Dramatic weight loss, ageing, and weight fluctuation can all result in excess skin and fat around the waistline. A belt lipectomy removes hanging skin and fat around the waist to improve the contours of the body and tighten the area.  

What is a Belt Lipectomy?

A belt lipectomy is also known as a lower body lift. The operation removes excess abdominal back and flank skin and fat from around the waistline. It’s common to have this surgery after significant weight loss. It’s often performed after weight loss surgery.

The procedure is for individuals who have a lot of excess skin rather than excess fat. Ideally, you need to be as close to your goal weight as possible before belt lipectomy surgery. If you have recently been through a dramatic weight loss either from bariatric surgery or dieting, you may find that you have a lot of excess skin left over. Overhanging skin can be uncomfortable and make you feel self-conscious about your lower body. 

What’s Involved in Belt Lipectomy Surgery?

A belt lipectomy includes a component of a tummy tuck; it’s considered an extensive tummy tuck. The procedure requires major surgery and takes 3-5 hours to perform. You start the operation lying face down. Your surgeon will make an incision above the buttocks to remove excess skin and fat and then sew up the incision. Next, you’re rotated to your back, and an incision is made from hip to hip. A similar process happens where your surgeon will remove excess skin and then sew up the incision

What are the Benefits of Belt Lipectomy Surgery?

One of the main benefits is that the surgery removes excess skin and fat from the waistline. This means that you can finally see the results of significant weight loss. By seeing an improvement in your body, it can help boost self-esteem, especially if you worry about excess skin and the way it looks. If excess skin causes you painful chafing, a belt lipectomy would get rid of this and stop chafing. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Belt Lipectomy Surgery?

After your surgery, you will feel some pain, discomfort, bruising and swelling. You will need to wear a compression garment to reduce swelling and ease the healing process. Avoid bending at the waist for at least a month while you’re body is recovering. 

Generally, patients need to take 2 weeks off work to recover. If you have a strenuous job, you will need to take more time off. You will need to have some help in place around the house. For the first 2 weeks, you won’t really feel like yourself. It’s important that you don’t lift anything for 4 to 6 weeks, including children. If your surgeon has placed drains on the area, you will need to remove fluid buildup. Your surgeon will show you how to do this properly. 

You can resume exercise after about 6 to 8 weeks. All these guidelines are general. Your recovery timeline will be based on your progress throughout your check-up appointments. 

What are the Potential Complications and Risks of a Belt Lipectomy?

Potential complications and risks of this type of surgery include: 

  • Infection 
  • Blood clots
  • Wound healing problems 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Scarring 
  • Fluid collection 
  • Asymmetry 
  • Numbness 


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