What is a belt lipectomy?
A belt lipectomy or lower body lift is a procedure that helps to reshape the abdomen, lower back, and buttocks. A belt lipectomy involves circumferential removal of sagging skin and excess fat around the hips and waist. It is considered as an extended form of tummy tuck that continues around the sides and the whole lower back. A belt lipectomy is usually performed after massive weight loss following bariatric surgery, such as gastric band or gastric bypass.
Why might I need a belt lipectomy?
If you have excess skin and stubborn fat tissue after massive weight loss, a belt lipectomy may be a suitable option for you to get rid of the extra folds of skin tissue.
Excess skin does not only affect your look, but it can cause other problems, including:
- Swelling, rash, or sores between skin folds, which may cause infection
- Problems with sexual activity
- Difficulty urinating
- Hygiene issues
Am I a suitable candidate for belt lipectomy?
To ensure that you can undergo the surgery as safely as possible, we perform a thorough examination to rule out any preventable health issues. A physical exam and medical history study will be carried out to check vital signs, food and drug allergies, supplements intake, and current medications (prescriptions and over the counter). We also check for any chronic medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
What happens during a belt lipectomy?
During the consultation, your surgeon will explain the details of the surgery and answer all your questions.
A belt lipectomy usually involves the following:
- The anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia so that you will sleep through the operation and not feel anything and will carefully monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs.
- You will be given antibiotics during and after the surgery to prevent infection.
- The surgeon will make an incision where the buttocks and lower back meet to remove excess skin and fat tissue.
- The surgeon continues the incision on your front lower abdomen to remove the excess skin and tissue from there. You may need to be repositioned on the operating table.
- The surgeon will suture your skin back together, creating a smoother contour.
- The medical staff will place dressings and wrap bandages over your wounds.
How long does belt lipectomy surgery take?
The procedure usually takes 1-3 hours, after which the doctor will determine how long you will need to stay in the hospital.
What are the risks of belt lipectomy?
Belt excision is fairly safe, but as the case with any surgical procedure, it involves certain risks.
People who have lost a lot of weight may be more likely to have complications than people who have this surgery for other reasons. Some of the risks arising from this surgery include:
- Wound healing issues, such as slow healing or infection
- Heavy bleeding
- Blood clots in your legs, which may travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism).
- Nerve damage
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
What happens after a belt lipectomy?
Depending on the size of the treated area, you may be given antibiotics to keep the wound clean. You can go home the same day as the liposuction, or you can stay in the hospital overnight. If you come home the same day, a responsible adult should stay with you overnight. Simple painkillers should be sufficient to make you comfortable. You may also be given compression stockings to wear to reduce the risk of a blood clot in the leg or lung.
What is the downtime for belt lipectomy?
The downtime for belt lipectomy is usually 2-6 weeks.
When will I be able to see the results of belt lipectomy?
The results of belt lipectomy are almost immediate. However, it may take up to a year to two years or more for the final results of a belt lipectomy to fully appear. The scars will remain, but the overall results are long-lasting if you maintain a healthy weight and general fitness.