What is a Belt Lipectomy?
A belt lipectomy is a circumferential surgical removal of hanging skin and fat from the waist. In other words, it’s a very extensive tummy tuck the extends around both the front and back.
A lipectomy procedure can shape your abdomen, buttocks, hips, and thighs in one procedure. It is often referred to as post-weight loss surgery as it is mostly done after someone has undergone significant weight loss.
This procedure can also be known as the following;
- Abdominal lipectomy
- Circular abdominoplasty
- Circumferential abdominoplasty
- Truncal abdominoplasty
- 360-tummy tuck
- And lower body lift.
Dr Briggs is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne and an expert at body lift surgery.
Massive weight loss can cause large folds of excess loose skin not only on the belly, lower back and upper arms but also under the chin, and even along the inner thighs. A 360-tummy tuck is one of the best ways to effectively improve this problem.
After gaining significant weight, your skin stretches. Therefore it stands to reason that after weight loss, your skin may not spring back into place, in fact, it may become lax, droopy or loose.
Each lipectomy is tailored to the patient’s target area and ensures an improvement in your body’s curves and contours.
During the belt lipectomy procedure, Dr Briggs makes an incision and removes the excess fat and skin around your lower back and belly. He then closes the incision, leaving patients with a smoother body contour.
This surgery helps gives patients a flatter stomach, while also lifting the buttocks and outer thighs.
Am I a candidate for Belt Lipectomy?
There has been a large increase in the request for belt lipectomy procedures in recent years. Especially in patients that have undergone gastric or bariatric weight loss surgery.
Weight loss from gastric or bariatric surgery can leave patients with loose, sagging skin. A belt lipectomy is highly suitable for patients that are struggling with excess skin folds.
These folds can not only make you self conscious and uncomfortable but can also cause serious problems. Common problems include:
- Ulcerations and infections that are a result of skin rubbing and chaffing.
- Swelling and rashes between skin folds
- Discomfort during exercise
- Problems with walking, urinating and intimacy
- Reduced self-esteem and confidence
What are the benefits of Belt Lipectomy?
The procedure has a lot of benefits as it usually significantly improves patients quality of life.
In addition to solving the problems above, there are additional benefits, including:
- Belt lipectomy allows for a better correction of hip-back rolls coupled with buttock and lateral thigh ptosis
- By removing the loose skin above the buttocks, it lifts the buttocks as well.
About Belt Lipectomy surgery – what can I expect?
The aim of the belt lipectomy is to eliminate fat and redundant skin folds around the entire waist or belt line creating a more streamlined body contour.
You will be under general anaesthesia, for the duration of the procedure.
A drug is injected to decrease blood loss after incision. Then, incisions and fat reduction are done according to the proportions of the body.
The surgeon will also contour and slope the buttocks according to the degree the patient needs. However, patients may need an additional procedure (augmentation gluteoplasty) if the patient’s buttocks is very saggy.
The incisions are then closed, and a temporary dressing is put on, fat is preserved on areas that drain lymphatics.
The procedure takes about five hours.
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Recovery after Belt Lipectomy
After your surgery, you will likely need to stay in the hospital for a few days for monitoring.
Dressings, bandages, and binders will be bound around your abdomen and waistline to provide support, minimize discomfort and movement.
You will be given a prescription for both pain medication and antibiotics. It’s important you take these as your surgeon suggests to manage pain and minimize the chances of infection.
A small thin tube may also temporarily inserted under the skin to drain any excess fluid or blood that may accumulate in the incision.
It takes time to heal from surgery and a belt lipectomy is no exception. Care must be taken after the procedure is complete. You will need to rest and recover after surgery to avoid stretching or widening the scar post-surgery. A degree of numbness above and sometimes below the incision is can be a side effect.
The recovery can feel lengthy. This is due to the fact, patients must avoid bending at the waist for a month to ensure they heal correctly.
Resumption of everyday activities can happen in two weeks, but strenuous exercise should be avoided for several months.
Minimizing Scars after Belt Lipectomy
Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive force during the recovery period and healing time.
Our dermal team can assist with scar minimisation techniques including laser, healite, skin needling and special bandages.
Belt Lipectomy FAQs
What is the difference between a Belt Lipectomy and a tummy tuck?
- A tummy tuck differs from a belt lipectomy because the tuck effectively treats only hanging abdominal tissue, mostly from the front and the sides of the abdomen. In contrast, belt lipectomy, also known as a 360-tummy tuck, treats the belly’s whole circumference around to the lower back. Patients with fat and loose skin extending to the lower back are the perfect candidates for a 360-tummy tuck (belt lipectomy).
How much is a Belt Lipectomy?
- The cost changes depending on multiple factors, including; what procedures you need, whether you have any additional procedures done, the hospital you stay in, among other factors.
- You will be given a quote at your consultation.
How should I sleep after the Belt Lipectomy surgery?
- In the first 24 hours after discharge, sleep with the head of the bed elevated using 4-5 pillows and keeping your knees bent. Sleep at a 45-degree angle for at least four weeks.
How much does a Belt Lipectomy in Melbourne cost?
