What is a Body Lift?

A lower body lift is a procedure done to reshape the waistline contour following massive weight loss or pregnancy. A body lift may include the abdominal area extending around the sides (outer thighs), and the buttocks, with some mild tightening of the inner thighs. Patients who undergo this procedure can expect a slimmer, more proportionate waistline for a boost in confidence.  An upper body lift can be fashioned to remove excess skin of the upper abdomen just under the chest or bra line and can be extended into the armpit and upper back area to remove excess skin in those areas.

Who is a Candidate?

Individuals who are living with excess sagging skin and related fat deposits due to significant weight loss, pregnancy, or aging can often benefit from an upper or lower body lift surgery. Ideal candidates will be healthy, nonsmokers who are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle to maintain results by maintaining a consistent weight after surgery.  Maximal, stable weight loss should be accomplished prior to surgery for best results.  A consultation with Dr. Sweat can help to determine if a body lift is right for you.

The Procedure

The exact body lift procedure will differ depending on each patient’s body type and desired outcomes. Generally, an incision is created along the waistline.  An incision extending to the crease of the buttocks is required to adjust the buttocks and outer thighs. Excess skin and fat will be removed. The skin will be pulled together and sutured to create a slimmer silhouette.  An upper body lift or back lift, if needed, is usually done in a second operation and works to remove excess fat deposits and skin and contour the upper back and armpit area.  The body lift procedures can take anywhere from 3-7 hours, depending on the extent.


Drains may be placed to help collect excess fluids during recovery and usually stay in place for 1-2 weeks after surgery but can be present for longer, depending on fluid output. Compression garments must also be worn to minimize swelling and provide necessary support to the treatment sites. Patients may experience some pain following surgery, which can be controlled with pain medication taken by mouth. The surgery is done as an outpatient or same-day surgery, and patients should be up moving around as quickly as possible after surgery to avoid blood clots.  However, individuals will need to take at least 1-2 weeks off from work and should avoid exercise or strenuous activity, which places tension on the incisions, for 6-8 weeks.

Patients in the Sacramento area who are interested in the body lift procedure can contact J. Sweat Plastic Surgery today to schedule their initial consultation.