Added by Klaudia Grabowska on

Belt lipectomy - what is it?

Belt lipectomy is a type of plastic surgery performed on the mid and lower body. Belt lipectomy surgery is a variation of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) – it is often referred to as an extended tummy tuck. The following names of lipectomy are used: lower body lift, circumferential lower body lift, abdominal panniculectomy (or panniculectomy), 360 tummy tuck, extended abdominoplasty, or circumferential belt lipectomy. All these terms are used to describe one cosmetic plastic surgery, they are used interchangeably.

What is a belt lipectomy? Lower body lift surgery is generally a body contouring procedure, which treats such body areas as:

  • abdomen (from the so-called beltline to lower abdomen);
  • flanks / love handle / lower back;
  • pubic area;
  • lower body – buttocks, hips, or sometimes thighs.

Although abdominal lipectomy is regarded as a cosmetic surgery, it is much more than that. It is a serious, extensive surgery which of course improves the person’s look and aesthetics, but more importantly, it treats some health conditions and improves the well-being. Lower body lift plastic surgery, as a body contouring surgery, contours the abdomen area and lower body – buttocks and legs by addressing excess skin on the tummy, loose love handle areas, or lower body fat and lower back fat. Medically speaking, circumferential lipectomy removes the loose, sagging skin from the lower body, it also allows for re-drapping and re-suspending the body tissues. Apart from excess skin removal and skin tightening, 360 lower body lift can also tighten the muscles in the abdomen area.

Before we move on with specific aspects of abdominal panniculectomy surgery, we need to stress one more thing. Basically, this lipectomy radical abdominoplasty is not dedicated to people looking for an ideal look or to those who seek for a perfect abdominal contour or flat stomach surgery. This surgery is rather dedicated to people after a massive weight loss or after weight loss surgery, who were or still are obese. Sagging skin after weight loss treatment and skin folds after weight loss may be really problematic, and really dangerous, so in a vast majority of cases, body contouring after weight loss / lower body lift after weight loss is a must have. This excess skin removal surgery is the best treatment for loose skin after weight loss.

girl in a big pants

Belt lipectomy is not dedicated to people looking for an ideal look yet to people after a massive weight loss or after weight loss surgery, who suffer from a sagging skin.

 

 

 

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Belt lipectomy reasons

Loose skin after weight loss, skin folds and sagging skin as an ageing result are three main reasons for belt lipectomy.

As already mentioned, a lower body lift is a great body contouring surgery after weight loss and the only effective treatment for body contouring after massive weight loss, it is also the best treatment for sagging skin out of all body contouring procedures.

Regarding weight loss surgery or just a dramatic natural weight loss, the numeral weight loss results are great and the excess fat is lost, however, the excess skin may pose a big problem. People often wonder: how to get rid of loose skin after weight loss, how to tighten skin, how to reduce sagging skin or how to look better in general, and there are many domestic or professional ways of treating loose skin after weight loss. However, there’s no better way of excess skin removal than excess skin removal surgery. The surgery can permanently remove the loose skin on belly after weight loss, loose skin on thighs after weight loss, and weight loss loose skin on any other big body part. So, people struggling with the saggy skin after weight loss are the main group of patients getting the belt lipectomy.

The other reason why people consider surgical sagging skin removal are the skin folds. Skin folds that develop after excess fat removal or that “average” people have may only influence a person’s look, however the skin folds after weight loss procedure may be really problematic. They often cause skin rash (rash in folds of skin), yeast infection in skin folds, discomfort, swelling, ulcers (skin ulcers, especially skin ulcers on stomach), hygiene problems, trouble urinating, not to mention poor self esteem. Belt lipectomy can effectively remove the loose folds of skin / obese skin folds by addressing the excess skin after weight loss.

Finally, every person who looks for sagging skin treatment and effective sagging skin solutions may check whether he/she can get the lower body lift. The reasons for this surgery are not strictly limited to excess skin removal after weight loss, sometimes the redundant skin appears over the years due to gravity and aging, or people may suffer some medical conditions like lipoedema. It is just important to remember that the belt lipectomy does not remove excess fat and it is not an excess fat removal surgery, so the group of patients here is restricted to those struggling with much sagging skin.

