What Is An Extended Tummy Tuck?

An extended tummy tuck or extended abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal area and the flanks (or what we often call love handles). For patients who have lost a significant amount of weight or experienced a pregnancy, this can be a remarkable positive change. 

This procedure also involves tightening the abdominal muscles to create a firmer and more toned appearance, improving the waistline and creating a more toned look. 

An extended tummy tuck often involves repositioning and reshaping the belly button to ensure a natural appearance after the excess skin is removed and the remaining skin has been tightened. The skin in the abdominal region will be redraped and tightened during the surgery as well. 

Depending on the patient, their health, and their goals, an extended tummy tucks may be combined with liposuction to further contour the abdominal area and flanks or love handles. 

Extended tummy tucks are more comprehensive than a traditional tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and they address a larger area of the midsection and lower torso, and therefore result in a more dramatic change.

How is an Extended Tummy Tuck Different from a Traditional Tummy Tuck?

The incision for an extended tummy tuck is longer than that of a traditional tummy tuck. While both procedures involve a horizontal incision just above the pubic area, the incision for an extended tummy tuck typically extends beyond the hip bones towards the sides or flanks to address the excess skin and fat in those areas.

Patients who have significant amounts of loose skin and fat that extend around the sides of the waist and lower back may be good candidates for extended tummy tucks. Typically, patients who have experienced significant weight loss and have the associated stretch marks and skin laxity are likely candidates for an extended tummy tuck. Women who have undergone pregnancy may also be good candidates for this procedure. 

This type of tummy tuck can provide more impressive and complete results than the traditional surgery, but it does require a more extensive recovery time and may leave a larger scar because of the extended incision. 

The Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure 

An extended tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It involves a long incision across the abdomen that extends between the hips and curves around the lower back, encompassing the sides or love handles. The exact length and shape of the incision depends on your individual anatomy and the amount of excess skin involved. 

Once the incision is made, your surgeon lifts the skin to access and remove excess fat and skin. Liposuction may be used to contour the flanks and back. The abdominal muscles are tightened and sutured to create a firmer abdominal wall. If necessary, your belly button will be reshaped and repositioned for a natural look. 

The incisions are closed with sutures, and drains may be placed to remove excess fluids; these will be removed during the recovery period.

What Areas are Targeted During an Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure?

An extended tummy tuck targets the abdomen, flanks, and lower back. It removes excess skin and fat from these areas and tightens the abdominal muscles, providing a smoother and more contoured midsection and waistline.

How Do I Prepare for an Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully prior to getting an extended tummy tuck or any type of surgery. These instructions include stopping smoking, avoiding certain medications that can increase bleeding, and arranging for someone to assist you post-surgery. 

You’ll also need to maintain a consistently stable weight, undergo necessary medical evaluations, and prepare your home or otherwise make plans for a comfortable recovery period. 

Additionally, follow any specific preoperative guidelines provided by your surgeon regarding diet and activity.

Recovery From an Extended Tummy Tuck

Recovery from an extended tummy tuck typically involves several weeks of downtime. You may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication and proper post-operative care. 

Wearing a compression garment or abdominal wrap is recommended to support the healing process and reduce swelling and support the abdomen will likely be required for the first week or so following your procedure. 

Immediately following the surgery, you will need to rest and limit your activity. You may have drainage tubes inserted to prevent fluid buildup, which will be removed after a few days. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help manage the pain. 

In the next few weeks, you can resume light activity and your swelling and bruising should subside. You will see your surgeon for a follow-up appointment to ensure everything is healing properly and that you are comfortable. You will also be advised about caring for your incision scar and how to reduce its appearance throughout the healing process. 

After six weeks to eight weeks post-surgery, you can resume normal activity. Continued scar management and protection from sun exposure remain important to optimize scar healing. While your initial swelling and bruising may have subsided, some residual swelling may persist for several months. The final results may not be fully apparent until swelling has resolved completely.

What Kind of Results Can I Get From an Extended Tummy Tuck?

