Extended Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, has become a well known phrase and procedure. Many misconceptions surround tummy tuck surgery. One of the biggest myths is that a tummy tuck is a weight loss procedure. This is not true. Tummy tuck surgery often treats and removes excess skin following massive weight loss. Another not commonly known facet of a tummy tuck is that it is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. The tummy tuck incision and the procedure are custom tailored to fit each individual. Therefore, there are three main types of tummy tuck: the mini, standard, and extended. Dr. Ludwig Allegra of Northwest Face & Body offers the best extended tummy tuck Bellevue and Kirkland provides.
What Is An Extended Tummy Tuck?
An extended tummy tuck is a tummy tuck that includes a scar that wraps around the hips to address the love handles. While the incision is longer than other tummy tuck incisions, it is still often concealed easily by everyday clothing because it is below or even with the pubic bone.
The most extensive version of a traditional abdominoplasty, an extended tummy tuck, often dramatically alters bodily contour. Like a standard tummy tuck, it will tighten the abdominal muscles and remove extra skin. Yet, due to the increased number of treatment areas, an extended tummy tuck will correct structures past the hips.
While a full tummy tuck would still benefit most extended tummy tuck candidates, they may be left with dog ears. Dog ears are flaps of skin leftover that can affect bodily contours. Dr. Allegra may recommend an extended tummy tuck if a full may not offer the results you want, or may leave you with dog ears.
Mini vs. Full vs. Extended Tummy Tuck
Determining whether a mini, full, or extended tuck will provide you with the results you want is best determined by a qualified Bellevue plastic surgeon. Additionally, every procedure involves similar surgical processes, each address differing body areas, and levels of correction. In the table below, you can see the major differences between the different types of tummy tucks.
- Addresses the lower abdomen from the belly button down
- Shortest incision
- Does not alter the belly button
- Incision well hidden
- Shortest and easiest recovery
- Best procedure for minimal skin removal
- Fewer candidates than full or extended tummy tuck
- Addresses the full lower abdomen
- Hip to hip incision
- Belly button repositioned
- Incision well hidden
- Can address diastasis recti
- The most common type of tummy tuck
- Easy to combine with liposuction
- Provides good results in most patients
- Addresses the full lower abdomen, hips, love handles
- Incision usually extends beyond the hips and sometimes around to the back
- Belly button repositioned
- Incision may extend above the pubic line
- Often provides the most dramatic results
- Dog ears unlikely
Benefits And Risks
An extended abdominoplasty comes with many notable benefits, especially for patients who need more extensive correction. Among the benefits of an extended tummy tuck include:
- Stretch mark removal/improvement
- Addresses stubborn fat deposits in the abdomen and hips
- Excess skin removal
- May improve posture
- Corrects sagging of the abdomen
- Can change the size/shape of the belly button
- May improve certain conditions such as urinary incontinence and hernias
- Incision can usually be hidden with most forms of clothing and bath suits
- Correction of bodily changes due to pregnancy and childbirth
- Can improve weight loss results through skin removal
- Can dramatically improve bodily contours
Any surgical procedure, including an extended tummy tuck, comes with some risk. As an elective surgery, you should consider the risks when planning for your Bellevue extended tummy tuck. Your Bellevue plastic surgeon will also assess your risks before determining you are a good candidate.
Some of the risks of an extended abdominal tuck include:
- Visible or raised scarring
- Necrosis (skin death)
- Prolonged pain or swelling
- Changes in skin sensation
- Risks and complications associated with general anesthesia
- Unsatisfactory result
- Prolonged bruising or pain
Dr. Allegra takes every precaution to reduce the risk of an extended tummy tuck in Bellevue. This includes screening patients, advanced surgical techniques, and thoughtful post-operative care.
Good Candidates For An Extended Abdominoplasty
In general, good elective surgery candidates are those that are in good general health, do not smoke, have no unmanaged health conditions, and have realistic expectations for the procedure. When it comes to an extended tummy tuck, patients should have extra skin along the lower abdomen, hips, and love handles. They may also need muscle tightening of the abdominal muscles and removal of diet resistant fat.
Good candidates for a Bellevue extended abdominoplasty often have lost large amounts of weight. These candidates will find even more benefit from an extended tuck because the procedure will reveal the body’s true contours. Additionally, an extended tummy tuck is sometimes used as a revision tummy tuck surgery.
Before And After An Extended Tummy Tuck In Bellevue
Beginning your tummy tuck journey starts with a consultation at Northwest Face & Body. You will meet with Dr. Ludwig Allegra at our Kirkland office where he will determine if you are a viable candidate for an extended tummy tuck surgery.
