Extended Tummy Tuck

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ

An extended tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes skin and tissue from the front and sides of the abdomen. Unlike traditional tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), this surgery lengthens the incision past the hips and toward the lower back to further restore a patient’s contour. Meant for those who have lost significant weight or experienced pregnancy, an extended tummy tuck also tightens the abdominal musculature to improve a patient’s core strength. Extending the typical hip-to-hip incision allows surgeons to remove more tissue and better restore the flanks while avoiding the “dog ear” deformity. (1)

Dr. Robert G. Bonillas performs professional and safe extended tummy tucks for patients at Scottsdale Plastics. He and his team take pride in informing and focusing on each individual who seeks cosmetic surgery. Dr. Bonillas’ empathy and attention to detail are immediately noticeable upon meeting him for your private consultation. To schedule a one-on-one appointment, call our Scottsdale office at (480) 245-6380 or fill out our convenient online contact form for more details.

Before and After Photos

What is an Extended Tummy Tuck?

After weight loss, tummy tucks are the most desired type of body contouring. They cause dramatic changes to the abdomen and often greatly increase a patient’s confidence. (2) During a traditional tummy tuck, a surgeon places an incision along the lower waistline starting at one hip and spanning horizontally across to the other. For patients with larger amounts of excess skin around the abdomen and sides, this incision is lengthened to perform an extended tummy tuck.

By extending the incision, Dr. Bonillas can target the flanks as well as the front of the abdomen. For those who have lost large amounts of weight rapidly, the skin and tissue in this area often cannot tighten around the new body shape quickly enough. (2) This leaves patients with frustrating excess tissue that hangs around their lower waistline, making clothing uncomfortable and causing irritation. A more traditional tummy tuck targets the front of the abdomen to tighten this tissue, but an extended approach is more comprehensive and necessary to address “love handles.”

Benefits of an Extended Tummy Tuck

The benefits of an extended tummy tuck include:

  • Improved abdominal contour
  • Slimmer waistline
  • Stronger core
  • Flatter abdominal wall
  • Improved skin quality
  • Repaired abdominal muscles
  • Removal of stubborn fat
  • Tightens loose skin
  • Easily-hidden incision/scar
  • May remove some stretch marks

This extended procedure contours the upper and lower abdomen, waist, and flanks. Dr. Bonillas can even lift the upper portion of the thighs when necessary. It aims to reshape the abdomen and tighten the core to provide patients with a sleeker, slimmer figure to improve self-esteem and body confidence.

Ideal Candidates for Extended Tummy Tuck

If you have recently gone through massive weight loss, you may make a good candidate for an extended tummy tuck. You have excess skin and tissue surrounding your midsection that causes distress or makes you self-conscious. You may even experience physical symptoms like skin irritation or back pain due to the unnecessary weight of extra tissue.

Candidates must maintain a consistent weight for 8 to 12 months before undergoing an extended tummy tuck. If your weight is still heavily fluctuating, any significant change can negatively affect your results. You must be in good overall health and free of serious medical conditions that impair your ability to heal. You must also have reasonable expectations and reachable cosmetic desires to qualify.

Personal Consultation with Dr. Bonillas

Dr. Bonillas will meet with you for a private consultation before scheduling your surgery. During this meeting, he will inquire about your medical history and current medications to gain a better understanding of your situation. He will perform an extensive and meticulous examination of the treatment area to determine your candidacy and current health. Dr. Bonillas will perform all necessary blood tests and labs to make sure you are fit for surgery.

He will then carefully explain the procedure process and what your surgery will entail. A member of Scottsdale Plastics’ staff will then assist you in scheduling your procedure and follow-up appointments with Dr. Bonillas. They will also provide detailed preparation instructions to make sure you are ready.


You must quit smoking tobacco and nicotine product consumption at least 1 month before your surgery date as this increases your risk of complications. Limit your alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water to promote hydration. If you regularly take NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen, please discontinue their use.

