Lower Body Lift

Dr. Gray is the most experienced and uses no drains.

What is a “Circumferential Abdominoplasty”?

A circumferential abdominoplasty is also known as a “body lift”. It is an operation to remove the excess skin, fat, and tissue around your hips and waistline, and back. The width of the band of tissue to be removed depends upon the amount of extra skin and fat you have. The area of skin and tissue removed can be as wide as ten inches.

Following removal of the tissue in this “band” distribution, upper skin and tissue are pulled down and lower skin and tissue are pulled up giving you a tighter and more youthful-looking body including the stomach, back, and waistline above as well as thighs, hips, and buttocks. The scar will be all the way around the body and will fade dramatically in time.

How is a tummy tuck different from a lower body lift?

A tummy tuck is a different surgery from a lower body lift. A tummy tuck is a highly effective surgery to treat loose, hanging abdominal tissue in patients whose excess fat is mostly in the front and somewhat to the sides of their abdomen.

Many patients have significant amounts of loose tissue that extends completely around their waist and lower body, which cannot be corrected with a tummy tuck, even with liposuction of the hips and waist. In this case, a lower body lift becomes the more appropriate choice.

A circumferential abdominoplasty (lower body lift) is more extensive than a tummy tuck. The incision for a lower body lift encircles the entire circumference of the patient’s torso. A lower body lift is typically used for patients who have lost a large amount of weight, often following weight loss surgery, and now have loose, overhanging skin around their
body.Liposuction may work well for patients with localized fat deposits, but if you have stretch marks, cellulite, flabby skin, and muscles, you’ll benefit more from circumferential abdominoplasty which gives a complete lower body lift, taking care of flabby buttocks and thighs, belly fat, and love handles, all in the same operation.

Before and After Examples

What will a Lower Body Lift do for me?

A lower body lift provides dramatic and substantial improvement to your body shape. This procedure tightens the fascia and muscle of the abdominal wall giving your body a toned, sculpted look. A circumferential tummy tuck can be combined with other
cosmetic procedures such as an arm lift, body contouring, or umbilicoplasty. A body lift can also improve a sagging mid-body caused by multiple pregnancies.

Patients who had significant weight loss as a result of gastric bypass surgery or diet and exercise and still have an excess of abdominal, flank, and also back skin, often with stretch marks, benefit greatly from a lower body lift. Although the circumferential abdominoplasty recovery period may be longer than recovery for a mini tummy tuck which bariatric surgery patients often choose, it enables them to see the full results of their weight loss. A procedure like circumferential abdominoplasty can greatly improve confidence and self-image, helping patients to stay on the path of healthy eating and
regular exercise.

All patients need to realize that although the surgery is permanent, you can still gain weight if you overeat and do not exercise. All efforts should be made to keep your new toned, sculpted look with regular exercise and healthy eating.

A Lower Body Lift is effective for:

  • Patients who have had a significant loss of weight and who have hanging skin and fat in the stomach area, outer thighs, hips, back, and buttocks. Some patients need surgical procedures on the arms, inner thighs, breasts, and back.
  • Patients with moderate excess weight around their middle who have tried but failed to lose 30 to 50 pounds of excess weight. They may believe they need a tummy tuck, but the surgeon recognizes that a lower body lift will achieve a better result
    for the shape of the lower body.
  • Men or women who are near the normal weight range, have moderate excess weight around the abdomen but seek a remarkable improvement in the buttocks, back, and waist.

How is a Lower Body Lift Performed?

Dr. Gray uses no drains!

This procedure generally takes about four hours with the patient under general anesthesia and asleep. Incisions are made on the abdomen as well as the lower back, extending across the perimeter of the abdomen. All attempts are made to place the incision in such a fashion so that the final scar is hidden in your underwear. Abdominal wall skin and fat are then raised over the abdominal wall fascia and muscle. As muscle and fascia are exposed they can be tightened with sutures for added cosmetic benefit. The skin and fat of the abdominal wall, sides, and back are then pulled down. The skin and fat of the outer thighs and buttocks are pulled up and excess skin and fat are removed. Techniques are used to contour the patient’s body from the ribs to the knee area, lift the outer thighs and buttocks, and create a new navel if necessary for further cosmetic benefit. The soft tissue and the skin edges are then sutured together. Liposuction takes care of any fat deposits in the surrounding areas that are not addressed by this procedure.


Upon completion of your operation, bandages and special restrictive undergarments will be placed around your abdomen and waistline to provide additional support and minimize the movement and any discomfort. You will experience some pain, which is controlled well with pain medications. Your doctor will prescribe pain killers to handle pain and anti-inflammatory drugs to help with swelling. There are usually no sutures that need to be removed. Dr. Gray uses no drains, unlike many other less experienced surgeons.

You can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions given to you after surgery: Patients are advised to complete bed rest for two weeks to allow the sutures to heal after which you should be able to resume regular activities. You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several months. You will need to refrain from smoking for several weeks before and after the surgery. Upon completion of the healing process maintaining a proper diet and exercise routine will provide a long-lasting result.

Q&A with Dr. Gray

RealSelf Q&A with Lawrence N. Gray, MD

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