 

What does belt lipectomy surgery include?

Lower body lift, a removing excess skin surgery, may include various body parts depending on the individual problem. The areas that can be involved in the surgery are:
tummy lift / stomach lift;

  • lower back lift;
  • thighs lift (outer or inner thighs lift);
  • buttocks lift.

In body lift surgery, there is usually a need to combine a few body parts, e.g. stomach lift surgery with lower back lift surgery or thighs lift surgery with tummy and buttocks lift. It is also possible to combine body lift with other plastic surgeries, e.g. liposuction. Then, it is possible to remove excess fat as well as excess skin.

Benefits of lower body lift

Lower body lift has many benefits, the most important of them include:

  • getting a streamlined body and streamlined body shape;
  • getting skin lifting and tightening;
  • removal of the loose, excessive skin, even huge amounts of skin;
  • improved confidence and self-esteem;
  • improved attractiveness;
  • smoother skin, with no infections or rush;
  • improved hygiene.

Belt lipectomy candidate

A candidate for surgery of body lift needs to fulfil certain criteria, yet it is always a plastic surgeon who makes an evaluation of candidate and qualifies a patient for the surgery, so once a person thinks it may be a good surgery for them, it is always a good idea to set up a personal consultation with a specialist. In general, a candidate for lower body lift should fulfil the following criteria:

  • suffering from excessive skin caused by a massive weight loss (caused by dieting or bariatric surgery) in such areas as tummy, back, buttocks, hips or thighs;
    having cellulite and loose skin caused by e.g. ageing or pregnancy;
  • having skin laxity / ptosis;
  • setting realistic expectations (realistic expectations refer also to the post-op scar which is quite extensive);
  • non-smokers – smoking is not allowed for at least 6 weeks before and after the surgery;
  • being in good physical condition and in good health, any chronic conditions must be controlled by a specialist;
  • keeping a stable weight for at least a year (it does not need to be an ideal body weight) and following healthy diet.
girl touches her flank

Suffer from excessive skin makes you a good candidate for a belt lipectomy.

Before belt lipectomy

Belt lipectomy is an extensive and serious plastic surgery, so it requires some preparations. The better a patient gets prepared for the procedure, the lower the risk of post-op complications. It is particularly important to follow the pre-op instructions, as it greatly influences the safety of the surgery and enables the proper recovery. Every patient gets specific directions by a surgeon, yet we describe some general pre reoperative instructions, which are most likely to be on such a list. They include the following:

  • follow a healthy diet and keeping hydration on a proper level;
  • stop smoking – patients should quit smoke at least 6 weeks before the surgery, however some surgeons admit that the high time to quit smoke is 3 months before the surgery and patients must follow this requirement;
  • stop taking certain medications, especially so-called blood thinners; also all supplements and herbs should be ceased;
  • organise the post-op days according to the treatment plan, e.g. ask someone to take you home from the clinic, organise care for your children, do the shopping, take time off work;
  • get full physical exam and all the required medical tests within 2 weeks before the surgery;
  • gather all the medical history documents, including skin quality assessment and physical exam results (if it is required), fill in the medical history form given by the clinic;
  • take photographs of your body so that you can compare your look before and after the surgery;
  • maintain hygiene and health, try to avoid cold, cough, infections;
  • do not use sunscreen or any cosmetics on the operated areas, use only antibacterial soap for 2 days before the surgery;
  • follow all the special instruction on the surgery day – do not eat or drink anything, do not wear make up, do not use any cosmetics for your body, wear loose clothes.

Lower belt lift procedure

Belt lipectomy procedure, the incisions, and length may differ depending on which body parts are involved in the surgery. The surgery takes a few hours, in the extreme cases it may take even 8-9 hours. Regarding the incision, its length depends on the amount of the excessive skin and area where it is located. The standard lower body lift procedure include the following steps:

  • Applying the anesthesia – belt lipectomy always involves applying general anesthesia, so patients are put asleep and during the surgery, their condition is controlled by an anaesthesiologist.
  • After anaesthesia starts to work, a surgeon makes surgical incision lines through the previously made body marking. The incision lines depend on the operated areas, yet usually an incision extends round the torso.
  • Through the incisions, a surgeon makes excess skin removal and skin lift. The tissues are tightened and repositioned. The remaining skin is pulled upwards. If need be, a patient’s position during the surgery changes – e.g. at the beginning a patient lies on the tummy, then, a patient is turned on the back. When, the lower body lift is combined with other procedures, e.g. liposuction or tummy tuck, this part of the surgery is longer as more steps are involved.
  • After making all the changes, a surgeon closes incisions with the sutures. These are deep support sutures which help and support the newly shaped body areas. Also, often drains are put – they collect fluids and enhance healing. When the surgery is over, patients are moved to the post-op room where they are woken up.

