Body Lift

A lower body lift or belt lipectomy is a procedure performed after significant weight loss. This surgery removes excess skin and tissue from the abdomen, thighs, hips and buttocks. A body lift may also be performed on patients that have significant skin sagging due to weight fluctuations or the ageing process. Dr Thomas offers options in body lift surgery, with the ability to customise the procedure to the unique needs of each individual patient.


  • Dramatic weight loss has resulted in significant skin sagging
  • Isolated pockets of fat remain that will not respond to diet and exercise
  • Excess folds of skin are causing irritation, rashes and infections

About the Procedure

Lower body lifts are performed by Dr Thomas under general anaesthesia and usually require a few nights in the hospital to allow ample time for recuperation. Incisions will vary based on the specific areas to be addressed, but every effort will be made to minimise visible post-operative scarring. The duration of the procedure will also vary, based on the number of areas to be treated. 

See Before and Afters

What to Expect after Surgery

Recovery time can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery, but here is a general timeline for body lift recovery:

Immediately after surgery:

  • After the body lift surgery, patients are usually taken to a recovery area where they are monitored closely.
  • Pain medication and antibiotics may be administered intravenously during this time.
  • The patient will have compression garments placed over the surgical area to help reduce swelling and support the tissues.

First week after surgery:

  • During the first few days after surgery, the patient should rest and avoid any physical activity.
  • The patient should keep the surgical area elevated as much as possible to help reduce swelling.
  • The patient will likely experience some pain, which can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
  • The patient should avoid taking showers and baths until the surgeon gives clearance.

Second week after surgery:

  • The patient may begin to resume some light activities, such as walking short distances.
  • The patient should continue to wear compression garments to help reduce swelling and support the tissues.
  • The surgeon may remove any drains that were placed during surgery.
  • The patient may be able to take showers or baths, depending on the surgeon’s instructions.

Third to fourth week after surgery:

  • The patient may gradually increase their activity level, but should still avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting.
  • The patient should continue to wear compression garments as directed by the surgeon.
  • The patient may experience some numbness or tightness in the surgical area, but this should improve over time.
  • The patient may be able to return to work, depending on the nature of their job and their individual recovery.

Fourth to eighth week after surgery:

  • The patient may gradually resume more normal activities, but should still avoid any activities that put strain on the surgical area.
  • The patient should continue to wear compression garments as directed by the surgeon.
  • The patient should be careful not to expose the surgical area to sunlight, which can cause scarring and discolouration.
  • The patient should continue to attend follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor their progress.

Six to twelve months after surgery:

  • The patient should continue to follow the surgeon’s instructions for scar care and skin care.
  • The patient should be able to resume all normal activities and exercise routines.
  • The patient should continue to wear compression garments as directed by the surgeon during exercise or other physical activities.

It is important to remember that recovery time can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery.

Potential Body Lift Risks

Below are potential risks associated with body lift surgery:

  • Anaesthesia risks
  • Asymmetries
  • Bleeding (haematoma)
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Deep vein thrombosis / life threatening conditions
  • Cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Fat necrosis, (death of fatty tissue under the skin)
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Infection
  • Numbness or changes in skin sensation
  • Pain, which may be persistent
  • Persistent swelling in the legs
  • Poor wound healing
  • Possible need for revision surgery
  • Recurrent skin looseness
  • Skin discoloration
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Skin loss
  • Sutures that surface through the skin
  • Unfavourable scarring

Your plastic surgeon will discuss these risks, as well as any others that may apply to your particular case, prior to your consent for surgery.

Body Lift Results

The results of a body lift can last for a long time provided that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and your weight does not fluctuate significantly. Should your body shape change over time, it may always appear more contoured than if you never had the procedure at all. It usually takes about a year for the final results to become noticeable.

To ensure that the results of your body lift last as long as possible, follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and attend follow-up appointments as directed. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise and avoiding smoking can help you maintain the results of your body lift over time.

A Note on Results

The results of any medical treatment, aesthetic or otherwise, will affect patients differently based on various individual, genetic, environmental, diet, exercise and other factors. For that reason, you should always expect to see some variance between the results featured and the results you can achieve. What works for one person may not work for another, and each patient’s unique needs and expectations must be considered when determining the best course of action.

Therefore, it is essential to have a thorough consultation with a qualified and experienced medical professional who can help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on your specific circumstances. It is also important to understand that a body lift is not a quick fix and requires patience and commitment to achieve the desired results.

To learn more about this procedure, schedule your personal consultation with Dr Damon Thomas on 03 9034 7738