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While you might be considering a tummy tuck to get your body back to its original sexy form, have you considered an extended tummy tuck? The extended tummy tuck goes even further, taking care of fat in your love-handle region, to diminish any muffin top that a traditional tummy tuck might miss.

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What is an Extended Tummy Tuck?

This surgery focuses on not just the middle of the abdomen, but also the sides and hip region. Where most incisions would be across the lower abdomen, this may extend over to the hips or halfway around the sides of the body. This is most commonly done for those who have more loose skin or fat that reaches across and around the waist more than the lower abdomen.

If this is the procedure you choose, your body is going to look even more amazing in that two-piece swimsuit you never thought you could wear again. Here’s a bit more information and what you can expect with the extended tummy tuck procedure.

Candidates for the Procedure

The extended tummy tuck is an abdominoplasty procedure only recommended for dieters and people that have a history of exercising, and excessive fat won’t go away. In most cases, the procedure works wonders on patients that have extra tissue in the abdominal, flanks, hip, and lower back region.

It is important to consider how you carry extra fat on your body. If you only have that little pudge in the lower or mid-abdomen, this won’t be necessary. If you tend to have the “muffin top”, then this is a procedure that may be more appealing and appropriate for your body.

The Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery

The procedure makes an incision around the entire length of the abdomen into the flanks and near the lower back region. Your surgeon will tighten these muscles, while even using liposuction to create an even better contour for you.

The surgeon will most likely have to construct a new navel that aligns more with your amazing new look. To close the incision, sutures are used to help with the healing. You can even opt to have the thigh lift or Brazilian butt lift procedure performed at the same time.

While this incision is usually low enough on the abdomen to cover with underwear or a bikini bottom, you will want to discuss with your doctor the best placement for your body. Sometimes it has to be higher due to lack of elasticity in the skin, but those are issues that can be remedied in other ways or worked around if needed.

If you are considering this procedure, you may also want to grab My Tummy Tuck Planner. It’s a great tool to help you keep track of supplies and progress!

The Healing Process

The extended tummy tuck is more of an extensive surgery than the typical tummy tuck. This means that in many cases, you might be required to spend at least one night in the hospital. There will be drainage tubes put under the skin, that keep any fluids from building up and causing an infection.

Typically, with drainage tubes in place, you will not be able to shower for a few days, or if so, very limited. Just follow the physician’s directions regarding cleaning and make sure you are not pulling the drain tubes out when moving around. They are there to help your body heal better and faster.

The initial swelling might take up to six weeks for it to subside. At times the pain might be mild to moderate, and in rare cases might be experienced even years after the surgery. As far as work goes, patients will be able to return to light activity after about 2 weeks.

NOTE: While most swelling goes away within the initial 4 to 6 week recovery period, it is not uncommon to see the area swell up to a year after surgery. It is an extensive procedure cutting through layers of tissue and sometimes muscle. Be prepared for many months of healing and changes before you see the true final result.

The Costs

Depending on how much liposuction is required during your extended tummy tuck, you’re looking at around $11,000 to $12,000. While that might seem high, that’s because it’s a more “extended” surgery.

If you’ve undergone a substantial amount of weight loss and are left with extra folds of skin, won’t you consider having an extended tummy tuck done? If you’ve had this type of surgery in the past, tell us about your experience and the end results.

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