Belt lipectomy recovery and aftercare

A belt lipectomy recovery and post-op aftercare is extremely important. That’s why patients should know what to expect in the belt lipectomy recovery time. Patents should also familiarize themselves with the aftercare instructions and post-op care in order to enable a smooth recovery. Below, we describe what patients should expect when they wake up after the surgery and during the recovery and list the most important post-surgical guidelines.

Just after patients wake up, they may expect the following conditions:

  • having sore throat;
  • feeling drowsy (as a result of anaesthesia applied);
  • tightness, bruising and swelling in the operated sites;
  • temporary loss of sensation in the mid-body;
  • discomfort in the operated sites;
  • moderate pain while urinating;
  • discomfort caused by drains.

Regarding the post-operative instructions, they are as follows.

1 day after the surgery:

  • patients should get rest, but they are also advised to walk around regularly – starting from – minutes every few hours while resting, patients should put pillows under the knees and back;
  • take pain killers to eliminate discomfort and pain (any after surgery pain killers should be discussed with the surgeon);
  • take all medications prescribed or recommended by a surgeon;
  • check the bandage, binder (abdominal binder), and sterile gauze dressings every few hours as they need to be kept clean;
  • stay hydrated and get nutrition to prompt healing;
  • do not drink alcohol, smoke or lift heavy objects;
  • do not shower until it is permitted – many a time, patients need to wait with showering until drains are removed;
  • a belly binder and/or compression garment must be worn 24 hours a day.

2-7 days after the surgery:

  • usually, patients are discharged from the clinic on 2nd day after the surgery, from this time, they take full responsibility for plastic surgery aftercare and healing process;
  • follow a recommended post-operative diet;
  • attend follow-up appointment – usually on day 5th or 6th;
  • avoid sun exposure and do not apply cosmetics in the operated areas;
  • continue to take prescribed medications;
  • keep wearing a binder all the time;
  • no physical activity is allowed, just walking is permitted;
  • day by day, getting back to normal is easier, yet tiring or exhausting activities are still not allowed;
  • any blood thinning meds are not permitted yet;
  • alcohol and cigarettes are strictly forbidden;
  • surgical wound healing should go smoothly, also swelling and bruising should alleviate gradually.

1-4 weeks after the surgery:

  • healing process should be really noticeable – swelling, bruising, numbness should be greatly reduced;
  • still try to rest, avoid stress, have a positive attitude and avoid tiring activities;
  • most patients can return to work on 2nd week after surgery;
  • the post-op clothing should be worn as recommended, even if the results are already great, patients should strictly follow the surgeon’s instructions;
  • smoking or sun exposure are forbidden;
  • gradually increase physical activity level, e.g. take longer and more frequent walks.

4-6 weeks after the surgery:

  • swelling, bruising, tightness and tenderness are almost no visible; it is the time when these post-op conditions disappear;
  • submerging in water is possible as the incisions should have healed by this time;
  • the abdominal binder does not need to be worn any more;
  • still, sun exposure is forbidden (during the first year, patients should avoid the sun because it may cause the scars to be more prominent; patients should wait until the scars are haled and formed, which may take 1-2 years);
  • patients may enjoy the great change, final belt lipectomy results and start a new life, most of them forget about the surgery at this stage.

Finally, we need to note that patients should be in a constant contact with their plastic surgeon during the recovery. If patients experience any worrying symptoms, they should not hesitate to contact the clinic. The signs that should not be ignored include:

  • pain, which cannot be controlled with the prescribed medications;
  • swelling which gets more and more intense over days or weeks;
  • drains problems (e.g. when they get filled with blood);
  • a temperature higher than 38,5 °C;
  • vomiting or heavy nausea;
  • chronic shortness of breath.
girl in bed

If patients experience any worrying symptoms, they should not hesitate to contact the clinic.

