Body Contouring: Body Lift vs. Tummy Tuck

Body lift vs Tummy Tuck - Dr. Beverly Fischer Timonium, MD

Sometimes, when trying to lose weight through exercise and diet, you can only get so far. Each patient responds differently to weight loss depending on where pockets of fat are located within their bodies. Some patients can lose significant amounts of body fat from the abdomen, while others tend to lose more from the thighs and buttocks.

In addressing pockets of fat around the body that do not respond to exercise and diet, there are two cosmetic procedures plastic surgeons recommend. A body lift is designed to tighten loose skin or flesh around the body, particularly the lower back, buttocks and the thighs. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, is designed to remove excess fat from the abdominal area.

So which procedure is best for you? This article will explore the pros and cons associated with both surgical procedures.

What is a Body Lift?

A body lift is recommended to those who need to remove fat but also tighten loose skin around the abdominal area (sides or lower back), buttocks or thighs. Aging, genetics, pregnancy and/or significant weight fluctuation can cause poor tissue elasticity and visible sagging of skin. A body lift is designed to shape and contour the patients body, focusing on solving poor skin elasticity.

What does a Body Lift involve?

During a body lift, you will be put under general anesthesia and then the plastic surgeon will begin the procedure by creating incisions on the targeted area, from there, the excess fat will be removed and the sagging skin will be lifted. Deep sutures within underlying tissues help to form and support the newly shaped body contours. 

The procedure lasts for 4-5 hours. Body lift results are visible almost immediately but 100% of desired contour will show once you are fully recovered and all results vary.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a common procedure that reduces excess fat and skin, but unlike a body lift, also helps build or weakened abdominal muscles. You will achieve those firm abs you may not have been able to achieve solely through diet and exercise. Women who have excess or sagging abdominal skin due to pregnancy can benefit from a tummy tuck. To maintain the best results from your tummy tuck, you must keep a healthy lifestyle and avoid weight fluctuations.

What does a Tummy Tuck involve?

During a tummy tuck, you will be put under general anesthesia and then the plastic surgeon will begin the procedure by creating horizontal incisions on abdominal area, from there, the excess the excess skin will be lifted. Once the skin is lifted, the underlying ab muscles are repaired. Depending on how much skin you have, especially in the upper ab area, a second incision may be necessary around the naval. The plastic surgeon will close the incisions using sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips.

Within a week or two after surgery, you will be able to confidently stand tall and reveal your flatter and firmer abs.

Which procedure is best for you?

The decision to have a body lift or a tummy tuck will depend on the areas of concern as well as the elasticity in your skin and your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If your weight loss initiatives are not yielding results in many parts of your lower body or you are seeing an excess amount of sagging skin due to poor elasticity, a body lift may be the solution for you.

A tummy tuck is the best choice for patients who are focused on achieving a flatter or firmer abdominal area and are able to keep a healthy weight after surgery to maintain the tummy tuck results.

Still not sure which one is best for you? Don't worry - an experienced plastic surgeon will recommend the best procedure for you.

Dr. Beverly Fischer at the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery performs both of these surgical procedures and will help identify the best procedure for you during a consultation, based on your areas of concern around your body. She tailors each procedure to achieve your desired goals. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery.