If you have loose skin on your abdomen, you might be considering a tummy tuck. Otherwise known as abdominoplasty, this surgery removes excess skin that regular exercise cannot address. It also tightens loose muscles in the abdominal wall. In some cases, you may hear about a mini tummy tuck. This is a slightly different procedure than the traditional full tummy tuck.
Types of Abdominoplasty
A mini tummy tuck, or partial abdominoplasty, removes excess abdominal skin below the belly button. It is best for patients who are within 10% of their ideal body weight and have loose skin only in this region. This can often be an outpatient procedure as it typically involves less surgery. A mini tummy tuck often uses a smaller incision. This is just at or above the pubic area, similar to a cesarean section. It leaves the naval intact and as a result, recovery time is typically faster than with a full tummy tuck. Sometimes you can combine liposuction with this surgery to remove fat below the navel.
If your abdominal muscles need more extensive tightening and if your body weight is more than 20% above your ideal weight, your surgeon may be more likely to recommend full abdominoplasty. In this procedure, the surgeon removes loose skin from the upper and lower abdominal area. They will also tighten and repair the muscles below. You may also combine this cosmetic surgery with liposuction for enhanced results. In other cases, you can include it in a full body contour. In some cases, such as massive weight loss, your surgeon may recommend an extended tummy tuck. This includes the same areas as a traditional tummy tuck but also addresses your back, hips, and thighs.
Recovery from a Full or Mini Tummy Tuck
If you are considering a full or mini tummy tuck, it is important to consider what the recovery will involve. As with any cosmetic procedure, this is based on several factors including your health, age, body weight, and type of tummy tuck you are having.
You and your surgeon will decide if you need to stay in the hospital after this procedure, or if you will be able to return home the same day. They will place drains in the incision site and these will remain in place for a few days after the surgery. When you are sent home, you will wear an abdominal binder for about six weeks to avoid fluid buildup and to help support your abdomen. Your surgeon and nurse will go over any care instructions before you are discharged, including any medications that you are given and any complications you should be aware of.
The recovery period is usually shorter for a mini-tuck. However, it will still be several weeks before you will be fully back to normal. Your ability to drive will be limited and you will have to avoid strenuous exercise and demanding physical activity. Your cosmetic surgeon will help you decide what activities you can perform and how long you will need before you can return to work.
Mini tummy Tuck Surgery by Hess and Sandeen
The decision of what type of tummy tuck would be best for you should be guided by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Hess and Dr. Sandeen have extensive knowledge about tummy tuck surgeries. We can help you decide what type of abdominoplasty is best for your needs and desires.