Belt lipectomy pros and cons

Undoubtedly, belt lipectomy has many advantages which together can change patients lives, however, there are also some disadvantages which patients must be aware of. Listing both good and bad sides of the surgery helps in making a mature decision about the procedure.

Pros

The advantages of belt lipectomy include:

  • defined waist, making body slimmer and improving body contour;
  • decreasing cellulite;
  • excess skin removal;
  • skin tightening (possibility of getting flat tummy or flat stomach wide hips);
  • marking abdominal contour and body shape (e.g. hourglass body shape);
  • permanent and fast result;
  • improved confidence;
  • improved psychological well being;
  • getting desired or even perfect body curves / curvy body shape;
  • restoring an attractive and beautiful body.

Cons

The disadvantages of belt lipectomy include:

  • stomach scar, possibility to develop keloid scarring;
  • chronic skin numbness;
  • discomfort;
  • the surgery is really expensive;
  • fluid accumulation;
  • heavy bleeding;
  • surgical wound healing complications.

Belt lipectomy side effects, complications and risks

Potential surgery risks are an indispensable part of each surgical procedure. Due to the fact that plastic surgeries are elective procedures requested by a patient, and usually not needed from the medical point of view, patients should realize and accept all the plastic surgery risks. Plastic surgery risks and dangers may be very serious, but there’s only small percentage of such post-surgical complications. Usually, the risks can be addressed and eliminated by a patient or a doctor. Belt lipectomy complications and belt lipectomy risks include:

  • scarring (scarring is normal, and usually the scars fade over time, however there is the risk of thick scarring and visible scars; the belt lipectomy scar is quite extensive, so prominent belt lipectomy scars do not look good);
  • anesthesia risks;
  • bleeding (heavy bleeding may develop during the surgery, which is really dangerous or during the recovery, as a symptom of bad wound healing);
  • blood clots;
  • hematoma;
  • infection;
  • nerve injury;
  • open wounds problems;
  • slow wound healing;
  • nerve damage;
  • chronic swelling;
  • inflammation;
  • skin numbness (skin numbness after surgery is normal, yet it may be long-lasting);
  • persistent pain;
  • fluid accumulation;
  • unsatisfactory results and possible need to do a revision surgery;
  • skin discolouration.

Generally speaking, the risk of post-op complications is really low, but patients should be careful during the recovery and any worrying signs must be reported and discussed with the surgeon. Then, the complications can be well-controlled and tackled.

girl in gray body with red nails

Risk of post-op complications of belt lipectomy is really low, but patients should be careful during the recovery and any worrying signs must be reported and discussed with the surgeon.

Belt lipectomy cost

Plastic surgery abroad is a perfect solution for everyone who regards a surgery in a home country as too expensive. As we’ve already mentioned, plastic surgery abroad prices can be a few times cheaper than in other countries, which allows for making huge savings. Apart from that, the great advantage of getting the surgery abroad is the fact that patients can afford choosing the best private clinic and the best surgeon, which would be impossible in their home country. So, the quality of the surgery greatly increases.

Which country to choose as a medical travel destination? In most cases, the choice is based on the location. Hence, Americans often travel to Mexico or Colombia. Europeans choose Poland, Czech Republic or Turkey, while Asians picks Thailand, India and Turkey. The mentioned countries are very experienced in medical tourism and treat it really professional. International patients are offered plastic surgery abroad packages, complex help and top-quality treatment.

Why is it worth choosing belt lipectomy abroad?

  • Nowadays, travelling is easy and fast, there are numerous connections between the cities across the world.
  • Patients have a chance to choose the top-rated clinic and acknowledged surgeon.
  • Medical tourists can spend 2,3, or even 4 time less money and make huge savings.
  • There’s a chance to combine medical procedure with touristic trip, holidays or city break.

