Lower Body Lift, Belt Lipectomy in Fort Worth
Genetics and lifestyle choices combine to create our body shapes. Some people develop significant laxity of the tissues of their abdomen, sides, backs, and thighs. This happens to some people who lose a lot of weight. It also happens to people who have always been near their ideal weight but whose tissues are just naturally loose. When lax, hanging tissue becomes bothersome it may be possible to have that tissue removed.
Dr. Kunkel offers body lift surgery to patients from Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Mansfield, Arlington, and across North Texas. Fort Worth physicians have recognized Dr. Kunkel’s outstanding care of patients and have voted him a TopDoc 19 times!
Circumferential Body Contouring
Tummy tuck surgery addresses the front, and to a lesser degree the sides, of the abdomen. When loose tissues of the lower back, outer thighs, and buttocks are bothersome, tummy tuck surgery may not be enough. In these situations a more circumferential approach may work best. Lower body lift, belt lipectomy , and corset body lift are different operations that may be done to address these concerns.
Lower Body Lift and Belt Lipectomy Surgery
Lower body lift surgery and belt lipectomy surgery are similar procedures. In both procedures the front of the abdomen is addressed by doing an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”). Skin and fat of the flanks and back are removed in both procedures as well. This also results in the outer thighs and buttocks being lifted.
The biggest difference between a lower body lift and a belt lipectomy is where the incisions are made. In a lower body lift the incisions on the side and back are lower than in a belt lipectomy. This may work best for the patient who has bulges of loose skin over the hips and upper thighs. Lower body lift surgery creates more substantial changes in the outer thigh than belt lipectomy surgery. Belt lipectomy incisions are higher on the sides and the back. Making the incision higher on the side and back may help create a more tailored, sculpted waist than a lower body lift.
Corset Body Lift
Corset body lift is different than lower body lift and belt lipectomy operations. A corset body lift is done through incisions on the front; there are no incisions on the back. The loose abdominal skin is pulled tightly together in the midline of the abdomen from between the breasts to the pubic hairline. Pulling the tissue together in the midline of the abdomen allows tissues on the back to be pulled forward too. Extra skin and fat are also removed from beneath the breasts and from the lower abdomen. This results in a “corset” look to the central trunk. A corset body lift provides dramatic changes in the look of the abdomen and trunk, all accomplished through incisions on the front.
Customized Treatment for Optimal Results
A visit with Dr. Kunkel and his staff usually takes about 2 hours. The Vectra 3-dimensional photography system is used as part of the consultation. Photographs are taken of your abdomen and back. The Vectra software reconstructs those photographs into three-dimensional images, allowing you to see yourself from angles that are almost impossible to see in a mirror. After listening to and examining you, Dr. Kunkel customizes a treatment plan uniquely designed to you. The consultation is not a quick “in-and-out” visit with a random office staff person. You will have substantial interaction directly with Dr. Kunkel. We also encourage you to read this booklet, written by Dr. Kunkel to enhance your understanding of the options.
What is recovery like after body lift surgery?
These types of body contour procedures may take 4 to 6 hours. Patients typically spend one night in the surgical facility. Intravenous medications help minimize nausea and discomfort. The nursing staff will get you out of bed that evening and helps you become stable on your feet. Devices are placed on your legs before surgery to intermittently squeeze the calves, and these are left on overnight. While staying overnight helps keep you comfortable, Dr. Kunkel believes it also is safer than going home the same day. Dr. Kunkel is keenly focused on your safety before, during, and after these types of procedures.
Rather than having a lot of pain, Dr. Kunkel’s patients more commonly talk about feeling tired and “drained” for about five days. Their tissues are usually pulled so tight that they actually walk in a “bent-over” position during those first several days. Beginning about 5 days after surgery some energy returns and they begin to walk more upright. Most patients take two to three weeks off from work. Women with young children need to make arrangements for someone else to be driving their kids to school and other activities for at least the first week. Compression garments are often worn for two months or more. Strenuous activities like running, bicycling, working out, and swimming should be avoided for about six weeks.
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What are the risks of body lift surgery?
Every surgical procedure includes risks. All operations, from hernia repairs to cesarean sections to body contour procedures include risks of infection, bleeding, blood clots, and poor healing. Issues that are more unique to body lift and belt lipectomy surgery include the possibility that the belly button could end up in a slightly different position than it had been before surgery, the scar on one side of the abdomen or back could be higher than the scar on the other side of the abdomen or back, and it is possible to have long-term numbness in the lower abdomen or even the upper thigh. With the corset body lift there is also a risk of some distortion of the breasts.