Mini Tummy Tuck Vs. Full Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck differs from a traditional, full tummy tuck with regard to the size of the incision as well as the targeted area. The mini tummy tuck comprises only a single incision to the lower abdomen while a traditional tummy tuck requires multiple incisions during surgery — due to the more invasive nature of the traditional tummy procedure, resulting scarring may be more significant than with a mini tummy tuck. In addition, the mini tummy tuck is performed to remove loose skin and tighten muscles below the belly button, while a full tummy tuck is performed to address and remove loose skin and excess tissues from the entire abdominal region. Full abdominoplasty also requires this modification to the belly button while a mini abdominoplasty does not require the belly button to be repositioned. Those who require a more significant degree of fat and excess skin in the abdomen may require full tummy tuck surgery. Contact our plastic surgery office for more information and to determine which procedure is best for you — schedule a consultation today for plastic surgery in Gainesville, FL.
What Is Involved In A Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure?
The mini tummy tuck procedure is limited to supra-pubic skin removal — skin above the public area — and fat through various surgical techniques, such as liposuction. This procedure is typically performed while the patient is under general anesthesia and the surgery typically requires two to three hours to complete. Once the patient is sedated, our Gainesville plastic surgeon makes one short incision across the lower stomach (similar to that of a C-section) to access the underlying muscles and then aspirate the abdominal fat, remove supra-pubic skin redundancy, and, in cases of muscle flaccidity, the surgeon removes the medial portion of the abdominal skin. Finally, the skin is sutured with the umbilicus preserved. Surgical bandages are used to cover the incision site. Compression clothing or elastic bandages may also be provided to help reduce swelling and support the abdominal muscles during recovery.
How To Prepare For Mini Abdominoplasty
Prior to the neck lift procedure, patients will discuss with our plastic surgeon their goals for cosmetic plastic surgery as well as their medical history, general health, skin condition, previous surgeries, and scarring tendency, among a number of additional details pertinent to the patient’s desired outcome for plastic surgery. Our surgeon will also discuss with the patient the options for augmentation of the lower abdomen with additional procedures; inspect, photograph, and measure the abdomen and lower abdomen; discuss the likely outcomes of a mini tummy tuck, as well as any potential risks or complications; and determine the type of sedation that will be used during the procedure. Once the surgery is scheduled, patients will be provided with specific preparation instructions to optimize the results of their impending procedure as well as instructions and prescriptions for post-operative care.
What Are The Risks Of A Mini Tummy Tuck?
As with any cosmetic procedure, there are risks of which all patients should be aware. The vast majority of patients who undergo mini tummy tuck surgery do not experience a significant degree of side effects following the surgery. However, each patient is unique, and as such, the following side effects may be applicable.
- Prolonged swelling
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Infection of incision site
- Unfavorable scarring
- Skin irregularities and discoloration
- Changes to skin sensation
- Poor healing of wounds
During the consultation, each patient will be able to further discuss with the plastic surgeon the possible risks associated with mini abdominoplasty and voice any potential concerns they may have about the procedure. Confidence and satisfaction of our patients are among the most important aspects of plastic surgery within our practice — our goal is to ensure each patient is comfortable and confident throughout each step of their procedure.
Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery
With regard to mini tummy tuck recovery, the healing process begins immediately following surgery. Patients should expect minor soreness, swelling, bruising, and temporary changes in sensation within and around the surgical site. Patients may return to work within two weeks of the procedure, but they may not be able to perform any type of strenuous activity until 4-6 weeks following surgery. Gentle walking and movement is encouraged to help promote adequate post-surgical healing. Soreness will likely last for several weeks. Patients will wear a fitted garment following surgery to help the body heal appropriately.
Drains may also be placed at the time of surgery to promote proper drainage of any fluids from the surgical site. Stitches placed during the surgery will dissolve over time and will not need to be removed after surgery. Because the operation involves tightening the abdominal muscles, patients will be asked to keep a slightly flexed position at the waist — walking slightly hunched over — for a predetermined amount of time after the surgery. During this time, patients may want to place a pillow under their knees while in bed to ease any pressure from the incision. For more information about recovery requirements, contact our office today.
Candidates For Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck may be an ideal option for patients who are healthy, at a stable weight, and without a large excess of abdominal skin. Typically, candidates are generally healthy and are primarily concerned with loose skin or protrusion in the lower abdomen — patients who have a significant amount of stretching, sagging skin may better benefit from the results of full abdominoplasty. Mini tummy tuck is not intended to be a substitute for weight loss or a healthy exercise program. While the results often are enduring, the outcome of a mini tummy tuck can likewise be influenced by changes in the patient’s weight following surgery.
Patients planning to lose a substantial amount of weight in the near future may be advised to postpone their surgery. This procedure may also be ideal for those who plan to become pregnant in the future, as there is no difficulty with performing a revision or secondary tummy tuck thereafter — patients who have recently delivered must wait at least six months postpartum before scheduling a mini tummy tuck procedure to ensure optimal healing. Eligibility for this procedure also requires that patients do not use tobacco products in any form.
Mini Tummy Tuck Before & After
Results from a mini tummy tuck may take several weeks or months to fully appear, due to swelling and bruising during the healing process. The majority of patients may notice visible fading of the incision within six months of surgery, at which time patients will be able to identify a clear difference between their mini tummy tuck before and after images. Results from a mini tummy tuck are designed to be permanent, assuming there are no extreme weight changes or pregnancy. Patients may schedule follow-up procedures following a mini abdominoplasty to optimize the results of their procedure as a part of their plan for cosmetic surgery. For more information about mini tummy tuck results or to view before and after photos from patients who have previously undergone the procedure with our plastic surgery clinic, contact us today.