleeves. The body lift procedure primarily caters to individuals who have undergone such substantial transformations, with their bodies bearing the evidence of this significant journey.

Lifestyle Commitment

Candidates should demonstrate a commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a stable weight for 12 to 18 months before your body lift is imperative to minimize your risk of needing subsequent procedures. A proper nutrition regimen under the guidance of a nutritionist is also vital to limit wound healing complications after surgery. Dr. Sharma will work with you and other physicians to ensure all necessary dietary and lifestyle changes are in place before your body lift surgery.

Overall Good Health

Good overall health is a fundamental requirement for anyone considering body lift surgery. You should be free from chronic conditions that might hinder the healing process in order to promote a safer and more successful outcome.


Smoking can complicate both the body lift surgery and the recovery process. As such, ideal candidates are non-smokers or are willing to quit for an extended period. This commitment aids in promoting smoother procedures and faster healing.

Realistic Expectations

Finally, body lift candidates should possess a realistic understanding of what the procedure can achieve. While a body lift substantially improves body shape and tone, every individual’s results will differ based on their unique body characteristics and healing capabilities.

Preparing for a Body Lift

Preparation for a body lift involves several steps to promote a smooth process and the best possible results. First, you’ll need a comprehensive consultation with your surgeon. This involves a full medical assessment, a discussion of your expectations and an explanation of the procedure.

You may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, adjust your current medications and supplements, stop smoking and avoid taking aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs that can increase bleeding. You’ll also receive instructions on what to do on the day of your surgery and post-operative care.

What to Expect During Your Body Lift Procedure

The body lift procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make incisions on targeted areas and remove excess skin. Circumferential incisions, which extend circumferentially around the lower body at the level of the hips, are frequently necessary to achieve proper contouring. The remaining skin and tissues will be repositioned and tightened, and the incisions will be closed.

The procedure can take several hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. A short hospital stay is required to promote a safe recovery. If needed, upper body contouring may be performed during a subsequent procedure.

What to Expect During Body Lift Recovery

A successful body lift recovery requires patience, diligent self-care and potentially multiple stages if you’re having a full body lift with procedures such as arm and breast lifts. To help guide you, here’s a detailed timeline of what to expect:

Weeks 1 to 2: Initial Healing Stage

During the first couple of weeks post-procedure, you will most likely experience swelling, bruising and discomfort. This is your body’s natural response to the surgery, and it’s a critical part of the healing process. You’ll need to get plenty of rest during this period and avoid any strenuous activities.

You will be advised to wear a compression garment, which serves a dual purpose: it supports your healing tissues and helps to control the swelling by encouraging proper blood circulation. Following your surgeon’s advice for wound care is also crucial in this stage, including keeping incisions clean and applying any prescribed ointments or creams.

Weeks 3 to 4: Gradual Resumption of Light Activities

As you step into the third and fourth weeks of recovery, your body will have made significant progress in healing. The initial swelling and bruising would have subsided noticeably, and you should feel ready to slowly resume light activities. However, remember to listen to your body. Overexertion could lead to setbacks in your recovery, so avoiding strenuous exercises is still recommended.

Week 6: Returning to Work and Normal Activities

By the six-week mark, you might feel ready to return to work, but this greatly depends on the physical demands of your job. If your role involves heavy lifting or intense physical activity, you may need to wait a little longer. You can also usually resume normal day-to-day activities at this stage. Everyone’s healing process is unique, so it’s essential to communicate openly with your surgeon and follow their guidance.

Months 2 to 6: The Emergence of Your New Contours

In the second through the sixth month after your body lift procedure, any remaining swelling should significantly subside. This is the exciting stage where you’ll begin to see your body’s new contours emerging. Healing will still continue beneath your skin’s surface, so continue to take care of yourself and keep up with any follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

1 to 2 Years: Fading of Surgical Scars and Final Results

As you reach the one-year mark, your surgical scars will have faded considerably. They’ll continue to lighten over time. While you’ll typically see your full results within one year, minor changes may occur for up to two years as your tissues conform to their new shape.

Your recovery journey is a time of transformation and self-care. While it requires patience, the end result — a body that feels more truly your own — makes it a worthwhile endeavor.

What Results Can I Expect From a Body Lift?

After your body lift surgery, you’ll notice a dramatic change in your body shape. Loose skin will be gone, and tighter, firmer skin will remain along with more slender, toned and lifted body contours.

How Long Will My Body Lift Results Last?

These results are long lasting, especially if you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle. However, keep in mind that aging will naturally lead to some changes over time.

How Much Does a Body Lift Cost?

The cost of a body lift and its associated fees can range from $12,000 to $25,000 depending on the scope of the procedures. Overnight stays for recovery involve additional costs. It’s important to note that body lifts are rarely covered by insurance, and procedures such as panniculectomy are typically only covered if a medical condition necessitates hospitalization.

During your consultation, you will receive detailed body lift pricing tailored to your individual needs.

Take Control of Your Body Transformation With Body Lift Surgery in Austin

After journeying through significant weight loss, a body lift could be the essential final step in your transformation. This procedure is not merely about aesthetics but, instead, about aligning your external appearance with the strength and determination you’ve demonstrated throughout your life changes.

You’ve persevered through the challenges that life has thrown your way and emerged stronger on the other side. If you’re ready to allow your body to reflect that journey, contact Plastic Surgery Austin today at 512-838-3658 or reach out to us online.


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.