Extended Tummy Tuck

Consultations offered at our four convenient locations in La Jolla, San Diego, Newport Beach and Beverly Hills

An extended tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and tightens the muscles of the abdomen, narrows the waistline, flattens the tummy, and improves the shape of the belly button. When a traditional tummy tuck is extended, the necessary incision wraps further around the lower waist to incorporate the flanks and lower back. For patients who have lost significant weight, extending the incision helps to contour the abdomen and sides for more effective aesthetic result

As one of America’s Only triple-board certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Richard Chaffoo of La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology performs countless cosmetic procedures with precision and attention to detail. Abdominoplasty is an intricate surgery that requires extensive knowledge of the human body, and Dr. Chaffoo is a surgeon you can trust. 

To schedule a tummy tuck consultation, please fill out this contact form. With locations in La Jolla, San Diego, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, and Beverly Hills, you can also reach us directly by calling (800) 373-4773.

Before and After Photos

About the Extended Tummy Tuck

The midsection of the body is a common area of concern for many individuals. Factors such as pregnancy, significant weight loss, and aging can lead to excess abdominal skin and weakened muscles, resulting in a loose and sagging tummy, excess skin causing a prominence of the lower tummy. Traditionally, the incision used for abdominoplasty runs along the lower waistline, right above the pubic area, from hip to hip.

For an extended procedure, the surgeon continues the incision towards the side and lower back, sometimes resulting in a scar that continues all the way around the body. This extended incision allows the surgeon to address loose skin along the sides and back, and it can be easily concealed as it lies directly below the bikini line. (1)

Massive Weight Loss Patients

Typically, patients who have undergone significant weight loss are left with large amounts of excess loose skin and extra fat around the abdomen that can be impossible to remove without surgical intervention. Excess tissue around this area can make patients self-conscious and can lower their self-esteem, but an extended tummy tuck can address this area safely and effectively

If excess tissue along the flanks is not removed or addressed during a traditional tummy tuck, patients can be left with a deformity called a “dog ear.” Longer incisions can prevent this from happening, while also resulting in better, more complete contouring for patients. (1)

Liposuction is commonly performed during tummy tucks to remove extra fat without disrupting critical blood vessels and nerves. If Dr. Chaffoo decides this step is necessary, he will factor this into your procedure. Liposuction can be extremely helpful when contouring the abdomen, especially for patients who have excess tissue around the flanks and lower back.

Though performing liposuction can’t always completely remove enough fat to produce the results patients anticipate, it is a great addition to a tummy tuck because of how much tissue is already being removed. The accuracy of liposuction can help surgeons create even better shape without causing large amounts of trauma to the surrounding tissues.

Benefits of an Extended Tummy Tuck

Some benefits that patients experience after an extended tummy tuck are:

  • Improved abdominal contour
  • Supportive abdominal muscles and wall
  • Smaller natural waistline
  • Decreased back pain
  • Reduced skin issues 
  • Improved quality of life
  • Easier time fitting into clothes
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem

Excess skin and fat around the abdomen can cause irritation, sometimes causing pain or even infection for patients. An extended tummy tuck can address these problems and many more when performed by an experienced and competent triple board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Chaffoo. To learn more about abdominoplasty and other cosmetic surgeries he commonly performs, give our blog a read. 

Ideal Candidates

An extended tummy tuck is perfect for those with loose, cumbersome tissue that collects around their abdomen, sides, and lower back. If you have recently given birth or lost a large amount of weight, this procedure can create a smooth and toned abdomen while also contouring your “love handles.” 

To be a good candidate for this procedure, you must also be in good overall health. If you have been losing weight leading up to your procedure, we also require that you reach a stable weight that is maintained for at least 6 months prior to your surgery date. This procedure also corrects separated abdominal muscles, a condition known as diastasis recti, something that can happen during both pregnancy and periods of excessive weight gain. Patients who are unhappy with their abdomen and have severe skin laxity may be good candidates for this surgery. You must also have reasonable expectations about what an extended tummy tuck can achieve aesthetically.

Personal Consultation

Dr. Chaffoo will meet with you privately to discuss the procedure in detail. He will perform an extensive physical examination and necessary tests to make sure you are in good health. Your consultation is also the best time for you to ask any questions about the procedure, including what your recovery will look like. Dr. Chaffoo will fully prepare you for your extended tummy tuck by explaining your complete treatment plan.

