Body Lift

Belt Lipectomy



A circumferential incision around the body removes an apron of excess skin and fat and repositions and tightens tissues.




A complete lower body lift treats the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and thighs in one procedure.

For those who have lost a dramatic amount of weight, through methods like bariatric surgery, a body lift can literally lift and tone loose skin from the lower body. In his Tucson plastic surgery practice, Dr. Alfaro offers body lift procedures to patients who struggle with the post-weight loss reality of excess skin.

By removing excess skin from the lower body, Dr. Alfaro can help patients show off the new, slimmer contours of their body. Post-surgery, patients often have an easier time shopping for clothes and experience a renewed outlook on life and improved self-confidence.

What to Expect During a Body Lift

What is it?

Surgical procedure to remove loose skin from the lower body including the midsection, thighs, hips and buttocks. Performed after weight loss.


Outpatient (Inpatient may be recommended)

Surgery time:

2-5 hours

Recovery time:

4-6 weeks

How a Body Lift Works

Body lift surgery is performed with a general anesthetic, which will help you sleep through the full procedure time. Antibiotics are also often administered before and after surgery to help avoid infection. Dr. Alfaro will make incisions around your midsection. Unlike other body contouring procedures, a body lift is circumferential and will affect many areas of the lower body. Dr. Alfaro will take care to hide these incisions in the natural folds of your skin where they will be minimally visible after healing.

The loose belt of sagging skin is lifted or removed from the lower body. At the same time, Dr. Alfaro may use a thin tube called a cannula to liposuction small, targeted pockets of fat. This cannula is attached to a vacuum-like device, which will suction out the fat.

When he has achieved optimal toning of the skin and fat removal, Dr. Alfaro will close the incisions with sutures in a manner that tightens the remaining tissues. Oftentimes, surgical drains will also be placed following a body lift to collect any fluid drainage. Finally, a surgical dressing and compression garment will be applied. This compression garment, which helps to promote skin contraction, will likely need to be worn for several weeks as you heal.

In some cases, you may need to stay in the hospital for a day or so following a body lift. When you are ready to return home, Dr. Alfaro will require you to have a ride. You will also need help around the house for several days, as your activity will be limited. The second day after surgery, though, Dr. Alfaro may ask you to begin moving, with caution. This will just include short walks, even just to the bathroom.

Swelling is common during this time. Dr. Alfaro may prescribe medication to help you manage any discomfort you may experience.

About one week after surgery, you will return to Dr. Alfaro's practice. At this time, he will examine your healing and likely remove the surgical drains and sutures. You will need to continue wearing the compression garment for several weeks, however. Dr. Alfaro will let you know when you can begin incorporating more of your normal activities, like exercise, into your routine.

Body Lift FAQ

What is a body lift?

A body lift improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin. Excess sagging fat and skin are removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity.

What areas of the body are treated?

A body lift may treat 1) the abdominal area, locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area, 2) the buttocks, that may be low, flat or shaped unevenly, 3) the groin that may sag into the inner thigh, and 4) the inner or outer thighs.

Who's an ideal body lift candidate?

Candidates for body lift: have significant soft tissue looseness in one or more body areas, healthy and do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase surgery risk, non-smokers, have a positive outlook and realistic goals for body lift surgery, committed to a healthy lifestyle.

How long is recovery after body lift?

Patients are typically on bed rest for 24 hours after surgery. They are encouraged to walk (with assistance) on the second day. A thin tube will be in place to prevent fluid accumulation, which is removed in 7 days. After 4-6 weeks, the patient can return to a normal routine. The doctor will provide more specific steps about your recovery from body lift surgery.

What are the risks of the body lift?

Risks include scarring, bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, poor wound healing, skin loss, blood clots, numbness or other changes in skin sensation, anesthesia risks, skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling, fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis), major wound separation, asymmetry, recurrent looseness of skin, pain, which may persist, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, persistent swelling in the legs, possibility of revisional surgery, sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal.

Scheduling Your Body Lift in Tucson

If you have recently lost a large amount of weight and deal with loose skin on your lower body, we encourage you to explore your options for body contouring. Tucson plastic surgeon Dr. Alfaro and his staff are eager to hear from you. You can call us at (520) 323-9720 to set up your consultation regarding a body lift in Tucson. Email us for more information.