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.

Doctor Answers 25

Body lift is a very general term

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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

Body Lift Terminology

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The terminology surrounding massive weight loss surgery is a major source of confusion. It's not unusual for two surgeons to use different terms to describe the same procedure. For this reason, it's important to have a detailed understanding of your surgeon's treatment plan before proceeding with surgery.

The term body lift is a general term that's utilized to describe procedures that are designed to elevate anatomic structures. The term lower body lift is a more specific term. It describes a circumferential procedure designed to remove excess lower back and abdominal tissue while simultaneously lifting the buttocks in an upward direction. This procedure is associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.

If you're considering a lower body lift, it's important to thoroughly discuss the procedure with your plastic surgeon. This will minimize confusion and, hopefully, optimize your surgical result.

Seems similar, but best to review your surgical plan carefully with your surgeon.

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Those terms do sound very similar and frequently are used synonymously but they do imply a slightly different meaning. A body lift describes removing tissue to elevate areas of the body that have fallen (descended due to gravity to laxity of the skin after weight loss or pregnancies). This most frequently involves the waist line circumferentially but also can involve tissue if the upper back /bra line and around onto the upper abdomen. A lower body lift specifies that the area for lifting is around the waist and buttocks region. Just make sure you and your doctor are on the same page about the region of your body you wish to have addressed.

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Body Lift vs Lower Body Lift

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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 254 reviews

Body Lift = Lower Body Lift

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In general, a lower body lift is a body lift.

Having said that, the lower body lift is a combination of these three body contouring procedures performed in the same operative session:

  1. Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
  2. Outer Thigh Lift
  3. Posterior Buttocks Lift

This procedure is not only for patients who have lost lots of weight, but also for patients who desire a general tightening of sagging skin in the lower body area. To read more about the procedure, please read the blog post below and watch my Body Lift Video explaining the procedure.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Body lift terminology

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Lower Body Lift and Upper Body Lift

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

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

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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
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Lower Body Lift equals Body Lift?

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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?

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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
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 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.