Belt lipectomy Poland

Plastic surgery Poland is a common destination for patients coming from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Sweden or Germany. Plastic surgery in Poland prices are very competitive when compared to other European countries. The cost of belt lipectomy in Poland starts from 2800 GBP, on average patients should expect to pay between 3000 GBP and 4000 GBP, which is twice as cheap as in the UK. Also, the flights between the cities in Poland and the UK are greatly-developed, and their prices start from merely 15-20 GBP. For belt lipectomy, patients should come to Poland for 6 days – at this time, they have all medical tests, consultations, surgery, and control visit. Also, Poland is said to have the best doctors in the world, also the standard of healthcare there is the highest, so the quality of the treatment is always guaranteed.

Coming to Poland for a plastic surgery is also a great chance to spend nice holidays. Patients can plan a quick city break, as well as winter holidays in the mountains or summer holidays by the Sea. Poland is a culturally-rich region, full of traditions, with long history and unique atmosphere. Visiting this region and meeting local people guarantees unforgettable experience and memories, so it is always a great idea to combine getting lower body lift with touring through this beautiful country.

night Poland

Plastic surgery Poland is a common destination for patients coming from Europe.

 

Belt lipectomy Turkey

Turkey is a second destination worth mentioning. Getting plastic surgery Turkey is popular among patients from European, American and Asian countries. This country gathers medical tourists from all over the world. The greatest advantage of this location are of course amazingly low plastic surgery Turkey prices. The average cost of lower body lift in Turkey is 2500-3500 GBP. We must note that plastic surgery Turkey (Istanbul) is strongly supported by the government, the sector of medical tourism is well funded and donated, so the clinics can offer such low prices that other countries cannot beat.

What’s more, Turkey is famous for its luxury clinics and hotels, and perfectly organised all inclusive packages. It is great news for medical tourists who feel like VIPs while they get there for medical procedures. And finally, similarly to Poland, Turkey is very attractive for tourists. It is a great summer holiday resort, where millions of tourists spend their holidays every year.

Turkey

Getting plastic surgery Turkey is popular among patients from European, American and Asian countries.

 

Summary

girl in black pants

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Belt lipectomy is an extensive plastic surgery which provides significant changes. Basically, it is able to remove the huge amounts of excessive skin from the tummy, waist, buttocks, hips and legs. It is dedicated to people who have lost massive weight through dieting or weight loss surgery and are left with excessive skin. The surgery not only improves the people’s look, it also solves some health problems caused by the excessive skin storages. So, it totally changes the quality of life.

Due to the fact that lower body lift is an expensive surgery which many people cannot afford, many people decide to undergo the surgery abroad. The cost of belt lipectomy in Poland or Turkey is a few times lower than in the UK, USA or Ireland thanks to that, patients can choose the best clinics in the country, the best surgeons, and still they save much money. If you are interested in getting a cheap belt lipectomy abroad, contact Clinic Hunter and get a free help in organising your medical trip.

Sources

  • Bedolla, Edgar, et al. “Lower Body Lift.” Operative Dictations in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2016, pp. 91–94., https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40631-2_21.
  • “Belt Lipectomy.” Belt Lipectomy – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=135&contentid=409.
  • “Belt Lipectomy.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/belt-lipectomy.
  • González-Ulloa, Mario. “Belt Lipectomy.” British Journal of Plastic Surgery, vol. 13, 1960, pp. 179–186., https://doi.org/10.1016/s0007-1226(60)80035-5.
  • Heddens, Claudette J. “Belt Lipectomy.” Plastic Surgical Nursing, vol. 21, no. 4, 2001, pp. 185–189., https://doi.org/10.1097/00006527-200121040-00004.
  • Leiva, Courtney. “Lower Body Lift: Procedure, Results & More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 21 July 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/lower-body-lift.
  • Rubin, J. Peter, et al. Body Contouring and Liposuction e-Book: Expert Consult – Online. Saunders, 2012.
  • Shermak, Michele A. Body Contouring: McGraw-Hill Plastic Surgery Atlas. McGraw-Hill Medical, 2011.
  • Tholen, Richard, and Douglas Gervais. “Outpatient Lower Body Lift.” Cosmetic Surgery After Massive Weight Loss, 2013, pp. 39–39., https://doi.org/10.5005/jp/books/11927_7.
Klaudia Grabowska

Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.

She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.

In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.

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