Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery
As opposed to a full tummy tuck, a mini uses employs a shorter pubic incision and no moving of the bellybutton. The procedure is as popular as the full abdominoplasty but is more suited people who have excessive fat especially between the belly button and the pubic bone. This area is also called the lower abdomen.
The main benefit of the mini abdominoplasty is the improvement of the abdomen contour. The operation is designed mainly for the following categories of people:
- women who gave birth either naturally or through Cesarean section
- aged persons
- people who experienced light weight fluctuations
Here is a brief list of the advantages offered by a mini tummy tuck:
- improving the lower abdominal wall that becomes more firm, flat and elastic
- reducing the bulge of the tummy following pregnancy (where diet or exercising won’t help)
- improving the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel
- improving one’s self esteem and confidence
The mini tummy tuck can be performed in conjunction with liposuction where more fatty tissue needs to be removed.
The technique varies according to the individual abdominal characteristics: the degree of skin elasticity, the amount of fat, the muscle stretching degree, etc.
In general, the incision of about 10-15 cm is placed horizontally above the pubic area. Then, the extra skin is removed and the fat tissue extracted either by cutting or through liposuction. Sometimes, the muscles of the abdominal wall have to be strengthened for a better result.
In the case of stretched abdominal muscles, the gap in the muscle layers will be repaired by suturing the muscles.
As different from the full abdominoplasty, the navel needs not repositioning.
Drains will be applied and will remain in place until significant drainage ceases.
Usually, dissolving sutures are used on the abdomen and around the belly button.
The abdominal wounds are bandaged and when advised a supporting girdle is used.
Mini abdominoplasty may take or an hour or two.
Patients may choose between local anesthesia with sedation and general anesthesia. Usually, for the sake of patient’s comfort the latter one is recommended.
Fortunately, significant complications from mini tummy tuck are rare. Every year, this surgery has produced satisfying results for an increasing amount of men and women.
Patients should be aware that risks may more often occur among persons who smoke, are overweight, have diabetes or other health problems, or have scarring from previous abdominal surgery.
The complications associated with the procedure include:
- Bleeding and hematoma
Blood may accumulate under the skin and the tubes may not drain all the blood. Sometimes, a blood clot (hematoma) is formed. If this occurs the patient has to undergo another operation in order to have the haematoma drained and the bleeding stopped.
- wound infection
This type of complication may occur after any surgery, although it is quite infrequent. Prior to the operation, the patient can be given antibiotics.
The scar will remain more or less visible, depending on each individual. It could also burst and require a new surgery for scar revision. There are also a few non-surgical methods used to better heal the scars such as: using micro-pore tape, daily massage, moisturising creams or steroid injections.
- skin or fat necrosis (death)
Tissue loss along portions of the horizontal incision is a rare complication. This risk, which delays healing, is more common in patients who smoke.
- pulmonary embolism
This means that a blood clot travels to the lungs. Various prophylactic techniques are used to prevent this uncommon risk and cessation of hormone treatment may be necessary. Additionally, the surgeon recommends early mobilty and anti-coagulant medication.
- numbness to the abdominal region or thighs
This complication may occur because of nerve damage during surgery. It is localised more frequent below the navel. The numbness will reduce within months, but sometimes a small area will remain permanently senseless. However, normal activity is not influenced by this.
Removal of this serum is a painless process but may require several visits to the plastic surgeon’s office.
Before undergoing the procedure, the patient would like to talk with the surgeon concerning the techniques, risks, preparation, qualification, costs and other issues.
The most frequent asked questions related to mini abdominoplasty include:
- Am I eligible for mini tummy tuck surgery or for full abdominoplasty? Why?
- I have given birth through Cesarean. Do I still qualify for mini tummy tuck surgery? Then, where will the new incision be positioned?
- How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me for mini tummy tuck?
- Where are the incisions placed?
- What are some variations to the common mini tummy tuck technique?
- I understand that every surgical procedure has risks, but I would like to learn more.
- How should I prepare for surgery?
- What will the day of surgery be like?
- How will I look and feel initially?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- How long will the results last?
- What cosmetic procedures can be combined with mini tummy tuck surgery?
- What instructions should I follow after the operation?
If you consider yourself a potential candidate for mini tummy tuck surgery and would like to know more, you are kindly invited to address any of the above inquiries or others to our qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons.