What is an extended abdominoplasty? Patients who have skin excess extending from the abdomen to the flanks accompanied by laxity of the abdominal muscles are good candidates for an extended abdominoplasty. A large amount of abdominal and flank skin is removed and abdominal muscles tightened through a low scar that runs along the lower flanks, abdomen and pubic area. This operation can avoid the formation of “muffin tops” or side bulges that form in people who undergo a standard abdominoplasty or liposuction when an extended abdominoplasty would have been a more appropriate procedure for them.
Click here to view a video on tummy tucks (abdominoplasty).
The extended abdominoplasty may be a component of a mommy makeover and can be combined with breast enhancement and liposuction:
- Breast augmentation (augmentation mammaplasty). Patients with redundant flank and abdominal skin who desire larger breasts or a more rounded shape to the upper part of the breast may choose to undergo breast augmentation.
- Breast lift (mastopexy). Patients with excess breast skin and downward-pointing nipples may wish to consider a breast lift or mastopexy to raise the breast tissue and nipples to a more youthful position. This is particularly common in individuals who may be candidates for an extended abdominoplasty since weight fluctuations in these individuals often leads to redundant skin of the breasts, abdomen and flanks.
- Simultaneous breast augmentation and breast lift (augmentation mastopexy). Some patients may benefit from additional breast volume, tightening of the breast skin, and repositioning of the nipples to a more youthful position. This may be best achieved with both a breast lift and a breast augmentation at the same time, or an augmentation mastopexy. This combination is also particularly common in individuals who may be candidates for an extended abdominoplasty because weight fluctuations in these individuals often leads to volume loss and redundant skin of the breasts, abdomen and flanks.
- Liposuction. Removal of fat from the thighs, back and buttocks with standard tumescent liposuction, ultrasonic-assisted liposuction, or SMART laser-assisted liposuction provides a nice complement to refinement of the flanks and abdomen with an extended abdominoplasty.
Combining an extended abdominoplasty with other procedures can be performed efficiently and safely. Click here to read Dr. Tenenbaum’s article on combining breast surgery and abdominoplasty.
Anesthesia: An extended abdominoplasty is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 2 to 3 hours.
Estimated recovery time: You can return to work after 2 to 3 weeks and should avoid vigorous activities for 4 to 6 weeks. Visible bruising should clear up within 1 to 2 weeks, and swelling begins to resolve within 4 weeks. To learn how to prepare for an extended abdominoplasty and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions for abdominoplasty.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising, swelling, a few spitting sutures, and some numbness, itching and spasm of the abdomen and sides. Drain tubes lasting 5 to 10 days are placed, and you will be required to walk gently flexed at the waist for about 5 days after surgery. An injectable blood thinner called Lovenox® is generally used for 5 to 10 days after surgery to prevent blood clots. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of abdominoplasty.
Before-and-after photos if tummy tuck results: Click here