Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy or Torsoplasty ) Surgery FAQs

Body Lift Surgery FAQS about Different Types of Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy or Torsoplasty)

Dr Patrick Briggs has experience in Body Lift Surgeries, procedure designed to remove excess skin following significant weight loss. Below, he addresses some FAQs (frequently asked questions) about Body Lift Surgery (Belt Lipectomy or Torsoplasty) for post-weight loss patients.

Body lift surgery (Belt Lipectomy or Torsoplasty) FAQs – Different Surgeries for Excess Skin Removal after Weight Loss

What is the difference between a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) and a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) and a Lower Body Lift (belt lipectomy) are both surgical procedures that may alter body contours and remove excess skin. However, they target different areas of the body and are suited for different patient needs.

While both procedures may alter body contours and remove excess skin, an abdominoplasty is more localized to the abdominal area, making it suitable for those with specific abdominal concerns. In contrast, a lower body lift (belt lipectomy) may address multiple areas, making it suitable for individuals who have undergone significant weight loss and have excess skin throughout the lower body. The choice between the two depends on a patient’s specific needs and goals.

What’s the difference between a Belt Lipectomy and a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)?

  • As mentioned above a Belt Lipectomy is the medical term for a Lower Body Lift
  • A Tummy Tuck/abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the front abdomen region only.
  • Whereas a belt lipectomy involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the back, buttocks, the thighs, hips and the abdomen.

What areas does a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy) include?

A lower body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is a comprehensive surgical procedure that addresses multiple areas of the lower body. These areas typically include:

  • Abdomen
  • Flanks (Love Handles)
  • Lower Back
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs (optional)
  • Hips
  • Groin Area (optional)

A lower body lift (belt lipectomy) is a comprehensive approach to body contouring, primarily performed on individuals who have experienced significant weight loss, such as after bariatric surgery. It aims to remove loose or excess skin and tissue, providing a more toned lower body profile. The specific areas treated can be customized to meet each patient’s unique needs and cosmetic goals.

What does an Upper Body Lift (Torsoplasty) include?

An upper body lift (torsoplasty), often called an upper body contouring surgery, is a cosmetic procedure designed to address excess skin and tissue in the upper body region, typically following massive weight loss or significant changes in body composition. This comprehensive surgery can include several key areas, including:

  • Breasts: An upper body lift (torsoplasty) may involve a breast lift (mastopexy) to reposition and reshape the breasts.
  • Chest: For men, it can address excess skin and tissue in the chest area, providing a flatter, firmer chest contour. This may include a male breast reduction procedure (gynecomastia surgery).
  • Arms: Also known as Brachioplasty, this component of the surgery focuses on removing excess skin and stubborn fat from the upper arms.
  • Back: The procedure may extend to the upper back, eliminating excess skin and tissue.
  • Axillary (Armpit) Region: This area may be included to address any excess skin and tissue in the armpit region.

What’s a Circumferential Body Lift?

  • A circumferential body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy or lower body lift, is a comprehensive surgical procedure that may address excess skin and tissue around the entire lower torso (the abdomen, waists, hips, buttocks, and thighs).
  • It is typically performed for individuals who have experienced massive weight loss, often after bariatric surgery, or those with significant excess skin due to ageing or other factors.
  • Furthermore, in a circumferential body lift incisions will be made around the entire circumference of the body – just like wearing a belt – hence the name belt lipectomy.

What is a Lower Back Lift?

  • A lower back lift, also known as a back lift or lower body lift, is a surgical procedure aimed at altering the appearance and contour of the lower back (typically including the buttocks, thighs, hips, and abdomen.
  • This procedure is often performed as part of a more extensive lower body lift or belt lipectomy, which targets multiple areas of the lower torso.

What is a Full-Body Lift?

A full-body lift can also be referred to as either a body lift or body contouring surgery. (you can read more about a full-body lift by reading Dr Briggs’ body lift page.

What is a 360 Body Lift?

Other terms for a 360 body lift, include:

  • 360 tummy tuck/abdominoplasty
  • Lower-body tummy tuck/abdominoplasty
  • Circumferential body lift
  • Belt lipectomy

This surgical procedure addresses excess skin and tissue around the entire torsos/lower part of the body, such as the flanks, buttocks, thighs, hips, and lower abdomen.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs about suitability for Surgery

What’s involved in a Body Lift?

  • A body lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that involves removing, lifting, and tightening skin as well as removing excess fat.
  • A lower body lift is the most common Body Lift procedure and treats the abdomen, lower back, buttocks, and thighs. Whereas, an upper body lift treats the arms, upper back, and breasts.
  • Read more about the Medical Outcomes Of A Body Lift After Massive Weight Lost.

How do you know if you should have a body lift?