Surgery is tailored to each patient. Dr Briggs’s team will give you a price according to the extent of the procedure involved, the hospital you attend, and the length of admission.
After your consultation, you will receive a quote for your procedure. It will include the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee, the surgical assistant’s fee, and the hospital fees.
We can also provide information on a payment plans and finance options, medicare and private health insurance eligibility and different payment methods such as using your Superannuation Fund.
For more information about Belt lipectomy payment plan and pricing visit the pricing page.
Funding Belt Lipectomy- Medicare, Payment Plans and Super
Some Belt Lipectomy- Circumferential Abdominoplasty procedures may be eligible for Medicare.
Purely cosmetic surgery Belt Lipectomy procedures are usually NOT covered by medicare or private health insurance so you must fund the cost of the surgery yourself.
Many patients ask about payment options and medical finance – You can learn more about payment options for funding your Belt Lipectomy – Circumferential Abdominoplasty procedure on our Funding Surgery page here.
Your super fund may also be able to help pay for your procedure in certain circumstances – visit the Super for Surgery page to find out about early release of super on compassionate grounds.
How to find the best Belt Lipectomy surgeon in Melbourne
Always choose an experienced plastic surgeon and look at their online reviews and before and after patient photos.
If you are interested in having a belt lipectomy, Dr Briggs is ready to help you. Empathy, care, and dedication to your care are his core goals.
Your surgical results will depend on the surgeon you choose. Since belt lipectomy is a major procedure, you’ll need a top belt lipectomy plastic surgeon. A reputable belt lipectomy surgeon has the following qualities:
- A Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is a Member of ASPS5 star online reviews from patients.
- Extensive experience in different types of belt lipectomy.
- Patient Before and After Photos .
- Empathy and caring with recovery and aftercare.
- A great support team with long term follow up.
Risks and complications of Belt Lipectomy
All surgical procedures bear some degree of risk. A belt lipectomy is not an exception.
The most common complications are, however, minor and mostly involve superficial wound infection. These complications are often non-life threatening and minor. The most common complications are as follows:
- Wound dehiscence
- Skin necrosis
- Scar irregularities
There are several factors that we can associate with postoperative risks and complications. Including;
- Being overweight
- History of heart problems
- Combined procedures
- Substance abuse
In older patients, hematomas or bleeding (early complication) and seromas (late complications) are common and often call for surgical intervention. You may also not get the exact result you expected, and that would call for another surgery.
Dr Briggs will discuss your risk factors and potential complications during your consultation.
After your surgery, ensure that you contact Dr Briggs and his team if you:
- Have a fever
- Discover your wound is red, swollen, or has pus
- Find your wound is starting to come apart
- Find your pain does not subside
- Experience chest pains or laboured breathing worsen over time
- Have bruises that are enlarged
- Have any queries or concerns about anything
Visit our Surgery Risks page for more info about risks and complications of belt lipectomy surgery.
Celebrities who have had a Belt Lipectomy
Patrica Heaton, an actress and a comedian, is an example of a celebrity who underwent belt lipectomy. She wanted the procedure done because, after her four pregnancies, she had put on 20kgs and was unhappy with her loose skin and abdominal fat.
Belt Lipectomy – Is it worth it?
The procedure can be up to 4 to 8 hours long. You will see the difference immediately and it will improve your appearance and self-confidence tremendously.
Many patients report the surgery as life changing.
Planning your Belt Lipectomy patient journey
Start To plan your procedure by consulting with Dr Briggs. He and his team will provide personalised information you need to know about the surgery.
Always choose a top-rated specialist plastic surgeon with experience in performing belt lipectomy and get the right guidance through your journey. When you are ready, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr Briggs to get the belt lipectomy you seek!
The results of a lipectomy are visible almost immediately. It may, however, take a year or two for the results to fully develop.
Although the scars will remain they will fade over time.
Furthermore, as long as you are generally fit and maintain a stable weight the results will last for a long time. However, as you age, you will lose some firmness. Even so, results are, relatively permanent.
Belt Lipectomy glossary
- Incision – A surgical cut
- Body Contouring – Surgical procedure to improve the appearance of skin after a massive weight loss.
- Hematoma – Visible pooling of blood under your skin.
- Wound dehiscence – Partial or total separation of wound edges after surgery.
Further Reading – Medical References
- Carloni, Raphael, et al. “Are There Factors Predictive of Postoperative Complications in Circumferential Contouring of the Lower Trunk? A Meta-Analysis.” Aesthetic Surgery Journal, vol. 36, no. 10, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 1143–54.
- ElKafrawy, Hossam, and Sherif Wasief. “Circular Abdominoplasty (Belt Lipectomy) in Obese Patients.” Body Contouring and Sculpting, BoD–Books on Demand, 2016, p. 109.
- Pajula, Susanna, et al. “Complications after Lower Body Contouring Surgery Due to Massive Weight Loss Unaffected by Weight Loss Method.” Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 72, no. 4, Elsevier, 2019, pp. 649–55.
- Belt Lipectomy – Circumferential Abdominoplasty for Excess Skin Removal After Massive Weight loss in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Plastic Surgeon – FRCS (Plas)
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.