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This can lead to negative body image as well as functional issues. As a result, Dr Richardson performs body lift surgery to remove excess skin and fat deposits, leaving patients with tighter skin and a more ideal silhouette.

Restoring shape and tone to the body can help both men and women feel more confident in their appearance. Since everyone’s body is different, Dr Richardson will tailor your surgery to your health, body shape, and aesthetic goals to achieve the best results.

What is a Body Lift?

A body lift, also known as a belt lipectomy, is a surgical procedure that circumferentially removes skin excess and laxity around the torso that results from weight loss or other factors such as ageing or pregnancy. Large amounts of loose skin can make people self-conscious of their appearance. It can also create functional issues and skin irritation, as well as discomfort when doing exercise. Body lift surgery can:

  • Remove excess skin and stretch marks
  • Create a smoother, leaner body contour
  • Improve skin firmness and texture
  • Reduce rashes and skin irritation
  • May improve low back pain and stress urinary incontinence

By removing excess skin from around the middle of the body, below the chest, we can address the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, and back. This creates a leaner, youthful, and more aesthetically ideal body shape.

What to Expect During Your Consultation

Before your procedure, we will need to have a discussion with you to outline your goals and suitability. Generally, the surgery is suitable for both men and women who want to improve their body shape by having excess skin and tissue removed. It can be ideal for people who have a large amount of loose skin and wish to address multiple areas of the body, such as the back, stomach, and thighs. Also, ideal patients are non-smokers, have no major health concerns, and have a BMI of less than 30. Before seeking this surgery, you should have maintained a stable weight for three months or more.

During your consultation, we will discuss your health and medical history, as well as examine your level of skin laxity. This will allow us to then explain your surgical options. You should express your concerns and goals for surgery so that we can develop a treatment plan that best serves your needs. Additionally, we can answer any questions you may have during this consultation.

The Procedure

Body lifts surgery takes about four hours and is typically performed using general anesthesia. This means patients will be asleep for the entire procedure. Body lifts are customised to the patient, which means the methods used can vary.

Depending on the exact techniques, Dr Richardson may make an incision along the bikini line and extend it around the hips to the lower back. The excess skin and fat tissue are then removed. Since a body lift addresses large regions of the body, the incisions can be extensive. Dr Richardson will, however, take care to place scars in locations that are easily hidden under clothing. You can discuss which surgical methods will be best for your body during your consultation.

The procedure can address unwanted fat deposits, excess skin, as well as underlying muscle. In some cases, the procedure can involve liposuction to help remove excess fat from beneath the skin. After this, Dr Richardson may place some drains to help remove excess fluid, and the incisions are closed with sutures. Finally, you will wear a fitted compression garment to help you heal.

Cost of a Body Lift

The fees for body lift surgery will be based on the methods used during your surgery. If you are having a large amount of skin removed, this may come to a higher overall cost than a less extensive procedure. The fees can also depend on whether you are combining the procedure with another surgery, such as an arm lift (brachioplasty). As well as this, we will need to factor in hospital costs and anaesthetist fees.

Most patients will need to cover their own fees. However, if you are seeking surgery for medical reasons, Medicare or a private insurer may cover a portion of the fees. Since every surgery is different, we will be able to give you more detailed information during a private conversation about your health and goals.

Your personal consultation is the first step to finding the right procedure for you. Dr Richardson is a highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeon, dedicated to providing quality results and a positive patient experience.

Book your appointment to
  • Discuss your physical concerns and goals
  • Receive an outline of your surgical options
  • Get quality advice from a Specialist Plastic Surgeon
  • Receive a customised treatment plan
  • Meet Dr Richardson’s Patient Coordinator and team who will support you through your journey


A body lift is an extensive procedure, and your body will take a number of weeks to fully heal. Patients generally require one or two nights in the hospital to begin their initial recovery. We will prescribe pain medication to aid your recovery and apply a support garment. Afterwards, you will need to have someone transport you home and stay with you for the first 48 hours after you return from hospital.

Dr Richardson will send you home with tailored instructions on how best to care for your body and incision sites. This may include:

  • Take prescribed pain medications
  • Rest on your back with your upper body elevated
  • Reduce your movement, especially in the first week
  • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain your wound dressings and drains
  • Refrain from smoking and alcoholic drinks
  • Avoid exercise and heavy lifting for six weeks
  • Consult Dr Richardson’s team if you notice any issues

Most patients can return to work after two weeks of recovery. You will need to wear your compression garment for six weeks to help your body settle into its new shape. After this point, you should be able to return to your normal activities and exercise.

After your body lift surgery, you can expect:

  • Some discomfort for one or two weeks
  • Return to activity after one week, although you may find it difficult to use your muscles. It’s important to give your body plenty of rest
  • You can resume gentle walking after one week but should not go to the gym for six to eight weeks
  • Most patients can return to work after two to three weeks
  • You can also resume driving after two to three weeks, provided that you are fully alert and can move freely
  • Resume travelling after six weeks
  • Support garments should remain for six weeks

Risks and Complications

Although most patients are very satisfied with the outcome of their body lift, there are still some risks to be aware of. Knowing these will help you make a decision that is right for your body. Potential risks can include:

  • Bleeding and infection
  • Blood or fluid build-up
  • Reactions to anaesthesia
  • Asymmetry or other aesthetic issues
  • Slow healing
  • Stretched scars
  • Numbness or changes in skin sensation
  • Reoccurrence of loose skin
  • Persistent pain or swelling
  • Further surgery

You can improve your healing by closely following your aftercare instructions and not smoking for at least two months before and after your procedure. This will help your body to heal and recover quickly.

Body Lift FAQ

How can I prepare for surgery?

Am I a good candidate for a body lift?

What results can I expect?

What do I need to know when preparing for surgery?