To best prepare for surgery, please:

  • Schedule time off of work
  • Create a comfortable recovery space
  • Make easy-to-prepare meals
  • Ask a trusted friend to drive you
  • Acquire childcare
  • Pick up prescriptions beforehand

Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure

Dr. Bonillas starts the procedure by marking your midsection and planning out his approach. Depending on your situation, he meticulously measures the appropriate incision length that will accommodate your cosmetic needs. Next, his surgical team administers general and local anesthesia to keep you comfortable during your extended tummy tuck. He then makes his incision along the bikini line. It is at this point in the process that he carefully outlines your belly button and detaches it from the surrounding tissue. He avoids disconnecting it from the important blood vessels and nerves it needs during this process. Once the belly button incision is made, he then begins undermining the excess tissue of the abdomen beneath the high waist. Dr. Bonillas makes his way toward the muscle layer carefully, then sutures the abdominal muscles back into their natural position if they shifted during weight gain. Next, he removes the excess tissue and redrapes the remaining skin tighter around the abdomen.

Dr. reconstructs the belly button by keeping the natural positioning and pulling the navel through the newly placed tissue. He then sutures the area with precision. To finish the procedure, he sutures the abdominal tissue into place with layers of internal stitches starting in the deep fascia. This keeps tension off of the outermost sutures to promote smooth healing. An extended tummy tuck typically takes 3 to 5 hours to complete.


After you wake up from anesthesia, your surgical team will monitor you until you are cleared to go home. You may have drains on either side of your incision to extract fluid, and Dr. Bonillas provides detailed instructions on how to care for them. Once you are safely home, it is important to rest as much as possible to promote optimal healing. You should go on short and gentle walks to improve blood flow. Do not stretch or reach above your head until your incision heals. Putting tension on the incision can negatively impact the healing process and result in unpleasant scarring.

Dr. Bonillas provides a compression garment that must be worn at all times until otherwise directed. This greatly reduces swelling and preserves your results throughout the healing process. Drink plenty of water and take at least 1 week off of work to relax. Take all prescribed medications as instructed and do not drive until you are completely finished with them.

Results of an Extended Tummy Tuck

Swelling will distort your results for 2 to 3 months after your extended tummy tuck. As you heal, your waist will appear slimmer and your abdomen wall will smooth out with time. This procedure addresses the entirety of the waist, slimming your sides as well. This results in a toned midsection that is long-lasting and noticeable. To maintain your results, please maintain healthy dietary choices and a consistent exercise routine to keep your contour.

Since this procedure promotes an overall structured contour, you may feel more comfortable in your body afterward. This will help to motivate you to live a healthy and active lifestyle, making maintaining your new physique more simple and obtainable.

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures

Body Lift

After massive weight loss or bodily changes, patients often focus their contouring on their biggest insecurities. With a body lift, Dr. Bonillas can contour a larger area of the body within one procedure. There are three main approaches to this procedure:

  • Lower Body Lift: focuses on contouring the lower torso, abdomen, hips, and lower back with a circumferential incision
  • Upper Body Lift: addresses loose skin around the upper back, chest, and arms
  • Total Body Lift: a combination of the upper and lower body lift procedures for total body contouring and tissue removal

This procedure is particularly appealing for patients who experience massive weight loss. Especially if their weight shifts rapidly, their skin and tissue do not have proper time to shrink back around their new shape. Body Lifts by Dr. Bonillas tackle multiple areas to help patients regain confidence and appreciate their body’s new and improved contour.

How Much Does an Extended Tummy Tuck Cost in Scottsdale?

Extended tummy tucks are complicated and lengthy procedures. Each patient receives a customized treatment plan made for them specifically by Dr. Bonillas. The total procedure cost is dependent on each patient’s individual circumstances.

Dr. Bonillas explains the total cost for this procedure during initial consultations. To schedule an appointment with him today, contact us online or call our Scottsdale office at (480) 245-6380.

If you are curious about other body contouring procedures performed by Dr. Bonillas, feel free to read our blog, Beauty Talk, for more information.


  1. Restifo RJ. Abdominoplasty in the Massive Weight Loss Patient: Are Aesthetic Goals and Safety Mutually Exclusive? Aesthetic Surgery Journal Open Forum. 2021;3(2). doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/asjof/ojab013
  2. 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