Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Belt lipectomy vs tummy tuck

It’s true that tummy tucks are one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States, but it’s also true that people are having them for many reasons besides just getting rid of a few stubborn pounds. One of the biggest benefits of a drainless tummy tuck is that you get to recover faster than if you had a traditional tummy tuck. Drainless tummy tucks have been performed for years as an alternative to traditional tummy tucks, but there are some significant differences between the two procedures.

First, you’ll experience less pain because there aren’t any drains attached to your body after surgery. Since there aren’t any drains, there isn’t any need for tape or other devices used to hold them in place either. This means you won’t have any discomfort from those things either! Another advantage of the drainless tummy tuck is how quickly you can get back on your feet after surgery. You’ll be able to leave the hospital within two days after surgery instead of staying there longer than usual due to being unable to move around without assistance from someone else who might not be available right away like they would be if they were needed by someone else who lives at home or lives far away from where they live themselves so

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Belt lipectomy vs tummy tuck , belt lipectomy vs lower body lift. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about belt lipectomy scar. Read on to learn more.

Belt lipectomy vs tummy tuck

A firm and tight abdomen is the desire of many. We all strive to be slim and toned, but, unfortunately, the abdomen is one of the most complicated areas to achieve our desired contour. Between heredity, busy lives, stress, and pregnancy, our midsections rarely reach a toned appearance on their own, even with diet and exercise. However, there are several surgical options that can provide some dramatic contouring and reshaping of our midsection. Two different options that both reduce abdominal/truncal fat while tightening loose muscles and managing excess skin are the traditional tummy tuck and the belt lipectomy, but how do they differ?

Drawing arrows and lines with perforation for preparation for surgery

What Are These Procedures?

A tummy tuck has been used successfully for decades to help patients achieve a slender and more toned midsection. This surgery removes unwanted areas of fat and excess skin on your upper and lower abdomen while tightening the deeper, underlying muscles that may have stretched and become loose during pregnancy and/or weight fluctuations, impacting the overall contour and flatness of the abdomen.

Tummy tuck surgery can either be performed as a mini, standard/traditional, or more extended procedure aimed to try and minimize the scar length while still removing the necessary amount of skin. A mini tummy tuck primarily addresses loose skin and muscles that primarily exists below the navel area. A full tummy tuck is more completely able to address the abdomen both above and below the navel. An extended tummy tuck incorporates an additional midline scar, along with the low transverse scar, for those patients with more significant skin redundancy who require more extensive skin management.

A belt lipectomy is a combination procedure that includes a tummy tuck as one component. The incision/scar is then extended circumferentially around the posterior waistline over the upper buttock to provide elevation of sagging outer hips and buttock tissues. Buttock contouring procedures are commonly simultaneously incorporated to provide more projection and shape, and the end result can provide dramatic changes in body shape and contour.

Which Procedure Is Best for You?

Although not always the case, tummy tuck surgery is the ideal procedure for post-pregnancy or aging patients who experience increased stomach laxity and abdominal fat but still have definition and tone in their thighs and buttocks. If, however, you do struggle with excess skin or fat on your hips, thighs, or butt, then a belt lipectomy may be a consideration. A belt lipectomy is common and well-suited for those individuals who have experienced a significant amount of weight loss and have severe skin redundancy from weight change as a result. An essential component of either procedure is a thorough conversation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has significant experience with these type of body contouring procedures. Understanding overall recovery, risks, scar patterns, and alternatives are critical to a good result and patient/physician relationship.

Belt lipectomy vs lower body lift

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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!

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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.


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.


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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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.


The length of your lower body lift with Dr. Kunkel varies depending upon the amount of tissue he is trimming and repositioning. A lower body lift can take anywhere from 4 to 7 hours. Patients will spend at least one night in the surgical facility.


After a person has lost a significant amount of weight it’s almost impossible for their skin to tighten down to the new underlying slimmer contours — the elasticity has been compromised by being overstretched for too long. That can be truly discouraging for a person who has had bariatric surgery or simply done the hard work required to lose a lot of weight. That’s where a body lift with Kunkel can come in. 

To have a body lift, a person should have lost between 30 to 50 percent of his or her peak body weight. There should be loose, drooping skin and tissue across the abdomen, probably the thighs, buttocks, breasts, upper arms, and other areas. Your weight should have been stable for a period of time, usually two years, to ensure you will not regain weight after this surgery. This also allows your skin to adjust as much as it can before any surgery is considered.

These are involved surgeries targeting multiple areas, so patients need to be in good overall health, both to handle the stress of the surgery and the subsequent recovery. You shouldn’t smoke, as this can interfere with your incision healing.

Good candidates also need to be realistic about what these procedures can achieve. Yes, your contours will be slimmed to your new smaller body shape, but there will be some lengthy incision scars. Body lifts also involve a difficult recovery.