At the end of this meeting, a member of our staff will assist you with scheduling your surgery date. Please be sure to assess the best time for you to take time off of work to allow for your recovery.

How Can I Best Prepare for an Extended Tummy Tuck?

If you are a smoker, you must avoid tobacco and nicotine consumption for at least 6 weeks before your surgery date. The chemical components of these substances can greatly hinder your ability to heal optimally. Dr. Chaffoo may also ask you to alter your daily medications or add new ones to your routine. Please refrain from using any anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin as these medications can cause excessive bleeding during and after your procedure. 

We require you to find someone you trust to drive you to and from our facility. You must also carefully read and follow any instructions from Dr. Chaffoo in order to have a successful procedure and beautiful results.

Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure

Dr. Chaffoo will begin by marking your abdomen to determine the tissue to be removed. This involves a detailed examination of the abdomen, including gentle manipulation of the skin. Once the preoperative marking is complete, a board certified anesthesiologist will prepare you for surgery and administer general anesthesia to keep you completely comfortable during your procedure. All our plastic surgery procedures are performed in our state of the art licensed and fully accredited outpatient surgery center staffed by some of the top MD anesthesiologists in San Diego. Dr. Chaffoo places patient safety as his top priority for everyone under his care. His focus is upon exceptional results with his renowned surgical team.

After infiltrating the abdomen, Dr. Chaffoo starts the tummy tuck by making his incisions. Depending on how far the incision must extend, this may be done starting below the belly button near the pubic area, or at the flanks. This will be determined by Dr. Chaffoo prior to starting the surgery. 

Dr. Chaffoo addresses separated muscles once the abdominal flap is created. They are carefully measured and sutured back into place by Dr. Chaffoo, then the abdominal tissue is redraped. After assessing, he removes the extra tissue and sutures the waist incisions. He then repositions the belly button and creates a new opening in the tissue that is now in place. Dr. Chaffoo sutures the naval into its new position, cleans and bandages the abdomen, and dresses you with a compression garment to preserve your results. (2)

An extended tummy tuck can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to complete depending on the patient’s treatment plan.


Abdominoplasty often requires the use of small drains to remove built-up fluid. Dr. Chaffoo will provide care instructions that explain how to empty them and keep them clean. After you wake up from anesthesia, you will be swollen and your abdomen will feel tight. Once at home, it is important to take short but frequent walks to prevent blood clotting during the early stages of recovery.

It’s important to keep hydrated while healing. Elevate your legs and upper body while sleeping to keep tension off your incision, and contact us if you notice anything unusual like excessive swelling or any bleeding. Abdominoplasty is extensive surgery, but you should be able to control your discomfort with medications prescribed by Dr. Chaffoo.

Most patients take 2 to 3 weeks off of work. Make sure to inform your employer beforehand.


Even though you will be swollen, your results should be apparent immediately. Make sure to wear your compression garment for as long as instructed, and your results will be beautiful and long-lasting. Your abdomen will be smoother and tighter, and the muscle sutures will reconstruct your waist. Clothes will fit better and you will be able to enjoy your flat tummy as long as you keep a healthy diet and exercise routine once fully healed.

Corresponding Procedure – Body Lift 

We also offer a combination of body contouring procedures referred to as a body lift here at La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology. This complicated surgery can contour and lift the following areas:

  • Buttocks
  • Tummy
  • Waist
  • Hips
  • Thighs

This procedure can help patients achieve an aesthetically pleasing body shape after weight loss, pregnancy, giving birth, or other body-altering circumstances. If you have issues with multiple parts of your body and are looking for a comprehensive solution, ask Dr. Chaffoo about body lifts during your consultation. 

Cost of Extended Tummy Tuck in Southern California

We will give you a complete cost breakdown during your private consultation. 

You may schedule your extended tummy tuck consultation today by calling (800) 373-4773 or by filling out our convenient contact form. Or you can visit any one of our offices in La Jolla, San Diego, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, and Beverly Hills to talk to us about the procedure. 


  1. Sadeghi P, Duarte-Bateman D, Ma W, et al. Post-Bariatric Plastic Surgery: Abdominoplasty, the State of the Art in Body Contouring. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2022;11(15):4315. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154315
  2. Shestak KC. The Extended Abdominoplasty. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2014;41(4):705-713. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cps.2014.07.001