The circumferential tummy tuck, also known as a belt lipectomy, was developed to address the loose hanging skin of the abdomen, waists, lower back, and buttock regions. This is usually due to extreme weight loss from having bariatric surgery or through diet and exercise. Although some plastic surgeons use the terms circumferential tummy tuck and a lower body lift interchangeably, the lower body lift is often a far more complex procedure when performed properly.
The circumferential tummy tuck procedure is not appropriate for most individuals as it is much more invasive than a standard tummy tuck. The incision is made around the entire lower abdomen and lower back region. This incision allows for your plastic surgeon to remove the excess fat and skin of abdomen, waists, and lower back through an incision that extends circumferentially like a belt around your lower back. As with a traditional tummy tuck the muscles will be repaired as well.
A circumferential tummy tuck may take 4 to 5 hours to perform. During the procedure, the patient is placed on the operating table on his/her stomach. The lower back excision is performed first. The upper and lower incisions of the lower back excision are made from waist to waist. The incision is then closed in 3 layers using sutures. During this stage, several other procedures can be performed through the same incision. These include:
Once the lower back incision is closed, the patient is turned on the operating room table and placed on his/her back. Surgery is then commenced on the abdominal region. Just like the standard tummy tuck, the abdominal wall is tightened, and in some cases the outer abdominal muscles are tightened. Liposuction is used throughout the abdominal area, flanks, hips, lower back, upper back to give the patient a figure-8 look. Drains will be placed in the abdominal area and thighs. These will be removed after 5 to 10 days from your surgery date.
A circumferential tummy tuck procedure requires a 1-2 night overnight stay at a recovery center. The recovery time for this procedure is typically between 4 to 6 weeks.