How Will a Body Lift Affect Your Tattoos?

Woman with tattoos (model) looking out over the ocean.

It’s not uncommon for body lift patients to have questions about tattoos when they visit my plastic surgery practice in the Los Angeles area. After all, body lifts do involve expansive areas of skin, and regions like the abdomen, hips, and thighs are popular spots for tattoos. What happens to this ink during the procedure?

In today’s blog post, I’ll explain more about how will a body lift affect your tattoos so you know what to expect after treatment.

Before & After Body Lift Case 1002 View #1 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Body Lift
Before & After Body Lift for Men Case 1714 View #1 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Body Lift
Before & After Body Lift Case 1827 Left Side View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After Body Lift

Body Lift Options

There are 2 types of body lifts commonly chosen by post-weight loss patients:

  • Lower body lift: This procedure typically combines a tummy tuck, buttock lift, and thigh lift.
  • Upper body lift: This typically includes a bra line back lift, lateral chest skin excision, and breast lift.

Arm lifts, pubic lifts, and panniculectomies also involve skin tightening that may affect tattoos. Each of these procedures requires some degree of skin repositioning or removal.

Skin Repositioning

Let’s look at a tummy tuck as an example of how the skin is altered during body contouring procedures. During a tummy tuck, skin on the abdomen is pulled downward toward the pubic area to tighten it. The skin originally on the lower abdomen is then trimmed off, while skin originally on the upper abdomen is stretched down to cover the lower abdomen. This change even requires the formation of a new bellybutton.

So what happens to tattoos? They stay with the original skin. Tattoos located on the lower abdomen are trimmed off completely, and tattoos on the upper abdomen are moved to the lower abdomen, possibly appearing a bit stretched.

Which Areas of the Body are Affected?

Of course, the abdomen isn’t the only area body contouring can address. Lower body lifts correct skin on the thighs and buttocks using an incision hidden around the waistline. Tattoos located on the buttocks or upper thighs are more likely to be removed, whereas tattoos on the mid-thighs may move upward.

In an upper body lift, tattoos near the chest, ribs, and upper back are likely to be affected. Arm lifts may remove or reposition tattoos found on the upper arms and armpits.

Body Contouring and Tattoo Repositioning Options

One benefit of body contouring procedures is that they can be customized. I can take the presence of tattoos into consideration as I create your personalized treatment plan. However, it’s important to keep in mind that to achieve your best body contouring results, I may need to remove or reposition a tattooed area. Because body lifts address so much skin, it’s very possible you may have to sacrifice some ink to enjoy a tighter, smoother silhouette after weight loss.

I encourage you to bring up any concerns about tattoos or other skin markings during your body lift consultation. As a board-certified plastic surgeon with special experience in plastic surgery after weight loss, I’m more than happy to work with you to create exactly the results you’re looking for.

To see examples of the results you can expect after a body lift, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

If you would like to learn more about the possibilities of plastic surgery at my Los Angeles-area practice, please call us at (310) 300-1779 or request a consultation online.

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