A belt lipectomy is a type of surgery. It’s done to remove the loose skin and fat around your waist or “belt line.” This is also called an abdominal lipectomy, tummy tuck, and panniculectomy. You may have this surgery after you lose a great deal of weight. This is often done after weight-loss surgery.
When people gain a lot of weight, their skin slowly stretches over time. If you lose a lot of weight, your skin might not have enough elasticity to spring back into place. This can cause extra skin folds of tissue. You may have a loose “love handle” around your belly and lower back. You may also have extra skin folds on your upper arms, under your chin, and along the inner parts of your thigh. A belt lipectomy and other similar surgeries can help improve how you look.
During a belt lipectomy, a cosmetic surgeon removes extra areas of tissue. Your surgeon will make a cut around your lower back and belly to take out extra skin and fat. Your surgeon then sews the tissue that’s left back together. This makes a smoother contour. This surgery helps flatten your stomach. It also lifts your buttocks and the outside of your thighs. All of this happens while you are asleep under general anesthesia.
A belt lipectomy is a type of body-contouring surgery. This refers to any type of surgery to remove extra skin and tissue to get a smoother body contour. These surgeries are often done after weight-loss surgery.
Why might I need this procedure?
If you lost a lot of weight after weight-loss surgery, this surgery may be an option for you. You may not like how you look if you have extra folds of skin tissue.
These skin folds are not just unsightly, but they can also cause other problems. These can include:
- Swelling, rash, or ulcers between the skin folds in your groin. This can lead to an infection.
- Problems with hygiene
- Trouble walking
- Trouble urinating
- Trouble with sexual activity
- Poor self-esteem
What are the risks of belt lipectomy?
A belt lipectomy is a generally safe procedure, but it comes with risks.
People who have lost a lot of weight may be at a higher risk for problems than people who are having this surgery for other reasons. Some complications from this surgery include:
- Problems with wound healing
- Heavy bleeding
- Blood clots in your legs (DVT). These clots may travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism).
- Nerve damage
- Problems from anesthesia
You also may not get the results you want from surgery. Then you may need to have another surgery to fix this.
Your risks depend on your age, the amount of weight you lost, your health conditions, and the amount of tissue you need to be removed. Ask your surgeon about the risks that apply to you.