Mini tummy tuck

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Mini Tummy Tuck overview

What is a mini tummy tuck?. Officially called a partial abdominoplasty or lipoabdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck simply removes unwanted skin and fat from the area below the umbilicus. A mini tummy is becoming much more popular in the UK. A full tummy tuck, by contrast removes skin and fat from the entire abdominal area. A mini tummy tuck is a good option if there is not a lot of excess skin to remove, and the patient is interested in minimising a bulging lower abdomen.

After pregnancy, the lower abs, or rectus abdominus muscles are stretched and the laxity may remain, emphasizing a lower abdominal bulge. The mini tummy tuck is a popular option for women seeking to return to pre-pregnancy abdominal firmness. A mini tummy tuck is also a good option for men looking to reduce excess tissue after weight loss or even weight loss surgery.

The mini tummy tuck generally has a smaller incision than the full tummy tuck, and the patient recovery time is quicker. The procedure for a mini tummy tuck involves a small incision above the pubis, and liposuction or body contouring is usually performed to remove excess fat. The lower abdominal muscles are tightened, and the belly button must be unattached and reattached. Once the contouring is complete and the muscles tightened, a small flap of skin is lowered to meet the incision point, and the resulting scar can be as small as 2 inches.

On average a mini tummy tuck procedure lasts about two hours and the recovery time is also much faster than the full tummy tuck. After a consultation with the surgeon, he or she will be able to determine if a mini tummy tuck is right for you. If there is a substantial amount of loose skin to remove, a full tummy tuck might need to be performed.

All tummy tucks will leave a scar, but the mini tummy tuck generally leaves only a small scar above the pubic region, whereas the full tummy tuck can leave much larger scars as well as scarring above the belly button.  You might consider a mini tummy tuck if liposuction is not enough and a full tummy tuck is more surgery than you need.

Differences Between a Mini Tummy Tuck and Tummy Tuck

There are many difference between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck. The main difference is that with a mini tummy tuck the area at and above the navel is not treated, so there is no scar or repositioning of the navel.

Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck

There are many benefits that are associated with a mini tummy tuck. First, it is much less invasive than a traditional abdominoplasty, which means a much shorter recovery period for the patient. Other benefits include:

  • Less scarring than with a traditional abdominoplasty
  • No repositioning of your belly button
  • Procedure is available to a wider group of people, including patients who are not suitable candidates for a full tummy tuck because of scarring from previous procedures
  • More economical than a full tummy tuck

For those patients who don’t require any additional contour sculpting above the belly button, and do not have a significantly protruding abdominal muscle wall, the mini tummy tuck is the procedure of choice.

Who is a suitable patient for a mini tummy tuck?

The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck are patients with skin and excessive fatty tissue that is limited to the area below the belly button.Women who have a little pouch above their C-section scars are the ideal candidates.  Patients may have a slim abdomen, but want it sculpted into a more attractive look. The patient should also have good muscle tone to the abdominal muscles and be in good health.

In addition, patients should have:

  • Stable weight
  • Good skin tone and skin elasticity
  • Only a small amount of abdominal skin to be removed
  • Realistic expectations from the surgery

You should also be in good health, as this is key for proper healing and recovery after your procedure.

The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for the mini tummy tuck surgery versus full abdominoplasty is to schedule a consultation with a surgeon at Centre for Surgery. The surgeon will determine the best procedure for your specific situation.

Your Mini Tummy Tuck consultation

Choosing a cosmetic surgery procedure is always an important decision that should never be rushed. That is why the surgeon always takes the time to get to know his patients and their reasons for wanting a Mini Tummy Tuck during a consultation. During this meeting, you will have a general health check and discuss all the implications and outcomes of Mini Tummy Tuck surgery to ensure that you are fully informed and prepared to enter the operating theatre. This is also a time when you can ask any questions that you might have about Mini Tummy Tuck surgery in a private, but friendly clinic environment.

A Complementary Procedure: Liposuction

Many patients opt to have liposuction done at the same time as a mini tummy tuck, to address specific areas on their bodies. These may include love handles, fat pockets above the belly button and other areas. Liposuction is usually performed in conjunction with a mini tummy tuck to help contour the waist area and de-fat the upper and lower abdomen, flanks and pubic area, helping to provide the best shape to the tummy.

Liposuction involves placing several small incisions, followed by fat extraction using a cannula. The procedure causes some bruising and swelling, along with mild discomfort at the incision sites. When done with a mini tummy tuck, it is done immediately after the mini tummy tuck procedure to contour the problem areas in one operation.

The surgeon can discuss this procedure with you at the time of your consultation, and determine the best approach based on your goals and his physical examination.

Mini Tummy Tuck: step by step
What Can You Expect With Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery

The best way to determine if a mini tummy tuck is the right procedure for you is to have an initial consultation with a consultant surgeon. You will have an opportunity to discuss your goals and expectations with the surgeon, and ask any relevant questions you have about the surgery.

During your initial consultation, the surgeon will:

  • Review your medical history and any medications you are taking
  • Discuss the part of your body that you would like treated
  • Provide recommendations based on you needs and your goals

The surgeon will listen to your needs, expectations and your desired outcome from the mini tummy tuck. The doctor will discuss the procedure with you, and answer any questions you may have. You will be able to tour our state-of-the-art surgical facility located in Hertfordshire. During this time you will also be able to meet with our caring staff that will be part of your team.

Your surgery is usually performed under IV sedation or GA. The surgeon will determine the best type of anaesthesia based on the procedure and your specific needs.

At the time of surgery, an incision is made horizontally across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic mound. Unlike a full tummy tuck, the incision does not go from hip bone to hip bone, but rather from mid thigh to mid thigh.

The skin is then loosened from abdominal wall. The lower abdominal muscles can be pulled into a tighter position, excess fat is removed, and then the muscles are sutured. Once the procedure is completed, the incision will be sutured and bandaged. You may be given an elastic bandage or compression garment to wear in order to minimise swelling to support the abdomen as it heals.

Compared to a full tummy tuck, the mini tummy tuck is not as painful. There will be discomfort, which will be managed by the prescription pain medication the surgeon ordered for you. After the surgery, you may want to spend the first night in one of our partner hotels, and you will be seen the following morning before being released to go home. This makes for a safer recovery and more convenient for your post-surgical appointment – in your room. Having our staff visit you in your hotel room the next day is comforting and less stressful then driving back to the clinic to be seen.

The surgeon and his expert nurses will see you at regularly scheduled intervals during the weeks following the surgery. This is done so the doctor can personally monitor your recovery process, and to ensure that you have the best results possible.

The tummy tuck surgery will leave your abdomen bruised and swollen, which will diminish over a period of a week. Recovery from mini tummy tuck surgery requires rest and taking it easy. The first two days following the surgery are usually the most uncomfortable.  After the first two days you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in how you feel.

During your recovery you should avoid strenuous physical activity, and you may need to limit your physical activity from four to six weeks. After your mini tummy tuck procedure, you will have a flatter, firmer abdominal contour. The actual results may be hidden due to swelling at first, but you will begin to see your new slimmer profile within one to two weeks after surgery. Depending on the surgery, it may take anywhere from several weeks or months to see the final results.

During recovery it is critical that you refrain from smoking. Smoking deprives your body of oxygen, which increases the risk of wound breakdown and infection following the surgery.

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