A belt lipectomy or circumferential abdominoplasty can be a solution to the excess loose and saggy skin after massive weight loss. If you have had weight loss surgery such as a gastric sleeve or lost a lot of weight through dieting, then a belt lipectomy may help.
What is a belt lipectomy?
A belt lipectomy is a surgical procedure usually performed to remove excess skin and fat and reshape the waistline, hips, buttocks, and thighs. Also known as the lower body lift, the procedure enhances the contours of the abdomen, the waist, and the hip to give your body a firm and youthful appearance.
The loose and saggy skin can negatively affect your body’s aesthetics and make you uncomfortable with your appearance. Belt lipectomy procedure, commonly known as circular abdominoplasty or 360 abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that sculpts the torso to improve your self-image and self-confidence.
Am I a good candidate for Belt Lipectomy Procedure?
You are an ideal candidate for a belt lipectomy procedure if:
- You have lost a significant amount of weight that has resulted in you having excess saggy skin
- Your skin has lost its elasticity and your abdominal wall has become lax.
- You are bothered by the appearance of your excess saggy skin.
- You can accept a circumferential scar around your lower body which can normally be covered by underwear and swimwear.
- Your mobility and daily life are affected by loose skin.
- Loose and saggy skin has resulted in skin rashes, irritation, and infections.
- You are physically healthy and at a stable weight. If you are planning on losing more weight or are not at your weight goal, then you should wait and have the procedure when you are at your ideal weight
- You do not smoke or drink heavily
- You have realistic expectations and goals from the procedure
- You are undergoing belt lipectomy for yourself and not for any other reason.
What are the benefits of a belt lipectomy procedure?
Belt lipectomy has several benefits ranging from physical benefits like improved mobility to mental and psychological benefits such as increased confidence and improved self-worth. There are many more benefits to the procedure that have been listed below.
Improved mental health
While excess skin and fat around the waistline is a physical problem, the psychological side effects are often the more significant issue. The excess skin can be quite bothersome and affect your day-to-day life.
The excess skin and tissue distort your figure and can limit you from wearing certain types of tight-fitted clothes. It may affect how you see yourself and how others see you, the worry of which can significantly alter your social and personal relationships.
A belt lipectomy procedure removes this excess skin and improves your physical appearance. This may boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
No more infections
Excess skin and tissue around the waist can hinder mobility and prevent you from performing everyday tasks. An important side effect of saggy and loose skin is chafing that can result in skin irritation and rashes which can be quite painful.
Another important side effect is infections. Loose skin means that there will be skin folds and crevices which make for the perfect home for microorganisms. This can result in painful infections that will need immediate treatment.
These side effects may be eradicated by undergoing a belt lipectomy procedure. After the procedure and recovery period, you can go about your daily business without having to worry about chafing, rashes, and infections.
No more love handles
Excess skin after a significant amount of weight loss can hang loosely around your hips and thighs, making it look like you haven’t lost much weight. This skin can also give the appearance of love handles and saggy buttocks, which can negatively affect your appearance.
A belt lipectomy procedure can tighten your skin, reshape your lower body, and give it a taut appearance.
What’s involved in a belt lipectomy procedure?
A belt lipectomy is an extensive surgical procedure that can take anywhere between two hours to five hours, depending on the amount of skin to be removed and if any associated procedures are being performed at the same time. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia.
Just prior to your surgery Dr Doyle will mark out the position of the incisions circumferentially around your body. The position of the scars will be placed in such a way as to have the scars hidden wherever possible beneath underwear or swimming outfits. The surgery begins on your back and you will be lying face down on the table. A significant amount of skin and fat will be removed, and the underlying tissues will be tightened.
Once the back surgery is complete, you will be turned over and the excess skin and fat over your abdomen (apron) will be removed. Tightening of the underlying tissues and muscles will be done as required. At this point, Dr Doyle may also perform an inner thigh lift if needed. You can discuss any other procedures you would like to have done when you first visit your surgeon for your initial consultation. This will help the surgery team plan accordingly to achieve your desired results.
After excess skin has been removed and your circumferential incision has been sutured, the surgery procedure is over. Surgical drains will be placed to prevent the accumulation of fluid in your abdominal cavity and prevent overall swelling. A pain pump (a small pump which pumps local anaesthetic under the skin for 3 days) is inserted to minimise your post-operative pain.
