Extended tummy tuck vs Tummy tuck & lipo of flanks

I am interested in getting a tummy tuck (due to loose skin that hangs after c-section and weight loss). However, I am not sure about my flanks. Two doctors agreed that it is "mostly" loose skin as well on my flanks. Is an extended tummy tuck (extended incision to the flanks) the best option? Could lipo potentially make more loose skin on the flanks? Is there a major difference in cost between a full tummy tuck and an extended tummy tuck or is the length of the incision differentiation up to the doctor?

Doctor Answers 11

depends on the amount of loose skin.

The extended abdominoplasty can be helpful with loose skin on the flanks but depends on the amount of loose skin.  Usually abdominoplasty with liposuction is adequate to treat the flanks but occasionally a lower body lift is required.  The difference in cost depends on the amount of excess skin that needs to be resected and if a lower body lift is required.  Liposuction can make skin more loose but the results depend on the type of liposuction and the quality of your skin.  If there are a lot of stretch marks, then the ability of the skin to contract is compromised but if not then the skin may retract with liposculpture.  There are also some modalities of lipo such as VASER that may help with skin contraction.

Corpus Christi Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Hip liposuction will add to the loose skin

Thank you for your question. Performing liposuction on the hip/flank area generally adds to the excess skin in that area and requires some extension of the abdominoplasty incision to get rid of the excess. In general, extending the incision out to the side a little more is still just a part of a normal tummy tuck and should not really be considered an 'extension.'  Failure to take the scar out far enough often results in bulges at the ends of the incisions that we refer to as 'dog ears' that have to be surgically removed. Be sure that your surgeon is board certified and specializes is cosmetic surgery.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Extended TT vs. Full TT with lipo

Lipo can make the skin more loose, so if the skin there is already loose then an extended tummy tuck is probably the best option.  There isn't a major difference in cost between a full tummy tuck and extended tummy tuck but there will likely be a difference if it takes the surgeon more time.   I would ask the surgeons that you consult with EXACTLY what the difference is between the two in her/his eyes so you can better understand.  Different surgeons may have slightly different definitions of extended tummy tuck.  Best wishes!

Maida Parkins, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Multiple procedures, some advices:

Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us. For safety reasons, to be a good candidate for the procedures you want at the same time, your labs and cardiovascular preoperative evaluation must be optimal. Therefore, you must be a healthy person, within an appropriate BMI and no history of diseases that increase the surgical / anesthetic risk degree. Finally, I recommend you a skilled certified plastic surgeon in body contouring surgery and experienced in cases like yours where the planned operating time is less than five hours. Respectfully, Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 256 reviews

Full or extended Abdominoplasty?

In my practice we don't differentiate between a full or extended abdominoplasty scar. I do try to give the patient reasonable idea of how long and where the scar will be. In the operating room it is then a matter of doing what is necessary to eliminate any skin redundancy or "dog ear". In the initial consultation I determine if the patient would be best served by a mini abdominoplasty, a regular abdominoplasty, or a lower body lift. Indications for those are pretty clear cut and the fees for those procedures are quite different. Once the decision is made, we make the incison as long as necessary to get the best result. Liposuction is frequently done with abdominoplasties. This can make the skin more loose and require additional legnth of the incision

Henry Wells, MD
Lexington Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Extended tummy tuck vs Tummy tuck & lipo of flanks

Thank you for the question.  Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.

The "extended" tummy tuck surgery refers to an extension of the abdominoplasty incision to the flanks/lower back area; this operation is helpful when patients wish to improve the appearance of the sides (flanks)/lower back areas. In other words, the operation extends from the anterior abdominal wall to the flanks and back areas,  often involving additional skin/tissue excision and liposuction surgery.

In my practice, I recommend the extended tummy tuck to patients who have significant "excess" of adipose tissue and/or skin of the flank and back areas, where liposuction surgery alone will not suffice.  Patients who have lost skin elasticity in these areas, have a significant amount of diet/exercise adipose issue in these areas, and/or who wish to wear low riding jeans after surgery (and do not want to have a "muffin top" when they bend sideways) are potentially good candidates for the extended tummy tuck operation.   I hope this, and the attached link/video, helps. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

TT vs Extended TT

Thank you for your question. If loose skin from weight loss may need extended TT. It will be hard to comment without seeing pictures. If it is already a loose skin, doing lipo in the same area is not effective and produce more loose skin. So it is unto you and your PS to make the decision.

Ven Erella, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Tummy tuck vs Extended tummy tuck

Hello.  It's hard to tell without seen any photo.   However,  massive weight loss patients usually have loose skin that hangs on the flanks area and sometimes it extends to the back.   Having liposuction one these patients can make more loose skin because of the skin quality and capacity of retraction is very low.  Have a great day. 

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Tummy Tuck

Assuming your BMI is normal, and you have an average amount of abdominal laxity, a standard full tummy tuck should do the job . . . Otherwise, if you have extensive laxity extending around the flank, buttock and back, a circumferential lift may be needed. Please post photos.

Joel Patrick Maier, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Different recommendations

The answers depend on your exact anatomy and your expectations. Without photos it is impossible to say. If two doctors both said it is loose skin then lipo is not likely to add much to your result and I would recommend following their recommendations for the best result for you.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.