Circumferential body lift surgery, also called belt lipectomy, is an operation to remove excess skin and fatty tissue around the entire abdomen, flanks, and lower back. The operation is most commonly requested by patients who have had massive weight loss, since large folds of skin tend to hang from these areas. This can affect hygiene, sexual function, and physical activities. During the consultation Dr. Andrade will determine your overall health and fitness for surgery, the areas of greatest concern, and your goals for surgery. The physical examination will include making note of the amount of skin to be removed and any deeper issues like a hernia, muscle laxity called rectus diastasis, previous scars, or other issues that could affect the operation.
An alternative to circumferential body lift surgery is to first have a tummy tuck, and after complete healing of the abdomen, proceed to have a backlift at a later date. The advantages of this procedure are that generally more skin can be removed using a staged technique, and the healing process is less difficult. The disadvantages are the inconvenience and cost of two separate procedures, each with their own 6 week healing time.
Patients require a full preoperative physical examination from their family doctor. Depending on the person’s overall health a preoperative anaesthesia clinic assessment might be arranged at Southlake, and routine bloodwork and other tests are arranged if indicated.
No food should be eaten eight hours before surgery. Water can be consumed (along with essential medications) up to 3 hours prior to the surgery time.
Day of Surgery:
Belt lipectomy surgery involves a general anesthetic of 6-7 hours or longer. The long surgery time is due to the amount of tissue excised, possible repair of the abdominal muscles if they are stretched (rectus diastasis), and repositioning of the patient several times while asleep. Everyone is given antibiotics and medication called heparin to help decrease the risk of a blood clot in the legs. An epidural anesthetic might be given in certain cases.
Three or four wound drains are required. A stretchy body wrap called a binder is applied to the trunk to apply gentle pressure, which provides support and helps prevent fluid from collecting under the skin.
While in hospital, patients have a PCA pump (patient-controlled analgesia) to ensure that pain medication is delivered safely and effectively. Patients are encouraged to carefully mobilize from bed and use the washroom (rather than a bedpan) on the evening of surgery. It is very important to avoid leaning forward or backward excessively. Length of stay in hospital is usually one day, but several in-home nursing assessments are typically arranged after the person is discharged. You should be prepared for more downtime with this operation because it is more involved than oher body contouring procedures. Most patients will require significant help around the home for 5-7 days after they are discharged from hospital, and they typically take 4-6 weeks off work.
Benefits and Risks of Surgery:
The major advantage of this operation over a tummy tuck is that it tightens skin around the entire trunk in one stage. However, it is not typically possible to remove as much skin from the abdomen when doing a body lift comparted to a tummy tuck. This is because some skin must be left behind to permit the person to lean forward and backward. Therefore, patients who undergo body lift surgery often still have some skin redundancy when they are in certain positions. Also body lift surgery has a higher risk of postoperative healing problems like delayed wound healing along the incision, bleeding, and fluid collection under the skin. This fluid, called seroma, can usually be drained in the office as a minor procedure. Permanent or even lift-threatening complications can develop after any operation of this length, but this is very uncommon. Revisions are more common with this operation but in the long-term most patients are satisfied with the results. Dr. Andrade will discuss specific risks and benefits to each patient. This information is intended to complement the advice of a plastic surgeon obtained during a proper consultation, and it is by no means exhaustive or complete.
STATE-OF-THE-ART SURGICAL FACILITY
"Yorkville of the North"™
Conveniently located off highway 404 in Newmarket Ontario, The York Plastic Surgery Centre is a cosmetic surgical facility that meets the highest standards of safety, technology and patient care. Dr. Andrade is a trusted member of the healthcare community. Also, all of the medical staff that work at the facility include board certified anaesthesiologists and fully credentialed OR nurses.
Operations performed at the facility are done on an out-patient basis with in home nursing care as needed. Patients requiring more complex surgeries stay overnight at the hospital.
The entire staff at The York Plastic Surgery Centre work hard to make every patient feel welcome, comfortable and well informed.
Disclaimer: Images and videos on this page are models. See Dr. Andrade's photo gallery for hundreds of actual patient outcomes. It is not possible to guarantee a specific result because outcomes vary from patient to patient.