During your consultation with Dr. Kunkel, the two of you will discuss the areas of your body you would like to address. You’ll discuss the goals you hope to achieve with this surgery or combination of surgeries. Dr. Kunkel will examine your body to ascertain the degree of sagging tissue involved, along with where the pockets of fat would need to be removed.

Dr. Kunkel adapts every lower body lift to the patient. Different incision locations may be used depending on the individual circumstance. During your consultation, the two of you will decide what will work best for you; this isn’t something you need to figure out on your own.


Preparation for this surgery is mostly about preparing for your recovery. When Dr. Kunkel combines a tummy tuck, thigh lift, and buttock lift into a single surgery session, you’ll be happy there’s only a single recovery, but that recovery will be involved. You need to prepare for that.

First, you’ll take the usual steps you would before any major surgery. You’ll stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, blood thinners, and most supplements because they can all lead to increased bleeding. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop at least six weeks prior to and for a few weeks after, as smoking impacts your circulation negatively, which impedes healing. Better yet just stop for good as a part of these major changes you’re making.

Before you can have a lower body lift with Dr. Kunkel, your weight will need to be stable for a few months. If you’ve had bariatric surgery, we will work with your bariatric surgeon to determine weight goals and final weight plateaus. This is important because extra weight loss will only create additional sagging, loose skin down the road.

You’ll need to plan for someone to drive you to your surgery and drive you back home after your night or two in the hospital. And then you’ll need someone to help out for at least two weeks.

If you have young children, plan on having someone take over for at least two weeks. You won’t be able to lift anything much heavier than your TV remote for a few weeks. And that’s about all you’ll want to do. You won’t be able to climb stairs. No chores. No worrying about stuff around the house. You need to take it completely easy, preferably for two full weeks, and then take it slowly from there.

You’ll need to create a really comfortable recovery nest. If you sleep upstairs, this will need to be downstairs. Make this area as comfortable as possible. Stock it with the remote, as many good books as you can find, lots of pillows, and a comforter or two.

Anything you need to do, from filling your pain medication prescription to any household matters, needs to be completed before you head in for your surgery. You should have nothing to do and little to worry or stress about when you return home.

To that end, elicit meals from friends and relatives that can be frozen and used. You can make these beforehand, too, of course, but that’s much less fun! Fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins assist in healing, so the fridge should have plenty of them. Salt increases swelling, so avoid it.

Bottom line? Think of making your recovery as comfortable and as easy as possible. That will guarantee the best final results. This is not the time of your life to rush your recovery.


For these procedures you should plan on taking at least two to three weeks off work. If your job is at all physical, that timeframe would lengthen to 3 to 4 weeks. Your mobility will be limited, as you would assume, due to your lengthy incisions. In from 2 to 3 weeks you can begin to resume light activities. Strenuous exercise will need to wait for at least 6 weeks. Driving is an individual thing. Some patients can resume driving in 2 weeks, but others aren’t comfortable with the twisting movements and wait a little longer.

Just as every lower body lift is unique to the patient, so is the patient’s recovery. As Dr. Kunkel observes how you are recovering, he can give you the green light for different aspects of your normal activities.

“This is my 2nd time using dr. Kunkel and his office and I would not recommend any other doctor!
His staff is amazing from A-Z, his bedside manner is very professional, my surgery was so easy with little to no pain and results are phenomenal!!!” 

Belt lipectomy scar

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A belt lipectomy is a type of surgery. It’s done to remove the loose skin and fat around your waist or “belt line.” This is also called an abdominal lipectomy, tummy tuck, and panniculectomy. You may have this surgery after you lose a great deal of weight. This is often done after weight-loss surgery.

When people gain a lot of weight, their skin slowly stretches over time. If you lose a lot of weight, your skin might not have enough elasticity to spring back into place. This can cause extra skin folds of tissue. You may have a loose “love handle” around your belly and lower back. You may also have extra skin folds on your upper arms, under your chin, and along the inner parts of your thigh. A belt lipectomy and other similar surgeries can help improve how you look.

During a belt lipectomy, a cosmetic surgeon removes extra areas of tissue. Your surgeon will make a cut around your lower back and belly to take out extra skin and fat. Your surgeon then sews the tissue that’s left back together. This makes a smoother contour. This surgery helps flatten your stomach. It also lifts your buttocks and the outside of your thighs. All of this happens while you are asleep under general anesthesia.

A belt lipectomy is a type of body-contouring surgery. This refers to any type of surgery to remove extra skin and tissue to get a smoother body contour. These surgeries are often done after weight-loss surgery.

Why might I need a belt lipectomy?

