After massive weight loss, it is common to have excess, sagging skin around the waist and lower body. As the result of stretching and excess fat, this sagging skin rarely responds to diet and exercise regimens. In more severe cases, this excess skin (sometimes called an apron) can cause complications like irritation, chafing, and decreased mobility if not removed. A lower body lift, or belt lipectomy, can surgically lift and tighten the lower body and abdominal area in one comprehensive procedure.
Most patients that opt for a belt lipectomy procedure are those who recently underwent weight loss (whether through bariatric surgery or not) and have sagging skin remaining that causes complications and self-consciousness. A lower body lift is beneficial because it can remove sagging skin and restore your figure to a lifted, contoured profile. Often, a lower body lift is part of a larger weight loss surgery plan that might include a thigh lift or arm lift for further results.
In order to be a good candidate for a lower body lift, it is important that you have reached your weight loss goals and have remained at a steady weight for a reasonable amount of time. This ensures that future weight gain or loss will not negatively affect your results. You should be in good general health and able to undergo extensive surgery, and your plastic surgeon will discuss your medical history during your consultation to make sure that a lower body lift will be safe and effective for you.
There are a few options when it comes to your lower body lift. Some other surgical techniques can be combined with your belt lipectomy to further enhance your new figure and address nearby areas.
During this procedure, an ‘apron’ of skin is removed from the lower torso. Once removed, the skin from the buttocks and thighs is pulled upwards to tighten and recontour the area. This is performed all the way around the hips, leaving an incision that can be concealed at the bikini line.
A common step that can be performed along with an apron removal procedure is a tummy tuck to tighten the underlying abdominal muscles. This can also remove excess fat deposits in the stomach, along with excess skin. Commonly, the abdominal muscles become stretched and weak with weight gain, making a tummy tuck a valuable addition.
Despite your weight loss goals, it is likely that you still have stubborn pockets of fat in certain areas. During a lower body lift, liposuction can be easily used to contour outlying areas like the thighs or abdomen to reduce fat and improve your overall figure.
Although the lower body lift comes with some great benefits for weight loss patients, it comes with an extensive recovery period. Although Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir will ensure you know what to expect, you can plan on a few weeks away from work or social engagements while you recover. Although your plastic surgeon will monitor your recovery during follow-up appointments, you will be expected to wear compression garments and take medications to manage swelling and discomfort during your initial recovery. It can take at least a few months for your final results to emerge as your new contours settle and swelling goes down. Barring any future weight gain or loss, most patients see long-term results with lower body lift procedures.
Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir are board-certified plastic surgeons with over 20 years of experience in producing excellent post-weight loss results from patients who have achieved their body goals. To meet with our plastic surgeons and begin discussing the right body lift procedure for you, contact our Phoenix office by calling or filling out our online form.