Liposuction to the flanks, or “love handles,” is a popular procedure for men and women. It can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures.
The flanks are located on either side of the lower abdomen, just above the hip bones. They are commonly referred to as “love handles” because they are often the last place to go when weight loss occurs.
The procedure involves inserting a cannula into the subcutaneous tissue of the flank and suctioning out fat cells. A small incision is made on each side of the body to allow access to the fatty tissue. Liposuction is usually performed under local anesthesia and recovery time is usually 1-2 weeks depending on how much fat was removed from each side of the body.
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Lipo To Flanks With Tummy Tuck
- 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.
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.
Tummy Tuck With Lipo 360
Tummy Tuck 360 is an advanced approach to body sculpting. As you can see in before-and-after photos, Tummy Tuck 360 literally sculpts the body to create waist definition, defined curves, and a flat tummy. A tummy tuck 360 can correct excess abdominal skin and fat while simultaneously using High Definition Liposuction to define a pre-conceived ideal form.
A Comprehensive Tummy Tuck Procedure
Like a sculptor considers all sides and angles of their pieces, the 360 Tummy Tuck procedure treats the body circumferentially. Unlike traditional tummy tuck surgery in which the patient is simply on their back, the patient is turned during the procedure to define the waist and literally shape the body from all sides. It would be impossible to “sculpt” if the subject is only in one position.
By removing the fatty tissue from different areas, the underlying anatomy can be defined. For example, the fatty tissue in the lower back blunts the waist and creates a squareness to the buttocks. By understanding the anatomy three-dimensionally, the “frame,” the muscular definition can be uncovered to reveal natural curves. The results you see are not the result of weight loss. The dramatic change in the body is the result of removing fat selectively to reveal the body underneath.
It is often confusing with all the different “types” of liposuction machines (including ultrasound-assisted, laser lipo, tickle lipo, power-assisted, or water-assisted liposuction) to understand how each liposuction technique is different. It is also confusing to understand how Tummy Tuck 360 with High Definition Liposuction is different from traditional liposuction.
Simply put, High Definition Liposuction is a completely different approach to liposuction. Traditional liposuction surgery removes fat. Each “type” or machine uses some type of energy (heat, laser, ultrasonic, water-jet, vibration, nutational energy) to make it easier to mobilize and remove fat. Some work faster, some require longer recovery. All “types” of liposuction have the same goal: fat removal.
High Definition Liposuction is a sculpting approach, not a reductive procedure. Fat is layered on the body frame and muscles. The fatty tissue layer under the skin provides essential padding but also defines curves. The High Definition liposuction approach starts with the end in mind: the desired shape after recovery. The approach is to start with the imagined result in mind and remove fat as needed to define the natural curves for each woman’s body.
Dr. Ditesheim’s technique for tummy tuck 360s involves both the surgical removal of excess skin and excess fat and the tightening of loose abdominal muscles, and can also be used in a mini tummy tuck or extended tummy tuck. However, by applying the sculpting principle and body contouring procedures of High Definition Liposuction to abdominoplasty surgery, the patient is treated in different positions (on the back, on the tummy, or on the side) to continuously shape the body from every angle.
Many Tummy Tuck 360 procedures include not only abdominoplasty techniques but also liposuction to safely and effectively reveal muscle definition and create a fully contoured treatment area.
In some cases, fat may be added (for example, to the buttocks or breasts) to enhance shape. Fat transfer using High Definition Liposuction can also be used in standalone plastic surgery procedures such as a Brazilian butt lift or natural breast augmentation.
Liposuction And Tummy Tuck Difference
If you’re carrying extra weight around your midsection that you can’t seem to lose, you may be considering plastic surgery to help you get the lean physique you’re after. Lipo and tummy tucks are two popular procedures to address these concerns, but what are the differences between the two surgeries? In this post, we’ll talk about the differences between the two and how to tell which is right for you.
First, it’s important to know that these are not weight loss surgeries. Both liposuction and a tummy tuck are meant to sculpt the body, not reduce your weight.
What is Involved in a Tummy Tuck
During a tummy tuck, Dr. Ortiz will make a horizontal incision across your hips, between your pubic area and belly button. This incision allows him to repair the muscles by pulling them together and stitching them with medical-grade nylon.
Once the muscles are repaired, excess skin is trimmed away and the remaining skin is sutured together. The result is a flatter, smoother stomach with a faint scar across the hip area. The results of a tummy tuck can be permanent with proper diet and exercise. Substantial weight gain will undo the results of your tummy tuck.
Tummy tucks are more intensive procedures than liposuction. While lipo only removes excess fat, a tummy tuck reconstructs the muscles of the abdomen and removes excess skin.
Who is a Tummy Tuck For?
Tummy tucks are ideal for healthy people who have stubborn fat on their midsection that they cannot lose with diet and exercise. If your abdomen is sagging or protruding due to age, pregnancy, weight loss, or prior surgeries and you have no other health conditions, you are likely a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
What is Involved in Liposuction
Liposuction is a far less invasive procedure than a tummy tuck. It can be performed on almost any part of the body that has excess fat: the stomach, back, arms, legs, and even under the chin.
During the procedure, a solution of saline, water, and anesthesia is injected into the fat cells to be removed. Then, using a cannula similar to an IV needle, the fat is sucked out. The result is a more sculpted figure.
Unlike a tummy tuck, liposuction does not remove excess skin. This is why it is best suited for removal of small fat deposits. In addition, it’s important to know that liposuction is not a weight loss surgery and you will not lose drastic amounts of weight with this procedure.
The removal of the fat cells is permanent, but lipo does not prevent you from gaining weight in the future. You will need to maintain your new figure with diet and exercise.
Who is Lipo For?
Like a tummy tuck, a healthy person with stubborn fat deposits that do not respond to diet or exercise is likely a good candidate for liposuction.
Which is Right For Me: a Tummy Tuck or Lipo?
If loose skin is a concern for you, a tummy tuck will give you the best results.
If you simply have small pockets of fat around your midsection that you’d like to address, liposuction is probably the best option for you.