For individuals who have contour problems without a lot of loose skin, a mini abdominoplasty may be a good alternative to the more invasive techniques used in a traditional abdominoplasty. A mini abdominoplasty can consist of any of the following various procedures: liposuction, limited skin excision, and tightening lower abdominal muscles. The surgeon can tailor the mini abdominoplasty procedure to address the specific problems the patient would like to have fixed, such as laxity in the lower abdominal muscles.
Mini-tummy tucks are typically performed under general anesthesia. During mini-abdominoplasty, your surgeon will make a small incision directly above the pubic region. He or she will cut away loose skin and may perform liposuction in conjunction to remove excess fat. As compared to a full tummy tuck, the belly button should not have to be repositioned. The incisions are closed with small sutures and small drains are usually inserted to eliminate fluid buildup. Elastic bandages are then applied to the area and secured. The mini abdominoplasty does not manage as much excess skin as the standard abdominoplasty, and is generally unable to address laxity in the upper abdominal muscles. However, mini abdominoplasty is ideal for typical complaints of lower abdominal sagging and is popular among women who are combating the effects of pregnancy.
Because mini-abdominoplasty is significantly less invasive than a full tummy tuck, patients enjoy a much shorter recovery period with less discomfort. Any post-operative discomfort in the days following surgery can be controlled with pain medication.
Mini-tummy tuck patients will need to wear a compression garment during the healing period, which may last about two to three weeks after surgery. Sutures should be removed in a few weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within two weeks. Activities, including heavy lifting and strenuous exercise, should be avoided for a few weeks. However, walking and other light exercise should be resumed as soon as possible after surgery to help speed the recovery process and minimize complications.
The benefits associated with mini-abdominoplasty are significant. Perhaps most importantly, the procedure is significantly less invasive than a full tummy tuck. This makes the procedure an excellent option for patients who cannot take a lengthy break from work and other activities. The mini-tummy tuck procedure also results in significantly less scarring than a full abdominoplasty. There is no scar around the belly button and no drain scars. The incision is shorter and the scar is usually better.
Additionally, the procedure is open to a wider range of patients. This surgery is also safe for patients who may not be candidates for full abdominoplasty due to pre-existing scarring from a previous procedure, such as a gall bladder removal.
It is not recommended, as the benefits of the procedure will likely be undone.
Not a significant amount of weight. It’s important to remember that tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure but a body contouring treatment.
While full tummy tuck usually takes about two to three hours, mini tummy tuck can be done more quickly, since the treatment area is limited to underneath the belly button.
Surgery takes between 1-2 hours depending on the size of the patient and areas of liposuction being performed at the same sitting. The surgery is outpatient unless the patient has particular needs that require a one night hospital stay.
Most patients return to activities of daily living within a week after a mini-abdominoplasty and within 10-14 days after a full tummy tuck. Swelling will persist for up to 6 months. Patients can resume gentle exercise after three weeks and increase the amount as tolerated.
As with any surgical procedure there are risks of infection and bleeding that can occur.Specific risks of abdominoplasty include deep vein thrombosis (clot formation) in the legs and resultant pulmonary embolus, which can be a serious complication. It is imperative that patients are up and walking the day after the surgery to minimize this risk. Other risks include wound separation and numbness above the pubis that lasts up to a year.
General or spinal anesthesia is necessary for these procedures.
The skin between the umbilicus and the pubis is removed in a full tummy tuck, along with liposuction of the abdomen and tightening of the muscles of the abdomen. In a mini-tummy tuck, liposuction is performed but only a few inches of the skin of the lower portion of the abdomen are removed. This procedure is best for the few patients who have minimal skin laxity.
The tightening of the muscles leads to a cramping type of pain that is best relieved using a combination of pain medications. The discomfort is usually less by the third day after surgery.