Surgeons called this procedure as Belt Lipectomy while in layman terms, it is known as body lift or extended abdominoplasty.
Extended Tummy Tuck/ Full Tummy Tuck/ Extended Abdominoplasty/ Body Lift
The belt lipectomy typically begins with the patient in the prone position (belly down). The body will be turned afterwards onto the back once the initial posterior buttocks and lower back area surgery are completed. The surgeon makes a low abdominal incision across the pubic area, extended beyond the hip area and extend more towards the back. A new belly button may be created if the loose skin and muscle weakness are inadequate to the area beneath the navel.
Since this is considered a major operation, the patient is required to be admitted in the hospital for five to seven days.
Duration of Operation
The operation will take six to eight hours before tummy tuck can be completed.
Belt Lipectomy is usually done during General Anesthesia wherein a patient is asleep during operation.
Pre Operative Care
In order to make sure that you can undergo Extended Tummy Tuck as safely as possible, the following preparatory activities are performed:
• Extensive workup to rule out any potentially preventable problems.
• A detailed history and physical checkup which includes vital signs, food and drug allergies, supplement intake, and current medication (prescription and over the counter)
• Checkup for any major medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease.
• Avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin or brufen for two weeks before surgery.
• Avoid smoking for two weeks as smoking can affect body’s reaction to the anaesthetic and slow down the healing process.
Post Operative Care
After Extended Tummy Tuck, the patient may experience some pain associated with the surgery. When the procedure is completed, a patient is advised of the following:
• Bed rest for approximately three days. Whilst in bed a patient will be advised to lay with legs in a bent position to help reduce the strain on the abdominal area.
• Bandage and support garment. Dressings, bandages, and binder which will be in placed around the abdomen and waistline to provide additional support and minimize the movement and the resultant discomfort.
• Surgical Drainage. A small, thin tube may also be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
• Medications. Prescriptions for pain medication that the patient will take as needed, and antibiotics that will be taken for several days to decrease chances of infection.
• Post op dressings. The surgeon will give directions on bathing and changing of dressing.
• Swelling and bruising. The extent of the post operative swelling and bruising depends on whether you tend to bruise or swell easily.
In addition, the following activities should be avoided after the extended tummy tuck surgery:
• Bending. This activity should be avoided for a month until adequate healing has occurred. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing.
• Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. It is necessary to not perform any strenuous activity after surgery to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the wound. Tension can stretch your incisions and increase scarring. The surgeon will discuss when a patient can return to their normal daily activities.
It may take six months to a year before a patient get completely used with a tighter stomach and body. Upon completion of healing process maintaining a proper diet and exercise routine should assure a long-lasting result.
The patient will need to sit or walk with slightly bending over for about a week after the surgery. The abdomen and other surgery sites may remain swollen for a month or more.
Risks and Complications
Breakdown of the suture line above the buttocks may happen (because of patient’s tendency to bend at the waist when performing normal hygiene which strains the suture closure pulling it apart). This usually leads to a wider scar in the posterior surgical area. Other complications may include numbness of the area above and sometimes below the incisions, residual looseness and irregularity of the skin.
Patients are advised to contact Plastic Surgery Phuket when the following signs are experienced:
• High fever
• wounds are swollen, red, or have pus coming from them
• bruises that are getting larger
• pain that does not go away, even with medicine to decrease it
• stitches come apart
• chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
• You have questions or concerns about your extended abdominoplasty, medicine, or care.
Seeking immediate care from health professional is advised for patients who will suffer from the following:
• swollen or painful leg
• bleeding that does not stop
• lightheaded feeling and have trouble breathing
• new and sudden chest pain
• more pain when taking deep breaths or cough
• cough up blood
The results of a Body Lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as much as one to two years, or more, for the final results of the Belt Lipectomy procedure to fully develop. Scars will remain, but the overall results are long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.