If you lost a lot of weight after weight-loss surgery, this surgery may be an option for you. You may not like how you look if you have extra folds of skin tissue.

These skin folds are not just unsightly, but they can also cause other problems. These can include:

  • Discomfort
  • Swelling, rash, or ulcers between the skin folds in your groin. This can lead to an infection.
  • Problems with hygiene
  • Trouble walking
  • Trouble urinating
  • Trouble with sexual activity
  • Poor self-esteem

What are the risks of belt lipectomy?

A belt lipectomy is a generally safe procedure, but it comes with risks.  

People who have lost a lot of weight may be at a higher risk for problems than people who are having this surgery for other reasons. Some complications from this surgery include:

  • Problems with wound healing
  • Infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Blood clots in your legs (DVT). These clots may travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism).
  • Nerve damage
  • Problems from anesthesia

You also may not get the results you want from surgery. Then you may need to have another surgery to fix this.

Your risks depend on your age, the amount of weight you lost, your health conditions, and the amount of tissue you need removed. Ask your surgeon about the risks that apply to you.

How do I get ready for a belt lipectomy?

First, ask your healthcare provider if this surgery is right for you. If you have certain health issues, the risks of the surgery might not be worth it.

Your surgeon will want to make sure that you have a realistic idea of what the surgery can do. You will also need to commit to a healthy lifestyle. This includes good nutrition and regular exercise.

The surgery may cost you a lot of money. Most health insurance plans will not cover it unless you have a major complication. These may include an infection and ulceration around a skin fold. Find out what the surgery will cost you before you make plans to have it.

You shouldn’t have this surgery until you have reached a stable weight. If you lose weight after your surgery, new pockets of sagging skin may form. If you gain a lot of weight after your surgery, it can harm your already weakened skin. This can cause more stretch marks and wide scars.

If you smoke, you must quit at least several weeks before your surgery. Smoking greatly increases your risk for complications. Most surgeons will not do this surgery if you are still smoking.

Ask your surgeon if you need to stop taking any medicines before the surgery. These include over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin. You shouldn’t eat anything after midnight before the day of your surgery. But you may be able to have some clear liquids up to the morning of the surgery. These include water and tea without milk. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any recent health issues, such as a fever.

Your surgeon may do tests before you have surgery. These may include:

  • Electrocardiogram, to check your heart rhythm
  • Pulmonary function tests, to check your lung function
  • Basic blood tests, to check for infection, anemia, and kidney function

Ask your surgeon how to prepare for your surgery. He or she may have more instructions for you.

What happens during a belt lipectomy?

Your surgeon will explain the details of your surgery. Your surgeon and a team of nurses will do the surgery. In general, you can expect the following:

  • An anesthesiologist will give you general anesthesia. This is done so you will sleep through the procedure and won’t feel anything. In rare cases, you will get spinal anesthesia and a medicine to relax you. You will be awake is this case.
  • The anesthesiologist will carefully watch your heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs.
  • You will get antibiotics during and after the surgery. This is to help prevent infection.
  • The surgeon will make a cut where your buttocks and lower back come together. This is done to remove extra skin and tissue.
  • The surgeon continues the cut on your front lower belly. He or she also removes the extra skin and tissue from there. You may need to be repositioned on the operating table.
  • The surgeon puts your skin back together. This will make a smooth contour.
  • Medical staff will put dressings on your wounds.

What happens after a belt lipectomy?

When you wake up, you may have a tube underneath your skin. This will drain fluid that builds up in your wound. You may have some pain afterward. You can take pain medicines. You should be able to eat a normal diet once you are ready.

You may need to stay overnight in the hospital after your surgery. Some people may be able to go home the same day as surgery. But this isn’t common.

Your surgeon will tell you how to care for your wounds. Tell your surgeon if you have severe draining, redness, or a fever. If you have life-threatening symptoms, call 911. These include sudden shortness of breath, a lot of bleeding, or chest pain.

Your surgeon will also tell you how to limit your movements after surgery. You shouldn’t expose your wounds to too much force as they heal. Follow all of your surgeon’s orders carefully. This will improve your chances of a smooth recovery.

You will see the results of your surgery right away. They will last if you keep a stable weight. If you are not happy with the results of your surgery, talk with your surgeon. Some people need another surgery for best results.

Next steps

Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know:

  • The name of the test or procedure
  • The reason you are having the test or procedure
  • What results to expect and what they mean
  • The risks and benefits of the test or procedure
  • What the possible side effects or complications are
  • When and where you are to have the test or procedure
  • Who will do the test or procedure and what that person’s qualifications are
  • What would happen if you did not have the test or procedure
  • Any alternative tests or procedures to think about
  • When and how will you get the results
    Who to call after the test or procedure if you have questions or problems
  • How much will you have to pay for the test or procedure

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