Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is an expanded abdominoplasty procedure, in which the surgeon also removes excess skin from the patient’s sides and improves muscle laxity at the flank (or "love handles") and hip region. The extended tummy tuck was developed after it was noted that, in some tummy tuck patients, although the abdomen was remarkably improved, the flank and back areas still had folds of extra skin and fat. This procedure has been performed on thousands of patients, with generally excellent results.
Extended Tummy Tuck Candidates
An extended tummy tuck is often an effective treatment for patients who wish to refine their figures following substantial weight loss. Such patients usually need help restoring tone to the abdominal, hip, flank, and back muscles, and are also bothered by abundant amounts of excess skin, sometimes weighing several pounds. This procedure is ideal for patients who have a significant amount of excess fat and skin in the flank, upper hip, and lower back regions.
Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery
In an extended tummy tuck, the incision spans the entire length of the abdomen and extends to the back of the patient’s hips. During the procedure, the surgeon tightens the exposed muscles and creates a new navel to match the patient’s new body shape. The surgeon may also use liposuction during an extended tummy tuck procedure to achieve the ideal body contour. After excess skin has been trimmed from the abdomen, hips, flanks, and back, the incision will be closed with sutures. For more comprehensive body contouring results, some patients opt to combine their extended tummy tuck with an arm lift, thigh lift, or a butt lift.
Extended Tummy Tuck Recovery
Because the extended tummy tuck involves a fairly long incision and dramatic physical changes, surgeons usually require that patients remain in the hospital to recover for at least one day. Drainage tubes will be placed under the patient’s skin to prevent the accumulation of fluid and to allow the incisions to heal properly, and the patient will be given pain medication to ease discomfort. Patients should arrange to have someone help them get around for a few days after they return home and should not shower until the drainage tubes have been removed from their incisions, roughly one to two weeks after the procedure. Swelling and bruising are normal after any body contouring procedure, but the majority of swelling should subside after about six weeks. Patients may return to light activity within about two weeks of their extended tummy tuck, but should consult with their surgeon before resuming any vigorous physical activity.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view abdominoplasty before and after photos.
Photo credit: Ramiro Morales, MD
Find an Abdominoplasty Surgeon in Your Area
If you have recently undergone substantial weight loss, either through a bariatric surgery procedure or a strict diet and exercise routine, you may be troubled by a lack of definition in your midsection and cumbersome folds of excess skin. An extended tummy tuck may help you to add definition to and refine the contour of your new, more slender body. To learn more about extended tummy tuck and other body sculpting procedures, use DocShop’s online directory to contact a highly qualified surgeon near you.