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Dr. Lloyd Van Wyck

The Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery: Knowing the Basics

By Lloyd G. Van Wyck, M.D. on October 07, 2016

A woman's lower body with the measuring tapeOur Ottawa plastic surgery practice has helped so many patients look their very best. We take time tailoring each surgery to the needs of the patient, which ensures optimal results and reduced risk of complications.

When it comes to addressing the appearance of the abdominal area, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a very effective body contouring surgery. For major contouring needs, an extended tummy tuck can be performed. Let's consider the basics of this surgery right now.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure that targets drooping, sagging, stretchmarks, and loose skin around the lower abdominal area. The tummy tuck removes loose skin around the lower abdomen, adjusts the underlying structures of that part of the body, and tightens the remaining skin in order to make patients looks trimmer and slimmer.

How an Extended Tummy Tuck Differs from Traditional Surgery

The primary way that an extended tummy tuck differs from an extended tummy tuck is the incision technique. The extended tummy tuck involves a larger incision in order to address more substantive issues with body contouring and loose skin.

During a traditional tummy tuck, the following incisions are made:

  • A circular incision around the bellybutton
  • A horizontal incision between the bellybutton and the pubic area that spans from one hipbone to the other along the lower abdomen
  • A vertical incision that connects the two previously listed incisions

During an extended tummy tuck, the horizontal incision is much larger. Rather than span from one hipbone to the other, it extends from the back of the hipbone, along the side, along the lower abdomen, and then to the back of the opposite hipbone. Through this larger incision, the excess tissue can be removed and overall body contour enhanced.

Ideal Candidates for Extended Tummy Tuck

The best candidates for an extended tummy tuck are people who have lost a substantial amount of weight, so much so that a traditional tummy tuck is not sufficient for a patient's body contouring needs. In many cases, this means people who were obese or morbidly obese who have shed a great deal of their body mass. It's a typical option for people who have undergone bariatric surgery, for instance. After they lose weight, they will typically experience serious issues with loose skin and poor skin laxity. Only surgical treatments such as the extended tummy tuck will be able to address these matters.

It's important that candidates for this surgery be in good overall heath and not suffer from any health concerns that would make the procedure a health or wellness risk.

Recovery from Extended Tummy Tuck

After undergoing an extended tummy tuck, patients will notice significant issues with discomfort, soreness, bruising, and swelling. It's of the utmost importance that patients get ample rest after surgery, taking at least two to three weeks off of work. While patients will want to avoid strenuous physical activity, light walking is recommended after surgery in order to prevent harmful blood clots from forming in the legs.

Follow-up visits with the cosmetic surgeon will be scheduled in order to monitor healing and wellness. Patients are encouraged to contact their surgeon should any concerns arise so that they can be addressed in a timely manner.

Additional Procedures for Extreme Weight Loss

The extended tummy tuck is just one surgical option to address major weight loss and the issues with stretchmarks and loose skin that follow. During a consultation, we can go over advanced body contouring options in much greater detail so you can get the help you need to look your very best. Lift procedures can be performed to address the thighs, the arms, and other parts of the body as needed to tighten skin and enhance your body image in the process.

Learn More About Tummy Tuck Surgery

For more information about tummy tuck surgery and how we can help you look and feel your best, be sure to contact our cosmetic plastic surgery centre today. The team at our practice is here to help you look your very best.

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