A belt lipectomy is a surgical procedure that improves the contour of the outer thighs, hips and buttock region as well as the entire frontal abdomen by combining techniques of lower body lift and abdominoplasty (see individual sections for specific details of these procedures).
Who is a good candidate?
Good candidates for belt lipectomy are healthy, non-smokers who feel that, despite dieting and exercise, their front and posterior torso have skin overhang and fatty tissue that prevents an optimal overall aesthetic appearance. Many women are simply bothered by stretch marks that have occurred in their lower abdomen following pregnancy or weight gain and skin laxity that has occurred with changes in weight over time, and this procedure is traditionally able to remove a substantial amount of this over-stretched skin to give a rejuvenated appearance to the entire lower torso and waistline. Patients who have lost substantial weight following bariatric surgery or other lifestyle modifications also typically see dramatic changes in the appearance of their abdomen, hips, and buttock following the procedure. Ideally, female patients have completed all anticipated pregnancies and patients who have undergone bariatric surgery have stable weight for at least six months prior to surgery.
What is the post-operative recovery?
Patients typically benefit by allowing a full two weeks to recover from the procedure. While the procedure is outpatient surgery, the extensive nature of the procedure provides a degree of soreness that takes a week or so before patients feel more able to fully integrate themselves back into activities of daily living. Most patients are back at work by the second week following surgery although the procedure requires 5-6 weeks before patients feel as if they have fully recovered to the degree of their pre-surgical state.
How is the procedure performed?
The belt lipectomy procedure is performed under general anesthesia in our accredited operating room. Incisions are made as described in the sections regarding abdominoplasty and lower body lift, but the incisions are designed to connect with one another, leaving the patient with a circumferential scar around their entire lower waist. This allows the skin excess to be removed and for buttock augmentation to be performed as necessary. The specific type of body contouring procedure that you are a candidate for will be discussed during your initial consultation with Dr. Grotting and Cohn. Belt lipectomy procedures are individually tailored to maximize overall contour improvement while respecting the need to minimize scarring and allow for a prompt and safe recovery.
What type of result can I expect?
Patients who undergo belt lipectomy typically see a dramatic result in the contour of their outer thighs, hips, buttock region and abdomen. The procedure incorporates several critical components that are individually assessed to provide the most optimal result for the patient. Specifically, the procedure incorporates removal of excess skin, tightening of abdominal muscles, liposuction of hip and thighs to address skin thickness and provide optimal contour along these regions and possible fat injections to further enhance and shape overall contour of the buttock region. The end result is a markedly more shapely, contoured outer hip/thigh region and buttock shape, a flatter, more toned abdominal appearance with a significant improvement in skin laxity and overall contour. Liposuction is incorporated as necessary to optimize overall contour and to accentuate the overall waistline. The resultant scar typically runs circumferentially around the lower waistline. Swelling is largely dissipated during the first several weeks following the procedure, but can persist for several months. Patients are able to appreciate the dramatic change in contour immediately following the procedure, although swelling may take several months to completely resolve and to allow for appreciation of the final result.
What are the potential risk and complications?
Risks include standard aspects seen with all surgery, like bleeding and infection. Fortunately, these are rarely seen. More frequently encountered complications include things like small areas of delayed healing that may require short-courses of antibiotic ointment to assist with healing or unfavorable scarring that may benefit from steroid injections during the early post-operative period.