An extended tummy tuck can offer significant improvements in body contour and aesthetics for people who have excess skin and fat around the entire lower torso. This procedure can reduce excess skin and fat and contour your abdomen and waistline for a firmer, more toned appearance. 

Sagging skin and bulges can be significantly reduced, resulting in a flatter and more defined abdominal profile. Muscle tightening can further enhance the abdominal contour by addressing muscle separation or weakness, such as diastasis recti from pregnancy. 

Dr. Patel’s patients report exceptional satisfaction and a renewed confidence following their tummy tucks — review her before and after photos and set up an initial consultation to discover if you’re a good candidate.  

Before & After Pictures of Extended Tummy Tucks

See the results that Dr. Patel has achieved for her patients.

Common Questions About Extended Tummy Tucks

If you are thinking about getting an extended tummy tuck, you likely have some questions about the procedure, the recovery process, and what kind of results you can achieve. 

Are Extended Tummy Tucks Safe?

Extended tummy tucks are generally safe when performed by a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Patel, but like any major surgery, they carry some risks. 

You should be in good health and maintain a stable weight before undergoing a tummy tuck. Careful follow-up care and adhering to recovery guidelines from your surgeon also play a crucial role in ensuring a safe outcome.

What are the Risks of Getting An Extended Tummy Tuck?

Potential complications include infection, bleeding, scarring, blood clots, and issues related to anesthesia. To minimize risks, it’s important to follow pre- and post-operative instructions carefully and disclose your full medical history to your surgeon. 

How Much Does an Extended Tummy Tuck Cost?

An extended tummy tuck costs approximately $XXXXX. After your initial consultation with Dr. Patel, you’ll have a better idea of the type of procedure that will enable you to achieve your aesthetic goals and the costs associated with it. 

How Long Does an Extended Tummy Tuck Last?

The results you experience from an extended tummy tuck can last a lifetime, provided that you maintain a healthy lifestyle.Regular exercise and a balanced diet help in preserving the improved body contour achieved through the surgery.

Some factors that can affect the longevity of the results include significant weight fluctuations, aging, and pregnancy. Of course, if you have any questions or issues following your extended tummy tuck, follow up with your surgeon as soon as possible. 

Do I Need to Lose Weight Before Getting an Extended Tummy Tuck?

Yes, it’s generally recommended to reach a consistent and healthy weight before undergoing an extended tummy tuck. Being close to or near your ideal weight helps ensure the best surgical outcome and minimizes risks. 

Significant weight loss after the procedure can result in additional loose skin, while weight gain can negatively impact the results. Maintaining a stable weight before surgery also contributes to a safer operation and a smoother recovery process.

Can You Get Pregnant After an Extended Tummy Tuck?

Ideally, you are done bearing children prior to getting an extended tummy tuck. Often, patients consider getting extended tummy tucks after their final pregnancy in order to rejuvenate the abdominal area.

That said, if you are otherwise a good candidate for a tummy tuck but not entirely sure you are done bearing children, it is possible to perform the skin tightening portion but not tighten the underlying muscles, allowing room for a baby to grow. Then once you are done with pregnancy(s), you can get a follow-up procedure(s). 

What Other Types of Tummy Tucks Does Dr. Patel Perform?

Dr. Patel performs several types of tummy tucks including extended tummy tucks, with each procedure or combination of procedures customized to your exact aesthetic goals and desires.

The tummy tuck procedures she performs include:

  • Full Tummy Tuck with Muscle Repair
  • Full Tummy Tuck without Muscle Repair
  • Short Scar Full Tummy Tuck with Muscle Repair
  • Short Scar Full Tummy Tuck without Muscle Repair
  • Mini Tummy Tuck 
  • Extended Tummy Tuck
  • Fleur de Lis Tummy Tuck
  • Revision Tummy Tuck
  • Reverse Tummy Tuck

Getting an Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery in Los Angeles

Dr. Patel’s clinic is located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California. Tummy tucks are her specialty and patients come to her from around the world for her expertise and results, especially her perfectly shaped and placed belly buttons that align seamlessly with the natural curves of the abdomen.

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