Corset Body Lift Procedure

Reviewed by Alexander P. Moya, MD

For centuries women have been attempting to achieve the ideal "hourglass" figure, first with corsets and, in recent years, undergarment body shapers. Now, a new body contouring surgery known as the corset body lift can surgically produce this sleeker waistline, and can be individually tailored for both women and men.

This novel surgery not only treats the lower abdomen, as do abdominoplasty and lower body lift lift (belt lipectomy), but also targets the often-neglected upper abdomen, thereby enhancing the entire waistline. Corset body lift can provide an aesthetically-reshaped torso regardless of an individual's overall body size or amount of excess skin. Those who undergo this procedure can still have a thigh lift and/or "butt lift" at a later date.

Are You a Candidate for the Corset Body Lift?

If you have a significant amount of loose skin below your breasts, above your belly button, and along your sides, you may be a good candidate for the corset procedure. This includes those who have lost a considerable amount of weight following bariatric surgery such as lap band surgery or gastric bypass and, consequently, have been left with rolls or folds of excess skin. By removing this excess, the corset body lift can provide you with a completely flat abdomen and full-length waistline. As a result, you will feel more comfortable in your clothing and may even drop a few sizes! What's more, your personal hygiene is simplified.

Corset Surgery Preparation

Your board-certified plastic surgeon will go over what you can and can't do before your corset lift. This will likely include discontinuing medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that may increase bleeding risk. If you smoke, you will likely be advised to quit in advance of your corset body lift. Smoking increases the risk of all surgeries, and impairs wound healing.

Corset Body Lift Surgery

The corset body lift takes about five hours to complete, depending on the size of your frame and the amount of excess skin. Since the procedure directly removes any excess fat along the treated areas, no liposuction is required for contouring. Results are immediate. If your surgeon uses ultrasonic energy (sound waves) to dissect the tissue and seal blood vessels, you will only require one drain, and this is typically removed the day after surgery.

This procedure involves three incisions to maximize skin removal and improve overall body shape. The midline incision has the greatest impact on reducing the size of the waist, while the lower chest (beneath the breasts) incision enhances the upper waistline contour and the lower pelvis/hip incision (abdominoplasty incision) enhances the lower waistline contour. The obvious up-and-down scar may initially be a concern, but it typically fades significantly over time.

Corset Body Lift Recovery and Risks

Recovery from the corset body lift is less involved than a lower body lift and similar to that of a traditional abdominoplasty. You can comfortably lie on your back since all the incisions are on the front of the body. Your surgeon will likely recommend that you wear a compression garment for three weeks and take it easy for six weeks.

There are some risks involved with the corset procedure, including development of a hematoma or seroma (collection of blood or fluid under the skin, respectively) or wound breakdown (small separation along a part of the incision), as well as the general risks associated with anesthesia.

Corset Body Lift Cost

Insurers typically do not cover the cost of body contouring surgeries such as corset body lift. The corset procedure costs roughly $13,000. If the cost is prohibitive, talk with your surgeon about financing options.

Choosing a Corset Body Lift Surgeon

This is a relatively new procedure, and surgeons are just now being schooled in how to perform it. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience is important for the success of your surgery, as well as your satisfaction with the cosmetic results. Make sure to ask how many corset body lift procedures your surgeon has performed. It's also helpful to view before and after pictures.

About the Reviewer of This Article

The developer of the corset body lift, Alexander P. Moya, MD, is the Director of the Center for Weight Loss Body Contouring at Geisinger Medical Center and the Assistant Director of the Geisinger Center for Aesthetics and Cosmetic Surgery in Danville, Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and completed his internship and residency training in general surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center of Greater Miami. Dr. Moya also completed a fellowship in plastic surgery at the University of Utah.