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Circumferential Tummy Tuck


A circumferential tummy tuck is more extensive than a standard tummy tuck. It’s usually performed on patients who have lost a great deal of weight (perhaps after gastric bypass surgery or another type of bariatric surgery) and now have loose, overhanging skin around their entire body. In a circumferential tummy tuck, the surgeon makes an incision that extends all around the waist line, through which he or she removes excess skin and fat and tightens the muscles. The outer thighs and buttocks are also lifted, and a new navel may be created.

Circumferential Tummy Tuck Candidates

Patients who have slightly protruding abdomens or small amounts of excess skin around their midsections are not suitable candidates for a circumferential tummy tuck and are more likely to benefit from a traditional or mini tummy tuck. The purpose of the circumferential tummy tuck is to make dramatic changes to a person’s physique after he or she has undergone massive weight loss. Often, these people are troubled by excess fat and an overabundance of skin in areas that are difficult to tone, such as the abdomen, outer thighs, and buttocks. A circumferential tummy tuck is designed to rid formerly obese patients of this extra skin and fat and add muscle tone, accentuating their new, slim bodies.

Circumferential Tummy Tuck Surgery

During circumferential tummy tuck surgery, also known as a lower body lift, the surgeon creates an incision that spans the entire circumference of the patient’s torso. The surgeon then uses liposuction and other techniques to re-contour the patient’s figure from the ribs to the knees, in both the front and the back of the body. The surgeon will also tighten the muscles in the abdominal wall and reposition the patient’s belly button for a more natural appearance. At the end of the procedure, the surgeon removes excess skin and closes the incision with sutures. In most cases, the incisional scar can be easily concealed by the patient’s underwear. Some patients who undergo circumferential tummy tuck surgery choose to complement their results with an arm lift or additional liposuction.

Circumferential Tummy Tuck Recovery

The circumferential tummy tuck takes between three and five hours to complete and requires a longer recovery period than other abdominoplasty procedures. Patients who undergo a circumferential tummy tuck will need to stay in the hospital for two to four nights following their procedure. Drainage tubes will be placed to keep the incision site clean and to prevent fluid from accumulating. Patients will be cautioned not to shower until the drainage tubes have been removed, roughly one to two weeks after the surgery. After a circumferential tummy tuck, patients can expect swelling and bruising of the entire affected area. Patients will be given pain medication to ease any discomfort and are encouraged to begin walking slowly as soon as possible to prevent the formation of blood clots. Patients should be able to resume some activities within two to four weeks of their circumferential tummy tuck, but should await their surgeons’ approval before beginning any rigorous activity.

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Photo credit: Bella Cosmetic Surgery

Locate an Abdominoplasty Surgeon near You

A circumferential tummy tuck is a fairly aggressive procedure with an extended recovery period when compared to other abdominoplasty and body contouring procedures. If you feel you may be a candidate for a circumferential tummy tuck and would like to learn more, please use our online directory to locate a surgeon in your area.

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