Traditional tummy tucks are used to remove excess skin from the abdomen, but for some, this may leave unwanted skin and fat around the back and flanks. When a traditional tummy tuck is not sufficient to produce the desired results, an extended tummy tuck may be performed. An extended tummy tuck includes the traditional tummy tuck procedure with the addition of treating the skin and muscles at the flank, also known as the “love handles.” If you’re considering a tummy tuck and are looking for a plastic surgeon, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced surgeons at North West Plastic Surgery Associates in Missoula. In the meantime, read on to learn about the extended tummy tuck procedure.
The Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure
As the name suggests, the extended tummy tuck procedure is similar to the traditional tummy tuck, but also includes sculpting of the back and flanks. During an extended tummy tuck, excess skin from the hips, back, flanks, and abdomen is removed and the muscles may be tightened. Liposuction may also be performed at the same time to further sculpt and contour the body. Extended tummy tucks are rather invasive and require more time to perform than a traditional tummy tuck. Extended tummy tucks generally take five hours to perform and many times require the patient to stay overnight.
Recovery after an Extended Tummy Tuck
The extended tummy tuck is major surgery and will require plenty of rest following treatment. The first few days following surgery are generally the most difficult. During the first few days, moving around will be difficult and may cause discomfort. It is highly recommended to have a family member or friend stay with you in the initial days following surgery to help you get around. Patients can expect to experience pain and swelling following surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to reduce pain and make you feel more comfortable. During the first six weeks of recovery, it is important to avoid strenuous activities, especially activities that involve lifting and bending. Light activity is generally allowed around the second week of recovery. After six weeks, you may feel better, however, it is important to get physician approval before beginning strenuous activities.
The Potential Risks of Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery
As with all surgeries, there are some risks to be aware of when undergoing an extended tummy tuck. These risks include:
- Poor wound healing
- Skin numbness
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots within the legs
- Pulmonary embolism (from blood clots)
- In rare instances, death
Candidates for Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery
Candidates for extended tummy tucks are patients who are unhappy about carrying excessive fat or skin around the abdomen, flank, and back. People who have experienced extreme weight loss are generally good candidates for extended tummy tucks; extreme weight loss can lead to excessive loose skin which will not go away with diet and exercise. Since the extended tummy tuck is major surgery, candidates must be in good general health to have the best chances for a successful surgery and recovery.
See If You're a Candidate
To find out if you're a candidate for the extended tummy tuck procedure, schedule a consultation today!