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Is a Lower Body Lift the Same Thing As a Body Lift?

What is the difference between a body lift and a lower body lift? I see some doctors say body lift and others call it a lower body lift and I just don't understand how the actual surgeries are different...they seem like the same thing to me.

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Body lift is a very general term

In general, when a plastic surgeon refers to a lower body lift, he or she is talking about removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen going all the way around, including the lower back/ upper buttock area.

There is also an upper body lift, which involves improvement in the breast, upper arms and back (usually about the level of the bra line).

A body lift is a very general term that may apply to various areas of the body. Therefore, a body lift may be referring to a lower body lift. You should not hesitate to ask the surgeon to be specific concerning what area he or she is "lifting."

Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Body Lift vs Lower Body Lift

Dear Anon:

There is a difference between a body lift and a lower body lift.  This has to do with semantics and the fact that a body lift has many different names and to some doctors mean one thing and to other doctors another.  A lower body lift can also be called a circumferential body lift, a 360 body lift, a belt lipectomy, among others.  There is also an upper body lift.  However strictly speaking, a lower body lift as interpreted by most board certified plastic surgeons addresses the abdomen, hips and buttocks.  During the surgery, excess skin and fat of the abdomen, hips and buttocks is addressed.  During the surgery, the skin and fat from this area is directly excised.  It does lift the lateral portion of the legs but not the inner portion of the legs.  Whereas a body lift can typically imply that the whole body is lifted.  During a total body lift in one surgical setting, the arms are lifted, the breasts are lifted, the torso is reduced, the abdomen is removed as well as the hips, buttocks and legs.  It also lifts the inner legs.  As you can imagine, this procedure takes a significantly longer amount of time under anesthesia and a significantly longer recovery time.

Basically, you need to ask yourself what area bothers you.  If it is your abdomen, hips and buttocks, then I would suggest you undergo a lower body lift.  If your breast and upper back bother you, then I would suggest an upper body lift.  If you are also concerned about your legs and arms, you may contemplate an upper body lift but this should only be done by very experienced surgeons with a well-coordinated team.


Thank you,

J. Timothy Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Body lift terminology


Most use body lift and lower body lift interchangeably.  There are however different types of body lifts, most notably an upper body lift.  A lower body lift includes an abdominoplasty, a buttock lift, a lateral thigh lift, and a pubic lift.  An upper body lift may include a bra line back lift, brachioplasty, and breast lift.  I have included a photo of one of my recent bra line back lift patients about 24 hours after surgery as an example.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Lower Body Lift and Upper Body Lift

The term body lift is used differently by different surgeons. In genral, a body lift refers to the removal of large amounts of excess skin and the fat beneath it to achieve the best shape possible after weight loss.  A lower body lift takes skin from abdomen and lower back, resulting in a smooting effect on the middle and some improvement of adjacent areas.  An upper body lift tightens tissues in the breast, chest and upper back.  Many plastic surgeons use the term body lift when referring to  a lower body lift, probably because that is more frequently performed than any other type of lift.  All of these surgeries must be tailored to the individual, so patterns of skin scars vary.  Do not get too hung up on how the terms are used, but make sure your chosen surgeon has a good overall plan for the best result you can have.  It often takes more than one stage to accomplish this.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Is a body lift also a lower body lift? Help!

in body lift can be a lower body lift depending on exactly what is being performed. A complete lower body lift includes lifting of the inner thigh. A lower body lift does not. It is basically a circumferential abdominoplasty that lifts the abdomen front side of the thighs and buttocks. By adding a list of the inner thigh, the procedure transforms into a complete lower body lift.

Joseph Hunstad, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Lower Body Lift equals Body Lift?

Thank you for the question.

It is a good one because these terms are often used interchangeably even though they probably should not be.   they are used  to describe an operation that includes comic tuck surgery, thigh lifting surgery flank and back lipectomy surgery and some buttuck lifting as well.

There is however a “upper body lift” as well;  this operation involves concision of skin and adipose tissue of the upper back, infra axillary area and possible breast lifting as well.

It is important to communicate with your plastic surgeon what your goals are and specify the areas that are to be treated. Do not rely on these terms above because they may be a source of miscommunication.

I hope this helps.

Is a Total Body Lift the same thing as a Body Lift?

The short answer is they are the same.  We all use different confusing names.  The best answer is ask your plastic surgeon exactly what he can do for you and for how much. 

Phillip Chang, MD
Leesburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Lower body lift vs. body lift

The terminology is a bit confusing - most surgeons use these two terms interchangeably.  

But some folks use slightly different definitions, so ask your surgeon to clarify what he/she includes in a body lift, and which procedures are done at the same time, and which are done in separate stages. 

Lower body lift semantics, they are not all the same

Lower body lift (LBL) can mean different things to both patients and to plastic surgeons. Many people think of LBL as a circumferential trunk contouring procedure that combines a tummy tuck, lateral thigh lift and buttock lift into one operation. Some consider it just the lateral thigh lift and buttock lift. LBLs will allow for a true lift of the lower trunk as the attachments of the lateral thigh to the underlying deep tissues are released. This is very different from a belt lipectomy which is just a circumferential excision of excess skin and fat. Also some plastic surgeons do auto-augmentation during their buttock lifts to preserve buttock projection while others do not. To avoid confusion, I use the term circumferential LBL to help avoid confusion. The bottom line is, have you plastic surgeon explain exactly what he plans to do when he says lower body lift!

Joseph Michaels, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.