Beltline lipectomies and body lifts do pose some tricky problems with positioning and mobility post-op. It is actually very beneficial for these patients to get up and walk (in moderation). The hardest part is the act of rising off the bed or couch – as this requires bending at the waist. This movement causes stress on incisions. Because of this, it is best to stay as straight as possible while getting up and down. Understand that when your surgeon does the procedure they cannot make the flaps so tight that you are not able to bend at all. Instead, we must leave a little excess slack that allows you to safely move around. Also, if someone needs a body lift there has obviously been some overstretching of the skin, and skin that has been stretched before is more likely to loosen up again quickly after surgery. Even after a few days, your skill will loosen significantly and you will feel more comfortable moving about.
While wound healing concerns are a consideration after a body lift, early ambulation and blood thinners are a more pressing concern as the risk of a blood clot is more serious than a wound separation.
Walking after belt lipectomy
Hundreds of sutures hold the suture line together following a belt lipectomy procedure. Walking after surgery does not put extreme tension on the suture line. Almost all of my patients are able to ambulate within hours of surgery.
How can belt lift patients ambulate immediatel after surgery?
Ambulation shortly after surgery is important to reduce risks of deep venous thrombosis and possible pulmonary emboli (blood clots forming in the legs and travelling to the lungs). It also alows patients to become self sufficient more quickly after surgery.
Ambulation after a belt lift should not cause undue strain on the healing incisions. Extreme stretching should be avoided. I do not prefer to close the incisions so tightly that patients cannot stand straight for a period after surgery. This excessive tightness causes widened scars and possible wounds opening up.