Belt Lipectomy/Body Lift

Body lift is also referred to as lower body lift or belt lipectomy. This procedure is usually the procedure of choice for patients who have undergone a significant amount of weight loss either from diet and exercise or after gastric bypass surgery. This procedure removes excess skin in a circumferential manner around the lower abdomen, waist and lower back. The body lift or belt lipectomy will improve the appearance of the abdomen, thighs and buttocks.

The ideal patient for a body lift or belt lipectomy has waited a year from gastric bypass surgery or lap band procedure and has a stable weight for the past 3 to 6 months. This time interval is helpful to allow other medical conditions improve and stabilize after this significant weight loss.

A circumferential body lift or belt lipectomy addresses excess fat and sagging skin. Liposuction is combined with these procedures some times to improve contours. A body lift will improve dimpled, irregular skin, known as cellulite by tightening the skin in a circumferential manner.

Every cosmetic procedure is a compromise to some degree. In the case of a body lift or belt lipectomy, one is trading the excess skin and fat and irregular or unsightly appearance for a scar which in some cases may be somewhat unsightly. This scar, however, is acceptable to many after undergoing such drastic measures to lose a significant amount of weight. It is generally left in the location hidden by most bathing suits.

A circumferential body lift or belt lipectomy is a well known procedure following gastric bypass surgery and massive weight loss; however, these procedures may also be appropriate for the patient who is already fairly thin in nature but has lax, excess skin around the lower abdomen, waist and back, perhaps with the “muffin top” appearance or even a droopy or sagging buttocks.

The length of the procedure varies depending on the extent of excess skin and fatty tissues remaining as well as the status of the abdominal muscular wall. The procedure time can vary from 4 to 8 hours. Patients will require an overnight stay. Some patients may be hospitalized; others will stay several nights in an aftercare facility with appropriate care. Several small drains will be placed and left in for 1 to 2 weeks post operatively.

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