The Extended Tummy Tuck Technique
By The Landings Surgical Centre on January 17, 2014
Multiple factors can result in loose pockets of fat and skin around the abdomen, even after a diet and exercise regimen; age, weight loss, pregnancy, and genetics are just a few reasons for this stubborn excess tissue. To help our patients address this, we offer various body contouring procedures at our Nova Scotia surgical practice, including the popular tummy tuck.
Because each patient’s body is different, not everyone requires the same technique. For instance, larger amounts of excess tissue require larger incisions and areas of removal. To this end, an extended tummy tuck may be the most effective technique.
Candidates for an Extended Tummy Tuck
All candidates for tummy tuck surgery, also called abdominoplasty, should have loose skin that they wish to remove from around the stomach. A full tummy tuck typically deals with the upper and lower abdominal area, whereas a mini tummy tuck is limited to tissue below the navel. Due to longer incisions that reach around the hips, an extended tummy tuck can address the upper and lower abdomen as well as the flanks and lower back. Therefore, the best candidates for an extended tummy tuck are those who wish to see improved contours all around their waist, as opposed to just the stomach.
Additionally, candidates should possess the following characteristics:
- Realistic expectations: An extended tummy tuck can provide significant results, but patients must also have accurate expectations for what the surgery can accomplish. Consult your doctor for an individual assessment and explanation of what you can expect to gain from treatment.
- A relatively healthy body: After surgery, your body will need time to heal and recover. Speak with your doctor if you have any health problems that may compromise your immune system or increase the risk of infection.
- Steady weight: Before undergoing surgery, make sure that your weight is not likely to change in the near future. Dramatic weight gain or loss, including pregnancy, can alter the effectiveness and longevity of your results.
The Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure
If you and your doctor determine that an extended tummy tuck is right for you, the plastic surgery procedure will be performed as follows:
- Anesthesia will be administered to curb discomfort during surgery. If your doctor recommends general anesthesia, be prepared for extended drowsiness and similar side effects following the procedure.
- An incision is made from behind one hip, extending across the lower abdomen and around the other hip. A second incision is made around the navel.
- Excess skin is trimmed from the stomach, flanks, and lower back as necessary. While some fatty tissue may also be removed, many patients also opt for liposuction in conjunction with an extended tummy tuck. This allows a greater amount of fat to be removed and contoured.
- Muscles are tightened, most notably the abdominal muscles, creating tighter and smoother curves.
- Remaining skin is tightened and sutured, and the belly button is repositioned to align more naturally with your stomach’s new form.
Recovering from an Extended Tummy Tuck
Unlike full or mini tummy tucks, which are usually outpatient procedures, an extended tummy tuck most often requires patients to rest for 24 hours before returning home. Throughout the first week of recovery, patients should take additional time to relax, only exerting minimal energy for occasional light walks and tasks to promote circulation.
Common side effects of surgery include light bleeding, swelling, bruising, and soreness. Through the use of an elastic compression garment, these side effects can be reduced, as can the risk of infection. After one or two weeks, patients should be able to return to most daily activities, including work.
While the results of surgery will be partially noticeable early on, the onset of swelling will prevent an accurate image of the treatment’s final results. After a month, swelling should be greatly decreased, allowing a better representation of the body’s curvature.
Schedule an Appointment
Through a consultation with one of our highly experienced surgeons, you can learn whether this treatment is well suited for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment or ask about our range of body contouring options.
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"Our doctors and staff are cheerful, friendly, calm, courteous, and efficient. They have an excellent rapport with each other and work very much as a team."JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre