Circumferential Contouring of the Lower Trunk: Indications, Operative Techniques, and Outcomes-A Systematic Review

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2016 Oct;40(5):652-68. doi: 10.1007/s00266-016-0660-7. Epub 2016 Jun 10.


Background: Increasing obesity prevalence and development of bariatric surgery have led to the development of skin re-draping techniques. Several contouring techniques have been described for treating the circumferential excess of the lower trunk.

Materials and methods: We performed a systematic review to summarize surgical indications, operative techniques, peri-operative management (nutritional supplementation, antibiotic prophylaxis, thrombo-prophylaxis), outcomes, complications, patient satisfaction, and impact on quality of life of circumferential contouring of the lower trunk procedures. A systematic review, based on the PRISMA criteria, was conducted using the Pubmed and Cochrane databases.

Results: The review included 42 articles and 1748 operated patients. Two studies only were graded as level of evidence II; the others were graded as levels III to V. The most frequently reported indication was massive weight loss. All the described techniques derived either from belt lipectomy or lower bodylift. Belt lipectomy resulted in a posterior scar situated at the waistline and allowed a better correction of hip back rolls, whereas lower bodylift was more effective on buttock and lateral thigh ptosis. The most reported complication was wound dehiscence. Patient satisfaction and quality of life scores were high in all studies.

Conclusions: This review included a majority of low-level evidence studies that limit extrapolability of the results. Future randomized prospective studies may generate stronger evidence, with a standardization of surgical indications and operative techniques.

Level of evidence iii: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .

Keywords: Abdominoplasty; Bariatric surgery; Belt lipectomy; Body lift; Bodylift; Circumferential abdominoplasty; Massive weight loss; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominoplasty / methods*
  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods
  • Body Composition
  • Buttocks / surgery
  • Esthetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Surgery, Plastic / methods*
  • Thigh / surgery
  • Torso / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*