Body Contouring Surgery

Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy) Sydney

  • Cosmetic procedure
  • Overnight stay required in private hospital

A body lift, also called a belt lipectomy, is an in-depth cosmetic surgery that removes large folds of skin and fat from areas such as the upper buttocks, hips, lower abdomen and the upper thighs. This body contouring procedure modifies the patient’s size and shape and is often performed after large weight loss.

You may benefit from a belt lipectomy if one or multiple areas of your body have large amounts of excess fat and severe skin looseness following a major life event such as pregnancy or significant weight loss.

What to expect during your consultation?

The decision to undergo a body lift or belt lipectomy is a very personal one. During your initial consultation, Dr Norris will focus on your specific concerns as well as the outcome you have in mind. He will also spend time evaluating the areas of concern, your skin tone as well as the condition of your fatty tissue.

Measurements and photographs will also need to be taken for your medical records. From there, the specifics of the procedure will be discussed so that you know exactly what to expect. A detailed quotation will be drawn up, after which you can decide whether you want to go ahead with the procedure. A second consultation will need to be scheduled to discuss the specifics of your surgery and to book a date for the procedure.

How is a body lift or belt lipectomy performed?

A general anaesthetic will be administered prior to your procedure to keep you comfortable throughout. An incision will be made around the entire circumference of the abdomen, where your belt will usually sit. The specific incision techniques that are used will be discussed in your consultation. Next, the excess skin is removed and the remaining skin, as well as the belly button, is repositioned. The underlying muscles of the abdomen may also need to be tightened. The incisions are closed with sutures and surgical tape for additional support. A dressing is applied to the incisions and drains may be placed under the skin to get rid of excess blood and fluid.

What happens after a belt lipectomy?

  • Depending on what needs to be achieved, a belt lipectomy can take up to 7 hours to complete.
  • After the surgery, you will need to spend a night or two in the hospital.
  • The drains will need to be in place for a day or two, depending on how much fluid needs to be removed.
  • An adult will need to drive you home once you are discharged.
  • Compression garments will need to be worn for six weeks to reduce swelling and aid healing.
  • Dr Norris will send you home with specific postoperative instructions and a prescription for pain medication.
  • Short showers will be possible but the waterproof dressings need to be thoroughly dried afterwards.
  • You are encouraged to sleep on your back and prop yourself up with pillows for the first 6 weeks after body lift to reduce swelling.
  • The worst of the discomfort occurs during the first 2 days after a belt lipectomy but this pain can be managed with medication.
  • Bruising, swelling, tenderness and sensitivity are common but should resolve after 2 weeks.
  • You can engage in some light walking after 2 weeks but your usual exercise routine can only be resumed after 6 weeks.
  • Most patients can return to work after 2 weeks but any heavy lifting is not permitted. Your normal duties can be resumed after 3 weeks.
  • A follow-up appointment will be necessary after 3 – 7 days so that your wounds can be checked and your dressing changed.

What risks are associated with body lift (belt lipectomy) surgery?

  • Haematoma This refers to a collection of blood that occurs after surgery. The body either naturally absorbs this or surgical drainage will be required. Symptoms include swelling, pain, bruising and skin that is itchy or hot to the touch.
  • Infection Infections are unpredictable and need to be treated immediately with an antibiotic.
  • Seroma This is another form of fluid build-up that can occur after surgery. Surgical drainage will be required.

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