Picture this: you have lost a significant amount of weight. You’re feeling proud of your accomplishment but, at the same time, you’re unhappy with the excess skin that’s sagging where the weight once was.
If this scenario sounds familiar, then you may be the perfect candidate for a belt lipectomy.
What is a belt lipectomy?
Unlike abdominoplasty or tummy tuck which eliminates fat from the stomach area, a belt lipectomy, also known as a lower body lift or circumferential body lift, will remove excess skin and fat from the entire lower torso/body.
It is perfect for those who have lost large amounts of weight and, as a result, have loose skin. However, that isn’t the only reason to get one. A belt lipectomy can also be done for cosmetic reasons, as it reshapes your body – making it a suitable solution after a pregnancy, for health reasons, and to remove fat that isn’t responding to diet or exercise.
Where is a procedure done?
For most candidates, it involves an overnight stay with the procedure done under local anaesthetic. Some people may require a longer stay under supervision if deemed necessary or if complications should arise.
With any surgical procedure, there is always an element of risk; any and all possible scenarios can be covered during your consultation.
What exactly does a belt lipectomy involve?
The surgery generally starts with a patient resting on their stomach while excess skin/fat is removed from their back, hips, and buttocks. Following this, the patient is moved to rest on their back and their abdominal area is addressed.
This includes muscle tightening if necessary (usually an on-the-table decision), creating a new belly button, and securing the skin after removal. From there, a drain tube is installed and the area is dressed and covered to protect it.
How quickly will I recover?
After the surgery, soreness and limited mobility is to be expected. For the first week, your bandages will restrict you from showering. Most people find it takes them a couple weeks to return to light activity, with most of the initial recovery time spent lying down – sitting up and walking may be done in small increments. Because of this, it is useful to have someone to help you out for an extended period of time after the surgery for day to day necessities.
For four to six weeks after the surgery, a binder, covering the stomach and back will need to be worn. For those who work, it’s advised that at least two weeks be taken off from work and then only going back to light work or a modified schedule. Plan for a follow up appointment 14 days after your surgery to remove the dressings, along with a six-week check, and three-monthly follow up to assess your progress and make sure there are no complications.
Can I get multiple procedures done in one go?
The tightening of your abdomen can be complemented by other reductions or lifts. Belt lipectomy is often combined with other procedures like a liposuction procedure or an arm, breast or face lift.
Patients often opt for this medical procedure to boost their weight loss goals, in efforts to target problem areas that store stubborn fats. Combined procedures – along with a healthy lifestyle – can accelerate visible weight loss results.
Is scarring likely to occur?
The surgery will most likely leave a scar on your stomach. Lifestyle and health habits will determine to what extent the scar heals, and the aftercare process can influence this significantly. Scarring, to some degree, may be unavoidable. If you have undergone gastric-bypass surgery, the same incision area may be used, limiting the scarring to what is already there.
Most surgeons will attempt to limit the scarring to areas that can be covered, to minimise their visibility in public. It is also worth noting that scarring can take up to two years to fade and heal, or it can happen after the initial three-month healing period.
Preparing for the procedure
To get ready for the surgery, a thorough consultation with your surgeon is the best starting point. Here you will be provided with all the information for the surgery along with any considerations you need to take note of for yourself.
Choosing a surgeon with experience in performing a belt lipectomy – and someone who you are comfortable with, are probably the most essential elements of the entire surgery experience.
Ready to schedule a consultation with Dr Goldman to see if a belt lipectomy is right for you? Get in touch now.