A mini-abdominoplasty (or “mini-tummy-tuck”) may be all you need, if the shape of the lower abdomen has been changed by weight loss, pregnancy, or aging. Typically, patients are not pleased with the way their lower abdomen bulges when they are sitting or bending over.
The best candidates for a mini-tummy-tuck are ones that are in good physical condition, but have a small area that bothers them under their belly buttons. Especially if this area doesn’t respond to diet and exercise. And while it is impossible to not have some laxity here (to allow us to stand, stretch and move!) skin and fat can be removed and the muscles can be tightened to help improve the contour.
If the muscle and fascia (tough tissue that connects our muscles together) have stretched out due to pregnancy, then this can be tightened. A single small roll of loose skin and fat, limited to the area between the pubis and the umbilicus, can be removed in a mini-tummy-tuck.
Like a regular tummy-tuck, liposuction can be combined with mini-tummy-tuck to help contour the oblique areas (“love handles”) to give the best shape possible around the entire waist and hips!
Women who plan to have children are advised to delay mini-tummy-tuck until after pregnancy. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait until they reach their “sustainable weight” (the weight that they can maintain with an appropriate diet and reasonable exercise.)
If a large amount of skin and fat needs to be removed, or if the skin and fat and muscles above the umbilicus needs to be addressed, then a normal abdominoplasty may be recommended.
What Can I Expect During a Mini-Abdominoplasty?
The procedure usually takes about 1 ½ – 2 hrs and is usually performed with oral sedation in the office O.R., or with general anesthesia in the O.R. An incision is made just above the pubic area, and excess fat and skin are removed and the muscle is tightened if needed. Liposuction of the flanks can be added on and performed through this incision. The skin is brought down and sutured closed. A drain may be placed, but typically comes out after 3-7 days.
The advantages of a mini-tummy-tuck over a regular tummy-tuck include smaller incisions, no scars around the belly button, less invasive surgery, shorter down-time, and quicker return to exercise.
Social downtime is minimal, and patients can go out and do normal social acitivities within 5 days. Physical downtime usually is about 3-4 weeks, prior to doing strenuous exercise or stomach activities.