Sometimes the only way to lose that nasty, extra fat around the belly, the hips and thighs and the buttocks is through a liposuction or a lower body lift. Liposuction is a less invasive surgical procedure that is suitable for people looking to lose just a few pounds and get rid of isolated fat deposits located on the abdomen, the inner and outer thighs and the buttocks area. The lower body lift is a more invasive surgical procedure and provides a complete re-sculpturing of the lower part of the body.
What is a lower body lift?
A Belt Lipectomy or a lower body lift combines several surgical procedures: abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), thigh lift and buttocks lift. Its aim is complete remodeling of the abdomen, hips, upper thighs and buttocks of the patient. A lower body lift can be performed in an outbound surgical center or a hospital. The surgery can be done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and IV sedation and can last from two to eight hours or more, depending on the amount of excess skin and re-sculpturing that needs to be done.
Typically a belt lipectomy starts with the abdominoplasty. During this stage of the procedure the surgeon will make a horizontal incision at the lower section of the abdomen, tighten the underlying muscles of the abdominal wall and remove any extra fat and skin. This procedure is followed by buttocks lift and a thigh lift. The whole procedure is known as a circumferential abdominoplasty. Often liposuction is used to smooth the transition between the reworked areas and to provide a more natural look.
Who can benefit from a lower body lift?
Rapid weight loss often results in extra skin around the midsection of the body that can only be removed surgically. For that reason belt abdominoplasty is most commonly used on people who have lost a great amount of weight after a beriatric surgery such as a gastric bypass. In many occasions lower body lift is done as part of a major body weight reduction plan in extremely obese patients when excess skin and fat need to be removed in order to help shedding more weight. Women looking to restore their pre-pregnancy figures also benefit greatly from this type of cosmetic surgery. Belt abdominoplasty can also be part of a full body lift (breast lift and augmentation, back lift and arm lift).
Am I a good candidate for the procedure?
The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for a lower body lift is to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in this type of cosmetic surgery. In general, the procedure is done at least one year after a gastric restriction surgery and on patients who have managed to maintain a stable body weight for at least six months. Women opting for a lower body lift are often asked if they plan to have more children and if so, they are typically advised to postpone the surgery until after childbirth. The general health and any underlying health conditions of the patient are also taken into consideration prior to their approval for the procedure.
What is the recovery time of a lower body lift?
A lower body lift is a fairly complex surgery, and it puts an enormous strain on the body and requires a long recovery time. Most patients spend one night in the hospital after the surgery and need two to four weeks to recover. All lower body lift procedures include the insertion of drainage tubes that are needed for excess fluids collection and swelling reduction. Drains are usually removed ten days after the surgery. Typically two months are required until full daily activities can be resumed. Post operative pain is usually not an issue as pain levels are managed with IV and oral medications. When no complications arise, scars heal for about four weeks continue to fade as time goes on, but some appearance of scars may always be visible. This will of course depend on a lot of factors, such as the patients age, skin type, and how well they take care of their body.
What the complications and the risks associated with lower body lift procedures?
Similar to other surgical procedures performed under general anesthesia, some of the main risks associated with belt abdominoplasty are connected to the anesthesia itself. Some patients have adverse reactions to the local and general anesthetics as well as to other medications used during the surgery. Other complications include excess bleeding, accumulation of fluids under the skin (seromas), loss of sensation and numbness of the treated areas and scarring. Infections are rare but also a possible complication of a lower body lift surgery.
Unlikely but potentially life-threatening risks of a lower body lift surgery are blood clots, thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. They can occur within the first 72 hours after the surgery and even after a couple of weeks after the procedure, especially in immobile patients. Other rare complications of belt lipectomy are skin necrosis, fat necrosis, nerve damage, hematoma, heavy scars and leg swelling.
How much a lower body lift costs?
The cost of a lower body lift greatly vary and depends on the complexity of the procedure, surgical settings costs, costs of anesthesia and medications and surgeon charges. The price can further vary according to the geographic location. Typically a lower body lift costs around $18,200.