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“This procedure changed the world for me. I’m literally a whole new person and have never been happier!”*

– Jean F., Williamsburg, VA

For men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight, excess skin can often obscure the dramatic results of such weight loss. For those who wish to improve the result of a bariatric procedure like a gastric bypass or sleeve, a body lift may be indicated. The body lift (belt lipectomy) is designed to resculpt the abdomen, hips, thighs and buttocks.

The best candidates for this procedure are those who have had a stable weight for approximately six months to a year and are observing a healthy diet and exercise program. If you’ve had a gastric bypass, Lap-Band, or other gastric restrictive procedures, it is best to wait until at least one year after the surgery so that the common health issues related to obesity have improved.


The steps of a body lift vary depending on each patient so it is best to contact us for a  consultation where Dr. Carney can discuss your specific needs. Most often, surgery is performed on the stomach first, removing excess skin and fat from the belly button to the pubic area – this area is the one most often loosened by massive weight loss.

In treating the abdomen, a horizontal incision is made along the pubic area. Excess skin and fat is removed from this area to the belly button after all the tissues have been lifted from the underlying muscles, to the level of the rib cage. The abdominal wall muscles are then tightened. The remaining skin and fat is pulled down from above the belly button area, where it is sutured in position at the pubic area. The belly button is repositioned into a proper position. The procedure is repeated in the buttocks and thigh areas where incisions are often masked by bathing suits and scars fade in time. Liposuction may be used in combination with the body lift.


A body lift is considered major surgery and will require a significant recovery time. Patients usually have an extended stay. Any discomfort is managed with intravenous or intramuscular medications, and later with oral pain medication.

Drainage tubes are inserted and will require personal home care for up to two weeks. A compression garment must be worn at all times except while bathing and until Dr. Carney says it is no longer necessary. Dr. Carney will also discuss restrictions on certain activities including exercise and lifting. Walking is encouraged. You can expect a four to six week recovery period before returning to normal activities, and approximately six to eight weeks before exercising.

Learn More About Body Lift

If you’d like to learn more about body lift surgery, please watch our educational video below. Just select the procedure from the dropdown video menu below. You can also learn more about body lift surgery from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is also a good source of information about body lift surgery. Dr. Carney is a member of both medical societies.

If you feel that you would like to speak with Dr. Carney personally about body lift surgery, please request a consultation or contact us with your question.

Individual results may vary.

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Dr Carney, Board-certified Plastic Surgeon with Offices in Virginia Beach, Newport News and Chesapeake

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Client testimonials are based on personal experience. Individual results may vary.