When Skin is Cut off During a Body Lift, How Much is Fat and How Much is Lean Body Mass?

Through diet and exercise, I have gone from 48% body fat to 15% body fat. I am planning on a body lift over the summer, and had the goal of getting to 8% first (I'm a 34yo man, 6'0", muscular). Here's my question, I've been given estimates of a total weight loss of 20-30lbs during the surgery. How much of that is actual body fat, and how much is skin, connective tissue, etc.?

Doctor Answers 5

What is a circumferential body lift?

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Most plastic surgeons refer to a body lift as a circumferential body lift = belt lipectomy.  This procedure is essentially 3 procedures in one: extended tummy tuck + waist/lateral thigh lift + buttock lift (with the option of buttock augmentation).  So a body lift will not treat the upper medial thighs or inner thighs.   Please visit with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to learn more about your options.

Lean Body Mass Versus Fat Removal In A Body Lift Surgery

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Dear Plaidly,

In a body lift procedure, the only tissues removed are skin and fat.  The muscles and other deep tissues are not removed.

Composition of Tissues Removed with Body Lift?

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Thank you for the question.

During body lifting,  skin, subcutaneous tissue and adipose tissue are excised. None of these tissues should be considered “lean body mass”. I hope this helps.

Amount and weight of Skin and Fat removed in a Body Lift operation

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I know of no Plastic surgery colleague who bases the amount of excess skin and fat removal on a pre-set weight reduction goal. Nor do surgeons analyze the removed excess trunk skin and fat for their exact component parts. Many people who decide to change their life style by eating healthier and exercising become focused and driven in this goal. While it changes ther lives for the better it really does not help us as Plastic surgeons. When encountering people who underwent large volume weight losses we work with them on planning the best path for them to get rid of the excess skin reminding them of their long gone bodies and help bring out their new bodies by removing all excess skin. The weight of the skin, it's fat composition is immaterial. As a service to you, your surgeon surgeon surgeon would gladly weigh and photograph the skin and fat removed from you, if you so wish. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Tissue removed in a body lift

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When the excess skin is excised it includes all the fat attached to it down to the muscle. No "lean body mass" is removed.

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.