  • You may be a suitable candidate for a Body Lift if;
    • A significant amount of weight loss has resulted in you having excess skin
    • Your skin has lost its elasticity and your abdominal wall has become loose
    • You can accept scarring that will result from surgery
    • Your mobility and daily life are affected by loose skin.
    • The presence of excess skin has resulted in further deterioration of the skin
    • You are physically and mentally healthy
    • You’re near your desired weight
    • Your weight is stable
    • You do not smoke or drink heavily
    • And, you have realistic expectations and goals from the procedure

How long does a Body Lift take?

The duration of a body lift surgery can vary significantly based on several factors, including the specific procedures involved, the extent of the surgery, and the surgeon’s experience. On average, a lower body lift (belt lipectomy) can take anywhere from four to seven hours while an upper body lift (torsoplasty) can take four to six hours.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs – Questions About Body Lift Recovery

How long does it take to recover from a Full-Body Lift?

  • The recovery period for a full-body lift, also known as a total body lift or circumferential body lift, can vary from person to person depending on various factors, including the extent of the surgery, individual healing abilities, and adherence to post-operative care instructions.
  • General Summary;
    • Immediate post-op: Hospital stay, pain management, and assistance needed.
    • First week: Rest, pain meds, short walks, and wound care.
    • Two to four weeks: Return to light activities, reduced swelling.
    • Six to eight weeks: Gradual return to daily life, scars start to fade.
    • Several months to a year: Swelling further reduces, final results appear.
    • Long-term: Maintain a healthy lifestyle, attend follow-ups for the best outcome.

For more information visit the dedicated recovery page.

What is the recovery time for a Body Lift?

Most people can recover and resume some of their daily activities 10 to 14 days after a body lift. However, it may take up to four to six weeks for some or even longer for others.

Furthermore, it may take three months, for the majority (About 90%) of the swelling to subside.

How do you sleep after a Lower Body Lift?

Sleeping after a lower body lift can be challenging during the initial recovery period due to the discomfort and restrictions. Some tips on how to sleep comfortably:

  • Elevate Your Upper Body: It’s often recommended to sleep with your upper body elevated, either in a recliner or with several pillows under your back and head.
    • This position helps reduce swelling in the lower body and minimizes strain on incisions.
  • Use Supportive Pillows: Position pillows strategically to support your body and provide comfort. You can place pillows under your knees to relieve tension on the lower back and keep your legs slightly bent.
  • Sleep on Your Back: Sleeping on your back is generally the best position to avoid putting pressure on the surgical area.
    • If you’re not used to sleeping in this position, it may take some time to adjust.
  • Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach: Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this can cause strain and discomfort on your incision sites.
  • Follow Your Surgeon’s Recommendations: Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to sleep after the procedure.
  • Pain Management: Take any prescribed pain medications before bedtime to help manage discomfort and improve sleep quality.

Remember that the initial discomfort and sleeping challenges are temporary. As you heal and your body adjusts, sleeping will become more comfortable, and you’ll be able to return to your preferred sleeping positions over time. Always consult with your surgeon if you have specific concerns or questions about sleeping after surgery.

Do compression garments help tighten skin?

No, compression garments do not tighten the skin. However, they play a crucial role in the recovery process. Compression garments are a must post-surgery as they help reduce swelling and minimize bruising. This, in turn, contributes to a smoother and better-contoured result as your body heals.

How long do you wear a compression garment after a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

The duration for wearing a compression garment after a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy) can vary from patient to patient and should be determined by your surgeon’s recommendations.

Typically, patients are advised to wear compression garments continuously for the first few weeks following surgery. After this initial period, you may be instructed to wear the compression garment during the day for several more weeks or as needed to support your healing process and reduce swelling.

It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding the duration and usage of the compression garment for the desired recovery outcomes.

How long after a body lift surgery can I stand up straight?

The timing can vary depending on several factors, including the extent of the surgery and individual healing rates. In many cases, patients may be able to gradually return to an upright posture within a few days to a couple of weeks after surgery.

Pushing yourself too quickly can potentially disrupt the healing process or put unnecessary strain on your incisions, so it’s crucial to prioritize a safe and comfortable recovery.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs – Risks and Concern Questions

How painful is a body lift?

The pain experienced during a body lift surgery recovery can vary from person to person. It’s important to understand that any surgical procedure, including body lifts, involves some degree of discomfort and pain during the recovery period.

The level of pain can be influenced by several factors, including:

  • Individual Pain Tolerance: People have varying pain thresholds, so what one person experiences as mild discomfort, another might perceive as more intense pain.
  • Extent of Surgery: The more extensive the body lift surgery, the more post-operative discomfort you may experience. A full-body lift, for example, typically involves more incisions and tissue manipulation than a lower body lift or upper body lift alone.
  • Pain Management: Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to help manage post-operative pain. It’s crucial to take these medications as directed to stay ahead of the pain and discomfort.
  • Healing Progress: Pain typically decreases as you heal. The initial days after surgery may involve more discomfort, but this should improve as you recover.
  • Complications: In some cases, complications such as infection or excessive swelling can increase discomfort. It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions to minimize the risk of complications.

