So After a Belt Lipectomy; Can You Sit? is It Painful?

i was just reading where a poster on Real Self had a Belt Lipectomy; and as i read, it said it deals with the lower part fo the body (buttocks, flanks/love handles). So my question is, is this procedure painful? Can you sit and recover without many impossible restrictions?

Doctor Answers 7

Can I sit after a belt lipectomy

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Thank you for your question. Body contouring after weight loss has become increasingly common, which includes lower body lifts. With a lower body lift, or belt lipectomy, the excess skin of the belly, flanks, buttocks, and lateral thighs is removed, which recontours these areas. This does leave a scar that circles the body, but can be quite effective in treating the skin excess.

People are able to sit after a lower body lift. Though there is some recovery time, it is manageable  After 2 weeks time, most people are able to resume normal activities of daily living.

Body lift recovery

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Usually patients have discomfort that usually improves during the first week.  As for sitting, it should be OK to do so as I perform it. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Body Lift Recovery

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I have my patients ambulating immediately after surgery.  However, immediately after surgery, you will be walking flexed at your waist (in the skier's position).  Each day, you will be gradually able to straighten.  It generally takes 5-10 days (on average 7 days) for my patients to walk straight.  I do instruct my patients to sleep in a recliner or sleep in their bed propped up with pillows to mimic a the recliner or lawnchair position.  By 10-14 days after surgery, you should be getting close to your baseline ( able to drive, walk straight etc).  Most patients are able to get back to a desk job in about 2-3 weeks.  However, no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 weeks after your surgery.  You need to give time for all your incisions to heal.  During this 6 week period, most surgeons will recommend some form of compression garments to help minimize your postop swelling.   Talk to your plastic surgeon to learn more about his/her specific postoperative care protocol.   Hope this helps.

Recovery after body contouring can be very smooth with minimal discomfort

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Thank you for your questions.  When I perform body contouring procedure, like a belt lipectomy, I make sure that all of my patient have several copies of my instructions to ensure the smoothest recovery.  Basically, I recommend taking it easy for 7-10 days, but I do want my patients walking around to help stimulate good healing.  As far as pain goes, I inject a lot of numbing medicine during the procedure so the inital recovery involves little pain.  Then, I recommend around the clock pain pills for several days to help through the initial post-operative period.  After that, many of my patients actually switch to ibuprofen or Tylenol.  Sitting is allowed right after surgery, but no exercise for 10 days.  Good luck!  Dr. Schreiber....Baltimore plastic surgeon

After a Belt Lipectomy; Can You Sit

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There is discomfort with any operation, and this is quite a large one. But the pain is manageable with medications. As to post-operative posture, that will vary from patient to patient. If the closure is quite tight, and this may not be the case in the back, you may be advised not to sit. 

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Belt Lipectomy Recovery

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Belt lipectomy surgery removes excess skin from the abdomen and back. Patients can anticipate limited physical activity for ten to fourteen days following surgery. I typically tell my patients bathroom and kitchen privileges initially with slow resumption of normal activity over the next two weeks. During this period, it's reasonable to sit in a recliner chair. This should provide no risk to the integrity of the wound closure.

Although it's not unusual for patients to experience pain following belt lipectomy, the vast majority of patients tolerate this pain without difficulty. The pain associated with this procedure is severe in the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery, but rapidly diminishes with time. We typically use a synthetic codeine derivative called hydrocodone, which has a decreased incidence of nausea compared to codeine. We replace narcotic pain relievers with Tylenol as soon as possible following surgery to avoid the potential for drug problems. Pain tolerance varies from patient to patient following belt lipectomy, but when these steps are taken, most patients do well and tolerate their pain without difficulty.

Sitting Possible After Body Lift

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The body lift is a very effective procedure for contouring the buttock, love handles, lateral thighs and abdomen.  It is most commonly used in patients who have experienced significant weight loss with lax skin.   The excellent results seen by these patients have prompted its increased use in cosmetic patients.  While the procedur is uncomfortable, sitting is possible even if the buttock is augmented.  Exercising before surgery increases functional reserve and makes transferring and recovery much easier in my experience.  Good luck!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.