Cosmetic Surgery Body Contouring Lift Procedures

From face lifts to leg lifts, lift procedures allow people to take control of troubling body areas and create changes that can contribute to improved lifestyle and confidence. As a plus, these days lift procedures are becoming more and more advanced, decreasing the time it takes to perform the procedures as well as the time it takes to recover from the procedures.

Types of Lift Procedures

Face and neck lifts are often associated with the aging process, when gravity and the passage of time add to wrinkles and drooping. Lower body lifts, however, are usually for individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with areas of folding, hanging or loose skin.

Here’s some information about the different types of lift procedures:

  • Abdominoplasty: An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, reduces extra stomach tissue and reshapes the contours of the stomach. During the procedure, muscles are tightened, excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is stretched and secured.
  • Arm Lift (Brachioplasty): An upper arm lift, or brachioplasty, surgically eliminates drooping skin under the arm. The condition of having excess, hanging skin on the upper arm is usually due to significant (and often rapid) weight loss and aging. A brachioplasty procedure starts with an incision along the upper arm. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fatty deposits. Excess skin is removed, remaining skin is tightened and the incision is closed with sutures. A full arm lift always leaves a scar, but the pros of the surgery far outweigh any negative implications of a scar for most individuals.
  • Breast Lift: Breast lifts restore a sense of firmness to aging, sagging breasts. Breast lifts can also correct asymmetry. During a breast lift, excess skin and tissue is removed, while other breast tissue is tightened. After removing and tightening the tissue, the doctor will reposition the nipples for a younger, firmer look. Breast lifts can be done in the following ways:


    • Breast Lift and Augmentation: In this breast lift, implants are included with the standard lift procedure, making the breasts less susceptible to gravity.
    • Concentric Mastopexy: This procedure is considered less invasive than a standard breast lift and is generally prescribed for smaller breasts and minor drooping. With two circular incisions cut around the areola, donut-shaped sections of skin are removed. As the remaining tissue is stretched and reattached, stitches made around the areola anchor the alterations.
    • Standard Lift: In this breast lift, an anchor-shaped incision follows the natural contour of the breast and excess skin is removed. Then, the areola and nipple are repositioned. The breast is reshaped, while the remaining tissue is tightened. Stitches most often extend from underneath the nipple to the lower crease of breast.

  • Liposuction: People who exercise and eat healthily but who still cannot eliminate troubling fatty deposits are good candidates for liposuction. Generally, liposuction patients are less than 25 pounds overweight and are healthy. Liposuction will subtly reshape the contours of the body while helping to eliminate isolated pockets of fat.
  • Lower Body Lift: Lower body lifts are often performed on people who have lost a lot of weight. After a significant weight loss, skin that had been stretched due to obesity often loses its elasticity and is unable to bounce back. Lower body lifts tighten skin and create a firmer appearance. People can target one individual area, or they can combine multiple treatments to tighten different areas at once.
  • Panniculectomy: In this procedure,the pannus, a large bulge of stretched skin and fatty tissue on the abdomen, is removed. Muscles are not tightened during this extensive procedure. An incision is made in the pubic area, which allows for the removal of fatty tissue along with excess skin. The remaining skin is then pulled tight. A long healing and recovery time is to be expected with this procedure.
  • Thigh Lift: Several different types of thigh lifts are available. Although incisions will lead to scars, more often than not, the scars are not conspicuous. The most common types of thigh lift procedures include:


    • Bilateral: This type of thigh lift works to tighten skin on both the front and outside portions of the thigh. An incision is made where one would expect the lower edge of underwear to reach. After the necessary skin is removed, the remaining skin is pulled and attached.
    • Inner: This procedure results in improved leg contour and enhanced skin elasticity. An incision is made at the junction of the pubic area and thigh. A measured wedge of skin (and perhaps fat) is removed and remaining skin is tightened.
    • Medial: During this procedure, the upper skin of the inner thigh is worked on with an incision in the groin area that extends to the back of the buttock crease. Skin is lifted, excess skin is removed (along with fat) and the area is tightened and stitched.

Cost of Lift Procedures

The cost of different lift procedures will vary based on the surgeon and even the area of the country where the surgery will be performed. Medical background of the patient will also come into play when determining surgical fees. While some types of lifts can cost as little as $6,000, others can soar to more than $50,000.


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Madison Cosmetic Surgery (2007). Body Sculpting. Retrieved August 15, 2007, from the Madison Cosmetic Surgery Web site: