Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Lipo Of Flanks And Tummy Tuck

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that can help you remove excess fat from areas of your body where it’s concentrated, like the hips, buttocks, thighs and abdomen. Liposuction can also be used to treat cellulite by removing areas of lumpy fat that contribute to the appearance of a dimpled skin surface.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia in our office under the supervision of our board-certified plastic surgeon. A small incision is made through which a tube called a cannula is inserted into the fatty tissue layer just below the dermis or skin. The cannula has attached suction tubes that remove unwanted fat through a small opening in the skin. The incision is then closed with stitches or surgical glue and covered with a bandage.

Right here on Cosmeticsurgerytips, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on what is lipo of the flanks, does a tummy tuck come with lipo, How painful is flank liposuction?, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Lipo Of Flanks And Tummy Tuck

Fast facts


  • An extended tummy tuck is similar to a abdominoplasty, but the procedure also targets fat on the flanks and lower back.
  • The incision wraps from the low pelvis to the lower back.


  • Extended tummy tucks are generally considered safe. As with all surgeries, there are risks involved.
  • Risks include swelling, fluid accumulation, reaction to anesthesia, and numbness after surgery.


  • Tummy tucks are an in-hospital procedure where patients are put under anesthesia.
  • If the procedure is elective, as most are, it will not be covered by insurance.
  • It’s important to find a trained, board-certified plastic surgeon whose work you trust.


  • The cost for a tummy tuck varies widely based on where you live, the procedure itself, and the size of the area.
  • It will usually fall between $4,000 and $18,000.


  • Extended tummy tucks are very effective with studies reporting that the majority of those who elect to have this procedure are satisfied by the results.

What is an extended tummy tuck?

An extended tummy tuck is very similar to a regular tummy tuck — sometimes called an abdominoplasty — but instead of just reducing excess skin and fat on the stomach, it also targets the flank area, or love handles, between the waist and hips. In some cases, an extended tummy tuck will also target excess skin on the lateral thigh.

The ideal candidates for an extended tummy tuck include people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin, and those who want to slim the appearance of their stomach and flanks.

How much does an extended tummy tuck cost?

The cost of an extended tummy will vary depending on the surgeon, the volume of fat, and the size of the area. The price range for a tummy tuck generally falls between $4,000 and $18,000.

In 2019, the average cost of a tummy tuck (not extended) was $6,092 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Because there is more involved in an extended tummy tuck, the cost will likely be more. In addition, this cost is only for the procedure and does not take into account anesthesia, operating room facilities, or other related expenses.

Because tummy tucks are usually done for aesthetic reasons only, the procedure will not be covered by insurance. In some cases, a tummy tuck may relieve back pain and incontinence. You will also likely have to take several days off from work for recovery.

How does an extended tummy tuck work?

Extended tummy tucks work by removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen and repairing any muscles that have become loosened or torn. Through an incision above the pubic hairline that wraps around to the lower back, skin and fat are removed from the stomach and flank area. The skin is laid flat, and the belly button is reattached, giving the skin a smoother, flatter appearance.

In a 2012 studyTrusted Source of 25 individuals who underwent extended tummy tuck surgery, all 25 were “extremely satisfied” with the results.

Procedure for extended tummy tuck

  • During an extended tummy tuck, the surgeon will typically make an incision between your hip bones, low in the pubic area. If you’re having a tummy tuck after a C-section, they may reopen the same scar.
  • Any muscles that have been separated, such as from pregnancy, will be sewn together so they appear taut. Full tummy tucks can fix diastasis recti, which is a splitting of the abdominal muscles.
  • The belly button will be cut away, and liposuction may be performed if there is extra fat.
  • Excess skin is removed from the tummy and flank area, and the skin will be pulled taut.
  • Finally, the belly button is sutured in its original place, unless you and your surgeon decide to change its shape.

Targeted areas for extended tummy tuck

Extended tummy tucks target the upper and lower stomach, waist, flanks, and sometimes the uppermost lateral portion of the thigh.

Are there any risks or side effects?

As with all surgery, there are some risks and side effects associated with extended tummy tucks. One study found that 8.5 percentTrusted Source of people who underwent tummy tuck surgery were re-administered into the hospital because of some kind of complication. These complications and side effects may include:

  • numbness after surgery, which is typically temporary
  • excess fluid or blood pooling in the belly
  • swelling and redness
  • internal organ puncture — while rare, could be caused by cannula (a tube that removes excess fluids from the body) penetrating too deeply and potentially puncturing an organ

What to expect after an extended tummy tuck

Your surgeon or nurse should brief you on what to expect after surgery including:

  • what activities to avoid and how long
  • if and when you can consume alcohol and certain medications or supplements
  • how long to wear your compression garment
  • how to manage your drainage tubes, if your surgeon uses them
  • when to schedule a follow-up appointment

You will be able to see some results immediately, though your abdominal area will be swollen and bandaged. For the first few weeks, you will likely be advised to rest at an angle and avoid strenuous activity or lifting heavy things.

Around the 2- to 3-month mark, most of the swelling will likely have gone down, though you may still see some scarring, which should lighten over time. After 6 months to a year, you will see the full results, which should be permanent unless you gain weight quickly or have a pregnancy.

Before and after pictures

It’s helpful to see photos from people who have had extended tummy tucks when deciding if the procedure is right for you. Check out before and after photos below:

Preparing for an extended tummy tuck

Before your extended tummy tuck, you’ll likely need to get a blood panel to make sure you’re in good health. You will also want to meet with your surgeon to discuss what to expect. Also, you will need to arrange a ride home.

You may also be told to:

  • stop smoking
  • limit alcohol
  • stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin) and certain herbal supplements, which could potentially worsen bleeding or prevent proper clotting

Extended tummy tuck vs. traditional tummy tuck

An extended tummy tuck and a traditional tummy tuck are very similar procedures. The main difference is that an extended tummy tuck addresses the flanks, also known as love handles, between the waist and hip. Because of the additional procedure, an extended tummy tuck is often more expensive, takes longer to complete, and may require a longer recovery time post-surgery.

How to find a provider

An extended tummy tuck should only be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. You can use the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Find a Surgeon Tool tool to find a list of board-certified plastic surgeons near you.

What Is Lipo Of The Flanks

  • Flank liposuction targets the area between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the waist.
  • The procedure is best suited for those trying to lose stubborn body fat that cannot be eliminated through dieting and regular physical exercise.
  • Eligible patients need to be in good overall health and close to their target weight.
  • Patients can get back to work after just a few days, though they may feel sore in the weeks following the procedure.

If you have trouble losing fat around your flanks — commonly referred to as love handles — you’re not alone. Body fat tends to linger around the body’s lower midsection.

Losing this weight through dieting and regular exercise can be a struggle, which is why many people turn to flank liposuction to sculpt their waistline and eliminate these fat deposits.

What is flank liposuction?

Flank liposuction is a routine, minimally invasive outpatient procedure that removes fat around the sides and back of the waistline while leaving few scars on the patient’s body.

Men use the procedure to create a V-shape from shoulders to waist that makes them appear slimmer and more fit. For women, it helps achieve the coveted S-shape, narrowing the waist at the sides.

The procedure requires general anesthesia. Once you are unconscious, the doctor will make a few small incisions along the sides of your waist and then insert a small tube, called a cannula, that will be used to suck the fat cells out of your body.

Flank Liposuction: Before and Afters, Cost, Recovery and Results

What are the potential risks and side effects?

The risks associated with flank liposuction are the same as any liposuction procedure. After you’ve recovered from the procedure, it’s encouraged that you walk around and stay active to keep the blood flowing and prevent clotting in the treated areas.

Some patients may experience numbness or a loss of feeling. Infection is also possible but extremely uncommon. Following the procedure, you should be on the lookout for any signs of infection, such as a high fever. If an infection occurs, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic.

If you neglect to follow the doctor’s orders, you may also develop scars where incisions were made. To help the body heal naturally, some patients may be asked to wear a compression garment for six to eight weeks. Smoking and lack of physical activity can increase your risk of scarring and other complications. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

Though systemic risks are rare, they include significant blood loss, hypothermia, visceral perforation (also known as a ruptured bowl), fulminant infection or inflammation of the lungs, and pulmonary edema or fluid in the lungs.

What does the recovery process involve?

Depending on the success of the procedure and your overall health, you can expect to recover in just a few days after undergoing flank liposuction. In fact, some patients go in for the procedure on Friday and return to work the following Monday. However, you may feel sore for several weeks or months following the procedure.

Regarding the recovery process, Indianapolis-based plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Fata says that “Most patients feel sore in the flanks and lower back for about one week. Bruising in the treatment area might not subside for two to three weeks. Swelling may not subside for one to two months, sometimes more, which is why final results are not immediately apparent.”

What results can you expect?

This procedure tends to be extremely effective for trimming the waistline and eliminating love handles, but results vary based on the age and overall health of the patient. If you undergo flank liposuction to refine your waistline after dramatic weight loss, your skin may be slow to adjust to your body’s new shape.

“As with any liposuction procedure, much depends on the elasticity of the skin,” confirms Long Island plastic surgeon Dr. Brian A. Pinsky. “Results may be unpredictable in patients with poor skin elasticity or significant skin excess.” This can be especially true for patients who, having undergone bariatric surgery, have already lost large amounts of weight.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends removing no more than eight to 10 pounds of body fat at one time; otherwise, complications are likely. If you’re still dissatisfied with your figure after the first procedure, you may need to undergo a second procedure to remove additional fat cells.

What is the cost?

Depending on your location, the cost of flank liposuction should be around $3,000-$5,000.

Who is a good candidate?

Anyone who’s been struggling to eliminate their love handles may be a good candidate for this procedure, so long as they are healthy and close to their target weight.

The procedure is not meant to replace diet and exercise. If you’re interested in flank liposuction, you should maintain a healthy diet, have an active lifestyle, and be a nonsmoker.

Is flank liposuction the only way to get rid of love handles?

In addition to liposuction of the flanks, you can also try CoolSculpting, an FDA-approved, non-surgical procedure that removes stubborn body fat by freezing fat cells so the body can process and get rid of them naturally. CoolSculpting works on all areas of the body where stubborn body fat is commonly found.

Laser liposuction is another noninvasive procedure that uses a laser to get rid of fat cells. It usually involves less recovery time and is best for removing smaller sections of body fat than targeted by traditional liposuction.

Lutherville-Timonium, MD plastic surgeon Dr. Adam L. Basner has some advice for choosing between these procedures: “Laser lipo and CoolSculpting are appropriate for small areas when only a minor change is desired. Traditional liposuction is much more effective, with much greater results in all areas.”

Is flank liposuction right for me?

Overall, flank liposuction is an excellent choice when it comes to removing love handles and fat cells around the waist. You’ll need to be near your target weight and in good health. The risks are minimal, and the recovery process is relatively short.

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