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What is an extended tummy tuck?

Throughout life, there are various events that can affect the abdominal region. Pregnancy and significant weight fluctuations can cause a separation of the abdominal muscles, rendering them incredibly weak. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to address issues in the region with diet and exercise alone.

This can be a source of great frustration for patients, especially for new mothers who are looking to restore their former bodies. An extended tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is designed to slim, contour, and flatten out the midsection, leaving patients with a more attractive and taut look.

What is the difference between an extended tummy tuck and a standard tummy tuck?

An extended tummy tuck is the most involved form of an abdominoplasty procedure. It is designed to remove loose skin and excess fat from the areas of the stomach and flanks. The procedure involves making a horizontal incision made across the lower portion of the abdomen and around the hips. In many cases, a vertical incision is needed as well. Being a more extensive procedure, extended tummy tucks usually require a longer recovery period than a standard tummy tuck. 

Extended tummy tuck procedures are a great option for patients who are seeking to correct a larger portion of their stomach and lower back. Patients should be aware that extended tummy tuck procedures typically come with more scars, as there are more incisions being made. 

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Who is an ideal candidate for an extended tummy tuck procedure?

Extended tummy tuck procedures are incredibly versatile and can be tailored to address the individual needs of the patient. As with any cosmetic procedure, patients should only seek out this treatment to achieve their own desired image, not the one prescribed to them by others. 

Some criteria that can determine candidacy for an extended tummy tuck procedure include:

  • Being in good physical and mental health
  • Being able to maintain a healthy weight
  • Having realistic expectations for the outcome of the treatment
  • Being a nonsmoker
  • Feeling dissatisfied with the appearance of the midsection
  • Being free of any serious medical conditions that could lead to complications during the procedure or recovery process 

What are the benefits of an extended tummy tuck?

The benefits of an extended tummy tuck include:

  • Gives the body better contours 
  • Addresses and removes loose, excess skin from pregnancy or weight loss
  • Addresses issues related to a “distended” stomach, which can develop following childbirth
  • Addresses weak, separated muscles in the midsection 
  • Gives patients a smoother, firmer abdomen
  • Reduces the bulge from C-section scars 

The health benefits of an extended tummy tuck

While extended tummy tuck procedures can improve the aesthetics of the abdomen, they can also provide many health benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Addresses urinary incontinence 
  • Reduces back pain
  • Reduces the incidence of hernias 
  • Addresses bloating 
  • Gives patients improved posture 
  • Improves the efficacy of workouts 
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Preparing for the surgery

In most cases, patients will be required to go through the following steps prior to the procedure:

  • Undergo a complete lab test and evaluation under the care of a licensed physician 
  • Stop the use of any medications that could cause side effects during the procedure
  • Begin taking certain medications prior to the procedure that will aid the treatment 
  • Quit smoking (if applicable)
  • Refrain from taking any medications that can increase bleeding, including aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements 

Details of the extended tummy tuck procedure 

Tummy tuck procedures are carried out with the patient under general anesthesia and typically take anywhere from one to five hours to carry out. Unlike a standard tummy tuck procedure, which involves an incision along the bikini line that extends from one hip to the other, extended tummy tuck procedures involve incisions that extend from the hips all the way around to the back. This enables the procedure to target the waistline in addition to the midsection. 

During the procedure, the epidermis (upper layer of skin) is detached from the dermis (lower layers of skin), the abdominal tissue is sutured, and excess skin is removed from the area. If the area is in need of muscle repair, Dr. Pratt will restore the muscles to their natural position.

The procedure is an effective means of addressing a stomach bulge while slimming down the waist. Dr. Pratt will then employ liposuction during the procedure to further contour the waistline and love handles. Dr. Pratt will go over these details of the procedure with patients during the private consultation.

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What is the recovery process like?

During the private consultation, patients will get an idea of what the recovery process is like. They will also receive additional instructions upon being discharged. 

In most cases, an extended tummy tuck procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure, but patients should be aware that they will require assistance with moving around and handling daily tasks the first week following the procedure. Patients will be fitted with a compression garment that must be worn for several weeks. Drains may also be placed in the treatment sites to aid the healing process. All of these details will be discussed during the private consultation. 

Patients are usually able to get back to work within 10 to 14 days following their extended tummy tuck procedure. That said, patients will need to avoid all strenuous activity (especially heavy lifting) for several weeks. Most patients make a full recovery from the procedure by the 6-week mark.

Why choose Dr. Pratt?

Dr. Pratt’s approach to plastic surgery in Charlotte, NC, can be best summed up with two words: precision and care. Dr. Pratt establishes connections with his patients early on, listening to all of their concerns to make sure that their desired outcome is achieved. 

Dr. Pratt is always forthright and transparent with patients about their options and what will help them attain the best results. He listens to all of their concerns prior to the procedure and delivers remarkable results with his incredible attention to detail. These attributes have garnered him widespread recognition as a standout cosmetic specialist and human being. 

Reach out to our office today to learn more about our extended tummy tuck procedure. 

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