After pregnancy or significant weight loss, many people remain self-conscious about loose skin around their bellies, damaged abdominal muscles, or stubborn fat in their midsection.
Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery addresses excess skin and fat. The procedure repairs damage from diastasis recti, where the rectus abdominis muscles separate during pregnancy.
Once you start researching, you may notice multiple variations on tummy tuck surgery. If you are curious about the difference between a regular tummy tuck vs extended tummy tuck, we hope to answer your questions.
Of course, the best way to find the correct cosmetic procedure for you is to book a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. In the meantime, we hope this article is a helpful starting point as you research options.
Choosing the Right Option for You
As the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests, the best option depends on a few factors.
- How much excess skin do you have? The amount and location are important factors when choosing the type of tummy tuck.
- What is your body type? Your anatomy is also something for you and your plastic surgeon to consider to ensure satisfactory results.
- The texture and tone of your skin.
- How much excess fat you have and where it is concentrated.
- Your muscle tone and any damage to abdominal muscles.
Your end results, scarring, and recovery time will vary depending on the specific procedure you have. If you only want to remove a small amount of tissue, another option, like a mini tummy tuck, maybe your best option. In other cases, you will only be satisfied with the results from a full tummy tuck or even an extended tummy tuck.
The Difference Between a Tummy Tuck vs Extended Tummy Tuck
A regular tummy tuck, AKA a full tummy tuck, helps resolve damaged abdominal muscles, excess loose skin, and pockets of unwanted stubborn fat. The procedure usually involves a horizontal incision between the hip bones that you can hide with a bathing suit.
The plastic surgeon tightens and repairs the muscles. They pull down the skin to fit more snugly over the belly while removing excess skin and fat through liposuction. The plastic surgeon also repositions the belly button as needed. Be aware a tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss procedure. It is sought after by people who lost impressive amounts of weight through diet or surgery but have loose skin causing physical discomfort.
As you can imagine, a full standard tummy tuck is an invasive surgical procedure requiring recovery. Please talk with your plastic surgeon to plan for this healing period and make the necessary arrangements. You may need to take time off work, wear a compression garment, and see your surgeon for follow-up care.
Now that you know a few fundamentals about the full tummy tuck, it may help to understand other options, including a mini tummy tuck and an extended tummy tuck. These options can help you achieve a flatter stomach, tighter skin, and a slimmer appearance. The best option depends on your needs. Of course, an experienced surgeon can help you make the right choice.
In contrast to a full tummy tuck, an extended tummy tuck procedure is a little more involved. An extended tummy tuck addresses concerns about loose excess skin on the hip, lower back, and tummy area. The plastic surgeon makes a horizontal incision and may also need a vertical one. During an extended tummy tuck operation, your surgeon can remove more excess tissue than during a standard full tummy tuck. Also, your surgeon may use liposuction to remove extra fat and reposition your belly button as needed.
Recovery time after an extended tummy tuck takes longer as it is more intense. You may need a few weeks of downtime and just a couple of weeks of rest following a standard tummy tuck. Be sure to talk with your plastic surgeon about the anticipated recovery time.
A tummy tuck is often one of the most sought-after procedures during a “mommy makeover,” where people seek plastic surgery to restore their pre-pregnancy bodies. Either a full or extended tummy tuck is performed under anesthesia. Both involve a period of healing and recovery as well as follow-up care. However, if loose skin, damaged abdominal muscles, and a stubborn little fat are getting in the way of your quality of life, you may find the results transformational. Living your life feeling more comfortable in your skin and wearing a swimsuit is priceless for so many people.
Your Consultation is Your Next Step to a Sleeker Midsection
Since the best choice for any individual varies, the best way to navigate these personal choices is through a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon.
When selecting a plastic surgeon, we recommend first looking at providers in your local area. Ask friends or colleagues with plastic surgery whether they recommend their surgeon. Since post-operative follow-up care involves several follow-up visits with your plastic surgeon, you may have the best outcome if you find someone close to home.
During your consultation, feel free to ask any questions about the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will likely show you before and after photographs to help you understand the results.
We at Charlotte Plastic Surgery have served the Charlotte, NC, community members for decades. Our surgical team blends technical excellence, compassion, a sense of aesthetic proportions, and a passion for patient care. We love seeing the confident smile as our patients grow more comfortable in their skin.
Contact us today to learn more about a tummy tuck or any other plastic surgery.
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