Tummy Tuck
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Extended Tummy Tuck

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Are you overweight or obese with a large amount of excess fat on your belly, sides, and back? Have you recently lost a large amount of weight and now have extra skin that’s lost its elasticity? An extended tummy tuck (also known as a “body lift”) is appropriate for obese and formerly obese patients who have excess skin and fat that wraps around to the back. The surgery removes the excess skin from the patient’s sides while improving muscular elasticity. The skin on the thighs and buttocks can also be pulled taut during the procedure to give the patient a “lift” to the buttocks and a more toned look overall.

Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery and lost a lot of weight quickly may have excess skin and fat on their sides, back, and abdomen and an extended tummy tuck is designed to provide these individuals with a more sculpted and toned look. The surgery is extensive and requires a hospital stay of one to three nights.

An initial incision is made that spans the abdomen and extends to the back of the patient's hips. A second, vertical incision is made from the sternum to the pubis, exposing the abdominal muscles and creating an anchor scar. Skin is separated from the underlying tissue from the incision to the upper rib cage. The umbilicus is separated from the navel skin. The skin flap is lifted, exposing the abdominal muscles. With the skin flap lifted, the surgeon removes excess fat and sometimes perform liposuction. The abdominal muscles are pulled tightly together and sutured in place, forming a stronger abdominal wall and a thinner waistline. Excess skin is pulled down and removed, including the former navel opening. A new navel is formed and attached to the umbilicus. The incisions are sutured or closed with steri-strips.

Who is the ideal candidate for an extended tummy tuck?

Ideally, extended tummy tuck patients should be in good overall health. The extended tummy tuck procedure was originally designed for obese or formerly obese patients who have excess skin and fat on the belly, sides, and back of the body. Individuals who have had bariatric surgery and have a lot of excess skin in the abdomen, back, flank, and hips can also benefit from an extended tummy tuck. Your doctor will be able to determine whether an extended tummy tuck or a complete tummy tuck is the right procedure for you.

Surgical Procedure for an Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure that will involve one to three nights in the hospital. An initial incision is made across the entire width of the abdomen and to the back of the patient’s hips. A second, vertical incision is then made from the sternum to the pubic area, exposing the abdominal muscles and creating an anchor-shaped scar.

The surgeon then separates the skin from the underlying tissues whereupon excess fat can be removed. The abdominal muscles are then tightened to make the abdominal wall stronger and the waistline thinner. The excess skin is then removed and a new navel is created. The incisions are then sutured to create a new, toned body minus the excess skin and fat.
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