First, Dr. Allegra will want to get a good idea of your goals and expectations for the surgery. Next, he will review your medical history and discuss your lifestyle. At this point, he will conduct a physical examination of your abdomen and nearby anatomy. After a thorough exam, Dr. Allegra can then conclude if you are a good candidate for an extended tummy tuck in Bellevue.
Finally, to end the consultation, Dr. Allegra will describe the procedure and results you can expect following the procedure. He will craft a customized surgical plan catered to your body and needs. Before leaving the office, you will receive a personalized price quote and financing information.
The day of your extended tummy tuck will begin with checking in at our Medicare accredited surgical center. The Northwest face & Body team will prepare you for surgery and run the tests necessary before surgery. You will then meet with Dr. Allegra where he will make surgical markings. After a successful check-in, a licensed anesthesia provider will place you under general anesthesia.
Dr. Allegra will make the incision. While the exact positioning and length of the incision vary between patients, the average one will follow a typical tummy incision from hip to hip. It will then extend around the back of each hip to address the love handles.
Utilizing this incision, Dr. Allegra will remove excess skin and fat. Depending on your anatomy, he may repair the abdominal muscles and pull them tight. Dr. Allegra may also use liposuction to remove fat and enhance body contours. The last step will involve tightening and redraping the abdominal skin. Dr. Allegra will then stitch the incision.
An extended tummy tuck at Northwest Face & Body is performed on an outpatient basis. Therefore, this means that you will go home and begin recovery the same day as surgery. You will need someone to stay and care for you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery. The first day after surgery is an extremely important one and can set the tone for the rest of your recovery.
Dr. Allegra often gives patients post-op instructions based on their specific procedures. Some of his instructions may include:
- Avoid baths and getting the incision area wet
- Do not sleep on your stomach
- Attend post-operative appointments
- Avoid putting stress on the incision (this may mean staying hunched for the first part of your recovery)
- Take at least one week off work
- Get up and walk at least a few times a day to promote healthy circulation
- Wear compression garments as specified
- Take your prescribed medications to prevent infection and ease recovery
Frequently Asked Questions
Is An Extended Tummy Tuck The Same As A Lower Body Lift?
No, although the two procedures are similar. A lower body lift incision encircles the entire lower body, while an extended tummy tuck incision only extends to the back of the hips. Dr. Allegra may recommend a lower body lift instead of an extended tummy tuck if you have significant extra skin or sagging in your lower back or buttocks.
Will It Remove Stretch Marks?
In most cases, yes. If stretch marks are present in the lower abdomen or love handles, an extended tummy tuck will likely remove them or greatly improve their appearance. Stretch marks present in the upper abdomen or areas not as affected by the procedure may receive some improvement, but are unlikely to be fully treated.
Dr. Allegra can provide a better idea of what extent of removal and treatment of stretch marks is possible with your Kirkland extended tummy tuck. Often, the appearance of stretch marks on the abdomen is greatly reduced or diminished after an extended tummy tuck.
Is Recovery Painful?
Pain is an expected part of any surgical recovery. With an extended tummy tuck, the amount of pain experienced is highly individualized. Most patients do experience some level of pain after an extended tummy tuck.
Dr. Allegra will prescribe medications to help manage the pain and discomfort. Usually, patients can discontinue prescription painkillers for over-the-counter painkillers in about a week.
Does The Procedure Use Liposuction?
It depends. Not every patient will require liposculpture to achieve a good result. With that said, most extended tummy tucks will use liposuction or may benefit from added lipo. Dr. Allegra can discuss the surgical techniques and options during a consultation at Northwest Face & Body.
How Much Does An Extended Tummy Tuck Cost?
The cost of a Bellevue extended tummy tuck will depend on the specifics of your procedure and if you are combining it with any other plastic surgeries. Accordingly, to get an idea of the starting price of an extended tummy tuck in Kirkland, refer to our Price List. You can also explore all of the tummy tuck options available and find all of their costs instantly with our Price Simulator™ app.
The Best Extended Tummy Tuck In Bellevue And Kirkland At Northwest Face & Body
Northwest Face & Body provides the gold standard of plastic surgery in Bellevue and Kirkland. Having served the Eastside and Seattle areas since 1983, Northwest Face & Body offers high-end plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. Our surgical facilities adhere to the highest standards and offer a safe and comfortable environment for your Bellevue extended tummy tuck. We also offer unique accommodations for Vancouver tummy tuck patients and those coming from out of town.
Dr. Ludwig Allegra is an accomplished plastic surgeon. With decades of experience providing comprehensive plastic surgery to the Eastside and using his expertise in body aesthetics and technical skill, Dr. Allegra performs the best extended tummy tuck Bellevue and Kirkland offers.