Extended Tummy Tuck In Auckland New Zealand

An extended tummy tuck is a medical procedure that is performed by removing excess skin from the abdominal region, hips region, and the sides of the flanks, more commonly known as love handles. The purpose of the extended tummy tuck is to sculpt the abdominal, back, and hip region to give them a more defined and firmer appearance. An extended abdominoplasty, it recontours the upper body after massive weight loss. It is an expanded version of standard abdominoplasty or full tummy tuck in which only the excess skin in the abdominal region is removed.

Extended Tummy Tuck Benefits

Download Dr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Tummy Tuck Surgery – Abdominoplasty

Guide Tummy Tuck

Am I a Good Candidate for Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure?

Please NOTE: Dr Gittos only performs surgery on non-smoker patients with a BMI less than 28. To check your BMI please visit the NZ Heart Foundation website. For help giving up smoking before surgery visit the Smoke Free website

An Extended Tummy Tuck is performed after massive weight loss which can leave behind daggy and droopy skin that affects the appearance of the body. A standard abdominoplasty cannot be performed in all cases as it may result in a well-defined abdominal region with saggy hips, back or even thighs. You are an ideal candidate for the extended tummy tuck procedure if you are a non-smoker, physically healthy, have lost a significant amount of weight resulting in excess skin, and have a stable weight. An extended tummy tuck surgery is a perfect procedure for you especially if you have excess skin on your back and hip region.

Benefits of the Tummy Surgery

Extended Tummy Tuck Procedure has several cosmetic and psychological benefits. The procedure removes and tightens the skin on your back, hips, and thigh to give it a contoured and firm appearance.

The enhanced appearance of the upper body is bound to give you the confidence boost you need and improve your self-image significantly. Getting this procedure and improving your silhouette guarantees to improve your personal and social life by increasing your self-worth and esteem.

Book a consultation now with Dr Gittos to further discuss the benefits and decide if this is the procedure of choice for you.

Surgical Procedure and Steps

The extended tummy tuck procedure is an effective procedure that is performed under general anesthesia and it usually can take up to four hours.

  • Dr Gittos will initially perform a standard abdominoplasty by making a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen, close to the pubic bone, and an incision around the umbilicus or the belly button.
  • Abdominal muscles may also be sutured and tightened during this procedure if they have been damaged or have been torn.
  • After tightening the muscles, your surgeon will then excise the excess skin and close the incision.
  • You will then be turned to your side for the same procedure to be performed on your flank and back.
  • However, when operating on the flanks and back, muscle repair is not done as it is not necessary.
  • After completing the process on one side, you will then be turned to the other side for the exact same process to be repeated.
  • Your surgeon will also place drainage tubes in your abdominal cavity to ensure that fluid and blood do not accumulate there.

The procedure will typically result in a tight and taut physical appearance of the body.

Risks and Complications of an Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck carries the same risks as a standard tummy tuck.

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Accumulation of blood under the skin (hematoma)
  • Fluid accumulation, also known as a seroma
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Numbness of the abdominal skin, usually temporary
  • Excessive scarring
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Persistent pain

For more information about risks of surgery visit our RISKS webpage

Your Extended Tummy Tuck Journey


This is the first step in your extended tummy tuck journey. During this phase, your plastic surgeon will assess and evaluate your excess skin to decide if an extended tummy tuck is a right choice for you.

Your surgeon will also take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to ensure that you are physically healthy. You must also be at your target weight and not planning on gaining or losing any more weight.

You must be a non-smoker and if you aren’t, your surgeon will help you get rid of this habit before going further along your extended tummy tuck journey.

You must be really candid and realistic with your surgeon about your goals and expectations from the surgery. This helps the surgeon achieve those results for you. In fact, after this discussion, your surgeon may recommend a few associated procedures to guarantee that your desired results are being achieved.


The procedure is performed in the hospital with an overnight stay to ensure everything has gone smoothly. The extended tummy tuck procedure may take up to three to four hours and is usually performed under general anesthesia.

Your surgeon will make three incisions to perform this surgery;

  • An incision around the umbilicus or belly button
  • An incision in the lower abdomen to perform standard abdominoplasty
  • Incisions in the lower part of the flank, on both sides, to remove and tighten excess skin in the hips and back region.

After the surgery, your surgeon will place drainage tubes to prevent fluid or blood accumulation.

Recovery after Extended Tummy Tuck

After the surgery, you will spend at least one day in the hospital to recover before being allowed to go back home. Recovery from an extended tummy tuck is very similar to the recovery from a standard tummy tuck procedure.

The recovery phase typically has some swelling, bruising and mild discomfort. Dr Gittos will prescribe pain medications for you to help with the side effects that are commonly seen within the first week. Your drainage tubes will be removed around week one after the surgery and until then, you should refrain from having a shower. The swelling and bruising will eventually subside by the sixth week.

