Belt Lipectomy


  • A belt lipectomy is surgery to remove extra skin and tissue from your abdomen (stomach), back, and buttocks. This surgery is also called a circumferential lipectomy. You may have loose skin and fat if you have lost a lot of weight. You may want a belt lipectomy to help make parts of your body look flatter or smoother. During a belt lipectomy, your caregiver will make incisions (cuts) around your abdomen and lower back. You may have liposuction to suction out extra fat. Extra fat on your thighs or pubic area may also be removed. Your pubic area is between your abdomen and the top of your legs.

  • It may take a year or more for you to notice all of the results of your belt lipectomy. Having this surgery may help improve the shape of your abdomen, waist, thighs and buttocks. Your abdomen may become slimmer and you may no longer have rolls of fat on your back. You may have a lower risk of getting a skin infection. You may be able to fit into your clothes better. You may also feel better about the way you look.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • You may not be happy with the results of your surgery. You may have an infection, bruises, or pain near your surgery site. You may have extra pieces of tissue (called dog ears) on your back. You may not be able to feel the skin where you had your surgery. Some of the skin near your surgery site may die. Your wounds may not heal properly and may split open. A pocket of fluid (a seroma) may form near your wound. You may bleed too much and need a blood transfusion.

  • You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This can cause pain and swelling, and it can stop blood from flowing where it needs to go in your body. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs or brain. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. A blood clot in your brain can cause a stroke. These problems can be life-threatening. You may also have trouble breathing if air enters the space between your lungs and chest wall. You may need surgery again to fix some of these problems. If you smoke, you have a higher risk of having problems after your surgery.

  • Without surgery, your extra skin and fat may cause you pain. You may have trouble keeping your body clean and you may get infections. Ask your caregiver if you have questions about your surgery, medicines, or care.


  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Pre-op care: You will be taken to the room where your surgery will be done and moved to a table. You may be moved to a beanbag so your caregiver can easily move you during surgery. Your surgery site will be cleaned and sheets will be put over you to keep the surgery area clean. This will be done every time your caregiver moves you into a new position during surgery.

  • Pneumatic boots: Inflatable boots are put on your legs. The boots are connected to an air pump. The pump tightens and loosens different areas of the boots. This helps improve blood flow to prevent clots.

  • Anesthesia: This medicine is given to make you comfortable. You may not feel discomfort, pressure, or pain. An adult will need to drive you home and should stay with you for 24 hours. Ask your caregiver if you can drive or use machinery within 24 hours. Also ask if and when you can drink alcohol or use over-the-counter medicine. You may not want to make important decisions until 24 hours have passed.

    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

    • Regional anesthesia: Medicine is injected to numb the body area where the surgery or procedure will be done. You will remain awake during the surgery or procedure.

  • A Foley catheter is a tube put into your bladder to drain urine into a bag. Keep the bag below your waist. This will prevent urine from flowing back into your bladder and causing an infection or other problems. Also, keep the tube free of kinks so the urine will drain properly. Do not pull on the catheter. This can cause pain and bleeding, and may cause the catheter to come out. Caregivers will remove the catheter as soon as possible to help prevent infection.

During your surgery:

  • Your caregiver makes an incision (cut) around your bellybutton. He then makes a cut on your lower abdomen from one hip to the other. Your caregiver removes your extra tissue and skin from your abdomen. He may also remove extra tissue or fat from your thighs and pubic area. Some of the tissue covering your muscles are stitched together to tighten your abdomen. Your caregiver then uses stitches to make a new hole for your bellybutton. Your cuts will be closed with stitches or staples.

  • Your caregiver then moves you onto one of your sides. Your waist and knees may be bent and pillows may be put between your legs. For each side, your caregiver makes a cut from your hip to the middle of your back. He cuts and removes the loose skin and extra fat from your back. The skin over your buttocks is pulled up and stitched to the edges of the skin in your back. Your caregiver then closes your cuts with stitches. During surgery, liposuction may be used to remove extra fat in each of your surgery sites. Your caregiver may also put drains in your surgery sites to help remove extra fluid.

After your surgery:

You are taken to a room where you can rest. Your bed is positioned so that your body is bent at the waist. This helps keeps pressure off of your abdomen. Do not try to get out of bed until your caregiver says it is OK.

  • Walking: You may be asked to start walking on the night of your surgery. This helps prevent blood clots from forming. You may need to walk with your back bent slightly forward. Do not try to walk for the first time without your caregiver's help.

  • Drains: These are thin rubber tubes put into your skin to drain fluid from around your incision. The drains are taken out when the incision stops draining.

  • Medicines:

    • Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.

      • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.

      • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.

      • Epidural anesthesia: Your caregiver may give you this pain medicine through a tiny tube. The tube may have been placed in your back before your surgery. Ask your caregiver for more information about this medicine.

      • Patient controlled analgesia: You may get pain medicine through an IV or an epidural line attached to a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pump. Caregivers set the pump to let you give yourself small amounts of pain medicine when you push a button. Your pump may also give you a constant amount of medicine, in addition to the medicine that you give yourself. Let caregivers know if your pain is still bad even with the pain medicine.

    • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

    • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.