It’s normal to experience some level of pain and discomfort after a body lift, but it should be manageable with the prescribed pain medications and proper post-operative care. If you have concerns about pain management or experience severe or worsening pain, it’s crucial to contact your surgeon promptly to ensure a safe and effective recovery.

How painful is a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

As above pain is relative and different people experience pain differently. There will be pain, bruising and swelling after a lower body lift but it is generally manageable and it will gradually change as time passes.

What are the risks of having a Body Lift surgery?

Body lift surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries inherent risks.

It’s essential for patients to have a thorough consultation with their surgeon to discuss the potential risks and outcomes, as well as their individual medical history.

Adhering to pre-operative and post-operative instructions and receiving proper care and monitoring can contribute to a desired surgical experience.

It’s crucial to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise in body lift procedures to minimize risks.

Learn more about the risks of cosmetic surgeries.

What are the risks of Skin Removal Surgery?

Skin removal surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries inherent risks. These risks can include infection, bleeding, scarring, anesthesia complications, and dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results. The results of skin removal surgery depends on various factors, including the patient’s overall health, the skill and experience of the surgeon, the surgical technique used, and adherence to pre-operative and post-operative care instructions.

To get the desired results, it’s crucial for patients to:

  • Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon
  • Undergo a thorough pre-operative evaluation to assess their health and suitability for surgery.
  • Follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon.
  • Maintain open communication with the surgical team and report any concerns or unusual symptoms promptly.
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs about Preparing for Body Lift

How do I prepare my body for plastic surgery?

  • Choose a Qualified Surgeon
  • Follow Pre-operative Instructions
  • Stop Smoking
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Discontinue Certain Medications and Supplements
  • Arrange Transportation and Post-operative Care
  • Plan for Recovery
    • Prepare your home for a comfortable and safe recovery.
  • Stay Hydrated
  • Manage Stress
  • Follow Fasting Guidelines
  • Communicate with Your Surgeon

Remember that each plastic surgery procedure may have specific preparation requirements, so it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s guidance closely.

How do I prepare for a Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)?

The general preparation is similar to the above.

  • Choose a Qualified Surgeon
  • Follow Pre-operative Instructions
  • Stop Smoking
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Discontinue Certain Medications and Supplements
  • Arrange Transportation and Post-operative Care
  • Plan for Recovery
  • Stay Hydrated
  • Follow Fasting Guidelines before surgery

It’s essential to closely follow your surgeon’s instructions. Every individual’s situation is unique, so your surgeon will provide guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Body Lift Surgery FAQs about Paying for your Body Lift surgery

How much does a whole-body lift cost?

  • As a whole-body lift is performed to suit the needs of the patient, the cost varies according to individuals.
  • The consultation charge, the Surgeon and anesthetist fees, the hospital costs, as well as the cost of an overnight stay, medication, and post-surgery garments are all part of the final cost.
  • Depending on the extent of your surgery – It may cost $25k to $50k
  • Send an email or Phone Dr Briggs’s team for a rough estimate.

Will health insurance cover a Body Lift?

After losing a lot of weight, if you can prove that you have a large pannus that is causing you a number of health issues like infection and skin breakdown, then you may be able to meet the strict criteria and be eligible for some cover by Medicare and health insurance.

What does a lower body lift cost?

  • A lower body lift is a highly personalized surgical procedure.
  • It differs from patient to patient due to the amount of excess skin present and the surgical goals of the patients.
  • As a result, the cost of a belt lipectomy varies depending on multiple factors.
  • Send an email or Call Dr Briggs’s team for a rough estimate for Body lift.

Does insurance cover loose skin surgery?

You must first meet the strict Medicare criteria to be covered by your fund. If you can prove that you’ve lost a minimum of five BMI units and your weight has been stable for six months prior to the surgery you may be a candidate. If your loose skin is causing you a number of health issues and interferes with your daily life then your excess loose skin surgery may be eligible for cover. But, these criteria will differ according to the insurance company so be sure to check with them.

How much does a back lift cost?

  • Like all surgery, the cost of a back lift is different for each patient.
  • The cost of surgery will include The surgeon’s fees, Anesthetic fees, Hospital fees and more all of which can vary.
  • Send an email or Phone Dr Briggs’s team for a rough estimate for your Back lift.

For more Information about Body Lift Surgery

Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne

Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.

Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.

Furthermore, he is experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.

How can we help?

Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 9 AM – 5 PM on Weekdays.

Phone (03) 8849 1400 Or Email us.

What Next?

Want more information about your Procedure?

  • For more information about pricing and payment methods, please visit our page on Surgery Payment options.
  • Talk to our Patient Care Team from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday on (03) 8849 1400.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
  • You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.

How to Book a Consultation

  • Dr Briggs’ Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or your specialist is essential (as of the 1st July 2023).
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.


The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.