You should refrain from doing any strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks to avoid delaying and complicating the healing process. You may perform light exercises, which do not put any pressure on the incisions, after the third week but it is best you talk to your surgeon before starting any exercises.

The recovery phase marks the end of your extended tummy tuck surgery and is characterized by mild discomfort, bruising, and swelling all of which subside by six weeks. Your drainage tubes will be removed by week one and until then it is best that you take time off of work and have a friend help you with everyday tasks.

You should refrain from any sort of physical activity that may put pressure on the incision and delay wound healing.

For more tips about recovery after surgery – visit our recovery webpage

Frequently Asked Questions

Does extended tummy tuck include love handles?

  • An extensive tummy tuck removes excess skin from your abdominal and flank region to tighten up the entire upper body and give it a well-contoured appearance. The excess skin and some stubborn fat in the flanks are what is referred to as love handles and they are also excised by this procedure.

What is the difference between an extended tummy tuck and a lower body lift?

  • An extensive tummy tuck is the removal of excess fat and skin from the abdominal, flanks, and hip regions. A lower body lift is the removal of excess skin and underlying fat from the thighs, hips, flanks, and buttocks.
  • Drastic changes in the upper and lower body are made possible with a lower body lift procedure while an extended tummy tuck only improves the appearance of the upper body at best.

What is the difference between an extended tummy tuck and a 360 tummy tuck?

  • An extensive tummy tuck is responsible for recontouring the abdomen, hips, and flank region with an incision that runs vertically from one hip bone to the other.
  • A 360 tummy tuck is responsible for dramatic re-contouring of the entire back, hips, abdomen, and flanks all in one procedure with an incision that goes all the way around in a circle, as the name aptly describes.

What are flanks?

  • The flanks are the side region of your body between the ribs and the hip.

How many sizes do you lose with an extended tummy tuck?

  • An extensive tummy tuck removes excess skin and may remove some fat along with it however, the amount of fat removed is very little and will have very little effect on your size.

Can an overweight person have an extended tummy tuck?

  • Yes, an overweight person can have an extensive tummy tuck procedure as far as they have hit their ideal weight. Another option is to have an extended tummy tuck procedure and liposuction together when you are close to reaching the ideal weight.

What is the maximum BMI for an extended tummy tuck?

  • An ideal BMI, which is the measure of your body fat calculated using your weight and height, for the extended tummy tuck procedure is less than 30. If your BMI falls between 30 and 35, you may still be able to undergo an extended tummy tuck procedure as far as you have no other medical conditions and are completely healthy. If your BMI is above 35, losing weight first is recommended to ensure the best results of the procedure can be achieved. Losing weight first also makes the procedure much safer for you.
  • Book a consultation with our Dr Gittos to assess your BMI and make an informed decision about your tummy tuck procedure.

Do extended tummy tucks leave big scars?

  • The scars from an extensive tummy tuck are in the shape of a vertical line along the lower abdomen. However, these scars can be easily hidden by your underwear or bikini bottoms.

Combined Surgery – Procedures that can be done with a Tummy Tuck

  • Liposuction

This surgical procedure is beneficial to remove some excess stubborn fat that just may not go away despite all your efforts. Having liposuction, more commonly known as lipo, with an extended tummy tuck further enhances the contours of your abdomen, hips, back, and thighs.

  • Thigh Lift

Thigh Lift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the thighs to give them a firm and toned appearance. Having just a standard abdominoplasty or even an extended tummy tuck after a massive weight loss just enhances the appearance of part of your body.

There might still be excess skin on the rest of your body that may hinder your personal and social life. This is exactly why a thigh lift is often performed along with an extended tummy tuck procedure.

  • Breast Surgery

Further Medical Reading

Finding an Extended Tummy Tuck Surgeon in New Zealand

It is important to research your Surgeon’s qualifications and experience before deciding on your Surgeon. Make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon. Always seek a second opinion.

Why choose Dr. Mark Gittos?

Dr. Mark Gittos is a highly skilled and well-trained specialist plastic surgeon with more than 20 years of experience in the field. He has received his training from the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Australia. He is currently based in Auckland. He puts his patient’s satisfaction first and tries to perform each surgery with state of the art technologies and methods to ensure that desired results are achieved.

About Dr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – New Zealand Plastic Surgeon 

Practice locations in Herne Bay Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – Kerikeri, Whangarei, New Plymouth & Tauranga

Dr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in Herne Bay, Auckland and in the UK. The practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.

Dr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years.  With worldwide expertise Dr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women. 

Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.


Please NOTE: Dr Gittos only performs surgery on non-smoker patients with a BMI less than 30. To check your BMI please visit the NZ Heart Foundation website. For help giving up smoking before surgery visit the Smoke Free website

Do your Research

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • Dress in simple clothes as you may need to undress for examination
  • Bring your medical referral and any relevant medical documents or test results

Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Email us or Call on 09 529 5352 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • Book a consultation with Dr Gittos by paying the Consultation Fee – $350 incl GST

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Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone  09 529 5352  during Clinic Hours