Recovery from a belt lipectomy procedure
Belt Lipectomy procedure is a long procedure and can be quite tiring and draining for your body. Most patients would spend at least one night in hospital following the surgery. It is possible to go home the same day as the surgery, but this is uncommon. Depending on your specific situation, Dr Doyle will recommend the best option for you.
The recovery phase can last for up to six weeks and is marked by swelling, bruising, pain, and mild discomfort. These can be treated with pain management medication that Dr Doyle will prescribe for you. You may also receive a prescription for antibiotics that you should take to prevent any infections as they can complicate the wound healing process.
Since your abdominal, flank and back tissues have been tightened, you may walk slightly bent over but it is normal. It will resolve on its own and you will be walking normally approximately five days after the surgery.
You should refrain from doing any strenuous physical activity that can put pressure on your incisions as this can result in wound separation, and improper healing of the incision, which in turn, can result in an undesired, thick scar.
You should abstain from drinking or smoking during the recovery period as that can result in infections, poor wound healing and other complications that will compromise the results of the surgery. This abstinence is especially important while you are taking pain management medications and antibiotics.
Although the recovery period is only six weeks long, Final results of the procedure may not be fully visible for several months after that. The post-operative recovery can be speeded up by wearing compression garments that hold the body contours in place and minimise any swelling or fluid and blood accumulation. You should wear these compression garments for at least two months after surgery to fully benefit from the results of the procedure.
Why choose Dr Mark Doyle?
Dr Mark Doyle is a specialist plastic surgeon with over thirty years of experience and has performed many procedures for those patients with significant weight loss including abdominoplasties and upper and lower body lifts, belt lipectomies, breast lifts and breast implants, inner thigh and upper arm lifts.
Book a consultation with him today to find out more about belt lipectomy.
Cost of a Belt Lipectomy Procedure
Belt lipectomy or circumferential abdominoplasty is a highly personalized surgical procedure that differs from patient to patient due to the goals of the patient and the amount of excess skin present. Those patients with massive weight loss will need bigger procedures to remove their excess skin. This is why the cost of a belt lipectomy procedure also differs from case to case.
The cost of the lower body lift may also be affected if any other procedures are going to be performed at the same time, like a thigh lift or liposuction. This will be discussed with you prior to your surgery.
The cost of the belt lipectomy procedure includes the surgeon’s fees, anaesthetic fees, and the hospital fees. Hospital fees will vary depending on how many nights you stay in hospital. You can access our list of patient resources to find about more about the cost of belt lipectomy surgery:
It is important for you to keep in mind that you will need to pay for the procedure at least two weeks prior to the surgery. Before that, you will also need to pay a surgical booking fee of $1,000 to book the date of your surgery. Some, but not all patients, will have some of their costs covered by Medicare and their health Insurance. This is decided on an individual basis and will be discussed with you at your consultation.
Is Belt Lipectomy Procedure Worth it?
Belt lipectomy procedure is an extensive surgical procedure that can improve the appearance of your lower body by removing loose skin and fat and make it firmer.
The belt lipectomy procedure has several benefits which fall in the physical, mental, and cosmetic categories. RealSelf gives it a 95 percent “worth it” score.
Risks and Complications of the Belt Lipectomy Procedure
Belt lipectomy or lower body lift is a surgical procedure, and just like any other surgical procedure, it has certain risks and complications associated with it. You should be aware of them and discuss them in detail so you can make an informed decision about the procedure.
The risks and complications of the belt lipectomy include:
- Allergies or a reaction to the anaesthesia
- Hematoma or collection of blood under the skin
- Collection of fluid or seroma in the body
- Poor wound healing particularly with smokers
- Numbness of the skin or changes in sensation of the skin
- Wound separation
- Discolouration of the skin
- Excessive skin loss
- Recurrent loss of elasticity, needing revision surgery
- Persistent pain
- Swelling in the legs
These risks and side effects are quite uncommon and can generally be prevented by following the precautions given to you by your surgeon.
Belt Lipectomy Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a mini tummy tuck, a tummy tuck, and a belt lipectomy procedure?
A mini tummy tuck focuses on removing excess skin and fat from the abdominal region right below the navel. A full tummy tuck enhances abdominal contours by removing the excess skin from the entire abdominal region.
A belt lipectomy on the other hand removes excess skin from the waistline, hips, flanks, and buttocks. It is a circumferential abdominoplasty procedure that improves the appearance of the entire lower body.