If you’ve lost a large amount of weight, have had children, or are experiencing body changes due to aging, having a toned, trim midsection may feel like a goal that’s out of reach. No matter how much you diet or exercise, you’re still struggling with excess skin, fat deposits, and loose, sagging muscles around your midsection. While it’s natural to feel frustrated by what seems like a lack of progress, it’s important to note that this isn’t your fault. Gaining weight can stretch the skin and damage the muscles, and once damaged, they can’t be restored through exercise and diet alone. Fortunately, there are cosmetic procedures that can help you achieve the firm, contoured physique you’ve been working toward.
Both the tummy tuck and the belt lipectomy tighten muscles and repair excess skin concerns, but which one is right for you? Dr. Ortiz, a renowned plastic surgeon in Raleigh, is explaining the procedures and how they are different.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, focuses solely on the area between the upper abdomen and the pubic area. Dr. Ortiz makes a horizontal incision between the navel and pubic area, and depending on the extent of the procedure, may make a secondary incision around the navel. Excess skin is removed, the abdominal muscles are repaired and contoured, and in some cases, a new space for your belly button is shaped. Following this, the incisions are closed, creating a flatter, more toned midsection.
What Is a Belt Lipectomy?
A belt lipectomy, also called a body lift, is a similar procedure to the tummy tuck, except it’s a more intensive procedure covering a larger area. Dr. Ortiz will make a series of small incisions that go around the circumference of your lower abdomen and above the buttocks and will remove the extra skin and fat around the belly, sides, and back, then repairing the muscles around the area. Sometimes liposuction is a part of this procedure if stubborn areas of fat are a concern.
By removing the sagging, damaged skin, Dr. Ortiz will then stretch the skin from below the incision to meet the skin at the top of the incisions. Doing this also lifts and smooths the buttocks and thighs as well as creates a more toned, firm midsection and back.
Should You Choose a Tummy Tuck or Belt Lipectomy?
Choosing a tummy tuck or a belt lipectomy generally depends on the extent of excess skin and muscle damage you’re facing and what your goals are.
Choosing a Tummy Tuck
Typically, a tummy tuck is for people who have mild to moderate sagging, damaged skin, including stretch marks, and damaged abdominal muscles. Usually this stems from moderate weight loss, aging, or having a baby.
Choosing a Belt Lipectomy
A belt lipectomy is a procedure that is commonly performed after weight loss surgery or after significant weight loss to remove skin that has stretched due to weight gain. As it covers the hips, thighs, back, and buttocks, as well as the abdomen, this is generally for more extreme cases of skin redundancy.
Regardless of which procedure you choose, both are ideal for people who are:
- At their goal weight or a healthy weight and have sustained it for an extended period of time;
- In overall good health;
- Experiencing mild to severe excess skin and damaged muscles;
- Non-smokers or non-tobacco users;
Schedule a Consultation with Our Cosmetic Surgeon in Raleigh Today
The best way to determine which procedure is right for you is by sitting down for a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Ortiz. Together, you can discuss your goals, determine realistic expectations, and choose which procedure will help you achieve them. To schedule your consultation, reach out to us today at [phone] or fill out the form below to get started.