Extended and Modified Tummy Tuck in Fredericksburg, VA

Dr. R. Shane Palmer is renowned in the plastic surgery field for his attention to detail and beautiful tummy tuck results. He is known for his expertise in working with patients who have a higher body mass index and have lost a substantial amount of weight. These factors have led him to be the preferred extended and modified tummy tuck surgeon in Washington DC, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Charlottesville and the surrounding areas of Virginia and Maryland. 

How Are Extended and Modified Tummy Tucks Different From a Standard Tummy Tuck?

An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a surgical procedure that can remove lax, sagging skin around the waistline and tighten the abdominal muscles, often following dramatic weight loss or pregnancy. An extended tummy tuck is performed on people with significantly more excess skin than a typical tummy tuck patient. A modified tummy tuck is performed on patients with a large apron of skin and fat that hangs below the waist.

Like a standard tummy tuck, candidates for these procedures typically have one or more of the concerns below. The extent to which you have these conditions will determine whether you are a better candidate for a standard, extended or modified tummy tuck.

  • Excess skin and fat around the belly button, abdomen or love handles
  • Weakened or stretched abdominal wall
  • Stretch marks in the lower abdomen

For anyone who is a tummy tuck candidate, these procedures can restore a taut, youthful appearance to the stomach and waistline that is unachievable through diet and exercise or any other type of procedure. 

How Is an Extended or Modified Tummy Tuck Performed?

During a standard tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made in the lower abdomen inside the bikini line, where any scarring from the procedure is relatively easy to hide. Excess skin is then excised and the remaining skin is redraped over the body, creating a smooth surface across the abdomen. This technique is intended to address a mild to moderate amount of hanging or excess skin.

An extended tummy tuck is similar to the standard tummy tuck, except that the incision continues around the hips to the buttocks to address a larger amount of excess skin. Dr. Palmer will make every effort to keep the scarring minimal, but prospective patients should be aware that it may be harder to hide the longer scar underneath clothing. An extended tummy tuck is often paired with liposuction to remove any small pockets of remaining fat in the area for even more dramatic results.

In the case of a modified tummy tuck, it is possible to have a standard incision inside the bikini line. A modified tummy tuck is performed instead of a panniculectomy to address severe draping of belly skin and fat, and is often coupled with abdominal muscle tightening. This technique is visually a much better approach to correcting an overhanging apron of skin than the traditional panniculectomy, which removes the pannus without concern for aesthetic appearance.

Dr. Palmer will explain the options thoroughly during your consultation and the two of you will decide which tummy tuck technique best fits your needs.

On the day of your procedure, Dr. Palmer recommends bringing a pair of typical underwear or a bikini to determine the ideal incision location and ensure a discreet incision placement. To minimize scarring further, he will utilize a newer technique called “progressive tension sutures” that reduces tension on the horizontal incision. This helps diminish the appearance of scars and creates a more natural aesthetic.

What Type of Anesthesia Is Used for an Extended or Modified Tummy Tuck?

Both procedures are performed in a surgical suite using intravenous sedation and tumescent local anesthesia. IV sedation generally allows for a quicker recovery and has fewer risks than general anesthesia. Tumescent local anesthesia is a solution injected into the treatment area that helps reduce pain and discomfort. It can last up to 18 hours, helping to relieve postsurgical pain.

You will be fully monitored throughout the entire process by Dr. Palmer and a skilled registered nurse who is both qualified and experienced with sedation procedures. Our office is proud of our 100 percent safety track record since our start in 2008. Throughout that time, we have never had to transfer a patient to a hospital, but it is an option, and protocols are in place should the need ever arrive.

What Is Extended or Modified Tummy Tuck Recovery Like?

Although it is a routine procedure, a tummy tuck of any variety is major surgery and the recovery reflects that. We require that all patients arrange for someone to drive them home after surgery and recommend having assistance with postoperative care for at least the first week.

Our office advises using the following items to reduce pain, swelling and discomfort after a tummy tuck:

  • A compression garment to support the abdomen and reduce swelling
  • A drainage tube to prevent fluid buildup
  • Pain, muscle spasm and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Nausea medication
  • A stool softener to prevent constipation.

You will need plenty of rest to ensure a safe recovery and should avoid lifting more than 25 pounds for the first six weeks. Our office also recommends planning for at least three weeks off from work.

You will return to our office for a series of follow-up appointments. These visits are typially scheduled after one day, one week, two weeks and then intermittently through three months, depending on the progress of your unique recovery. If you are traveling to our office, we recommend spending the first night in a hotel for easy travel to the first follow-up. Our office can assist you in making the arrangements if needed.

Most patients see full results within three months, but it can take up to six months for swelling to subside fully. An extended tummy tuck usually requires the longest recovery because the procedure is much more extensive.

What Kind of Results Can an Extended or Modified Tummy Tuck Achieve?

View Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos

An extended tummy tuck creates a slimmer, tauter appearance throughout the entire abdomen, hip and back area. Your waist will be much slimmer and the entire aesthetic of your body will be more balanced.

Since a modified tummy tuck focuses on hanging skin and fat in the belly, the results are noticeable mostly in the abdominal area. You can expect significantly less skin laxity and an overall slimmer appearance. You will also have much less scarring than an extended tummy tuck.

Are There Any Risks Involved With an Extended or Modified Tummy Tuck?

It is critical to keep in mind that there is risk involved with any surgery. Although rare, anesthesia complications, infection and poor wound healing are a possibility and should be considered when thinking about any tummy tuck variation.

The best way to minimize risk is to work with a board-certified surgeon who is highly experienced in body contouring procedures. Dr. Palmer is a board-certified surgeon and is also certified in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support.

If you choose an experienced professional and follow all pre- and postoperative instructions, your risk level is as low as possible.

Tummy Tuck Cost and Financing in Fredericksburg, VA

Surgical Arts of Virginia accepts payment by cash, personal check, money order, credit card and financing options like CareCredit®, United Medical Credit and Prosper™ Healthcare Lending.

Extended and modified abdominoplasties are a great way to address aesthetic issues affecting the abdomen. Dr. R. Shane Palmer offers several tummy tuck options for patients in Washington DC, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Richmond, Charlottesville and nearby Virginia communities. Contact Surgical Arts of Virginia today to schedule a free consultation.