Lower Body Lift vs Tummy Tuck

Lower Body Lift vs Tummy Tuck

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Having a flat, firm abdomen is a hallmark of physical beauty. Having a personalized tummy tuck procedure performed on your body will go a long way in helping enhance the shape of your abdomen for years to come. However, whenever you consider undergoing any cosmetic procedure, it is essential to view your treatment options to achieve your particular treatment goals. 

Let’s look at two specific procedures: the lower body lift and the tummy tuck.

What is a tummy tuck?

What is a tummy tuck

The tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure for tightening and reshaping the abdominal area to improve its aesthetics, leading to a more pleasing and slim overall appearance. This procedure has the potential to dramatically enhance your overall appearance, leading to your clothes fitting and looking better, as well as making you more confident and comfortable within your own body.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it is essential to have realistic expectations regarding your results. 

You should also carefully follow all instructions provided by your plastic surgeon.

How It Works

If you undergo a tummy tuck procedure, your plastic surgeon will tighten your abdominal muscles and remove excess loose and sagging skin, which corrects a protruding belly. The result is a midsection that appears pleasantly flatter and better-toned.

A tummy tuck procedure would likely help you significantly if your body has recently changed dramatically due to pregnancy or weight loss.

Who makes a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

The best tummy tuck candidates are those who are already close to their ideal body weight, are in good overall health, are non-smokers, and have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for them.

You should consider a tummy tuck if any of the below apply to you:

  • You have an abdomen that protrudes and is not toned despite exercising and dieting.
  • Your skin and abdominal muscles were sagging and stretched after pregnancy.
  • Extreme weight loss has left you with excess, loose skin around your belly.
  • Although you are in good shape, you still have a protruding abdomen.

What is a lower body lift?

The lower body lift is a cosmetic procedure addressing skin irregularities like:

  • Abdomen
  • Lateral thighs
  • Pubic area
  • Flanks
  • Buttocks

As far as the procedure itself, the lower body lift can help you remove excess skin and the re-suspension and re-draping of bodily tissues. The procedure provides an improved tone and a more youthful appearance.

A lower body lift often involves a liposuction procedure to help balance the thighs and torso, tighten abdominal muscles, and remove excess skin from the thighs, abdomen, and buttocks.

Would I make a good candidate for a lower body lift?

You may make a good candidate for this procedure if you require the removal of some excess skin in the area of your lower abdomen. You may also benefit from a lower body lift if you have loose abdominal wall muscles or wrinkled and loose skin along your thighs and buttocks.

Does a lower body lift include a tummy tuck?

Yes. You can think of a lower body lift as a wrap-around procedure with a tummy tuck in the front.

What is the difference between a lower body lift and a tummy tuck?

The two procedures are similar, but there are some essential differences. You may think of a lower body lift as a 360-degree tummy tuck. In other words, the lower body lift wraps around the entire midsection, while the tummy tuck only addresses the front part where the tummy is located.

A lower body lift is a more involved procedure involving removing excess skin and tissue from both the front and back of the lower torso. Most patients begin the procedure by lying on their stomach while the excess back skin is removed. Then they will flip over for the front portion of the procedure, which is performed much like a tummy tuck.

Since the lower body lift is more involved and requires the patient to shift positions in the operating room, it takes longer to perform. The resulting scar for a lower body lift would be from the back to the front in the area of the belt or bikini region.

What is an extended tummy tuck?

This cosmetic procedure improves both the upper and lower abdomen and flanks. It does involve a longer incision to remove excess and loose skin from the upper and lower belly and tighten the abdominal wall muscles.

The scar after an extended tummy tuck can often be concealed by clothes, although not every patient may cover it completely.

What are the advantages of undergoing a lower body lift vs. a tummy tuck?

The main advantage is that you will achieve better body contouring in your lower back and thighs. The conventional tummy tuck procedure has no significant thigh contouring effect. 

If a patient receives a tummy tuck but needs a lower body lift, they may be left with excess tissue and skin that can be seen towards the back of the body, leading to an undesirable look.

Which procedure is right for me?

To narrow down your choices, it may be helpful to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What do I hope to achieve from my procedure?
  • Where are my problem areas?
  • Where am I in my weight loss journey?

If you are mainly concerned about problems with your abdominal area, it may make the most sense for you to get a tummy tuck. But if a tummy tuck cannot address your trouble areas, you may benefit from a lower body lift.

Ultimately, your plastic surgeon will provide their recommendations as to which procedure makes the most sense for you and your unique situation at your consultation.

Dr. John E. Nees, MD

Dr. John E. Nees, MD

Medically reviewed by
Dr. John E. Nees, MD specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery in Miami, FL


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