Mini Tummy Tuck

Mini Tummy Tuck – a cosmetic surgery procedure performed under general or local anaesthetic to remove stubborn deposits of fat from the lower abdomen, particularly after Caesarian section.

Mini Tummy Tuck Introduction

An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures. Factors such as multiple pregnancies and genetics can lead to the development of loose skin, fat deposits, and stretch marks on the abdomen. Substantial weight loss can also contribute to the development of loose skin in the area. These areas can be hard to shift despite proper diet and exercise, and can make the abdomen appear disproportionate with the rest of the body.

How a Mini Tummy Tuck Works

A mini tummy tuck works by removing loose skin, fat deposits, and stretch marks from the lower abdominal region below the navel. Vertical abdominal muscles that have stretched and weakened over time are also tightened, restoring the appearance of a firmer, flatter stomach. Tummy tuck procedures can be performed alone, but are sometimes performed with liposuction to improve body contours. A tummy tuck should not be used as a treatment for obesity, or a replacement for the proper diet and exercise. You should be healthy and relatively fit before considering a tummy tuck. Future pregnancies and drastic changes in weight following a tummy tuck, and scars from prior surgeries may decrease the effectiveness and long lasting results of the procedure.

Surgery Preparation

The length of a tummy tuck procedure varies depending on the extent of tissue removal, or if an additional procedure such as liposuction is needed. However, most mini tummy tuck procedures last about one to two hours. The treatment area will be cleansed and incision guidelines will be drawn before the start of the procedure. For complex procedures, involving the removal of a large amount of tissue, or which are performed with another procedure, a general anaesthetic will be administered. For less complex procedures a local anesthetic and sedative may be used instead.

Mini Tummy Tuck Incision

A mini tummy tuck usually only requires a single incision. This is because during a mini tummy tuck, the position of the navel is unaffected removing the need for an incision around the navel. The surgeon will make an incision just above the pubic area. The incision is usually shorter than the incision made during a full tummy tuck, but its length and shape will depend on the extent of treatment as well as your body shape. The surgeon will attempt to place the incision so that a bathing suit or undergarments hide it, but you will have a permanent scar.

Exposure of Abdominal Wall

The skin and fat layers that lie above the abdominal wall are separated from the wall using a cautery device. The lower abdominal muscles are exposed by lifting the tissue up towards the navel.

Tightening of Abdominal Muscles

The surgeon will suture the abdominal muscles, pulling them closer together, creating a flatter, firmer abdominal wall and a slimmer waist. The sutures may be placed vertically down the abdominal midline or horizontally across the abdomen, depending on the surgeon’s preference.

Excess Skin Removal

The layer of skin and fat that had been lifted away will be stretched back tightly over the abdominal wall. The skin and fat that hangs beyond the original incision line is removed.

Mini Tummy Tuck Incision Closure

One or two fine drainage tubes may be placed under the skin of the abdomen to prevent fluid build up, and will remain in place for typically one night whilst you are in hospital. The incisions will be sutured with dissolving invisible stitches and dressings will be applied. You will be able to shower normally, from 48 hours after surgery because by which time the incisions will be waterproof.

Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery

You will most likely have to wear a type of compression garment, which is similar to a girdle following your procedure. This tight-fitting garment will help to reduce swelling by preventing fluid build up, as well as provide support as you heal. Depending on the extent of surgery, you may have to wear the compression garment for several weeks. You will experience pain, bruising, and swelling, as with any surgery, but this will mostly subside in a few weeks. You may not be able to stand fully upright, but it is important that you begin to walk for short periods soon after your procedure to facilitate blood flow. Your stitches may dissolve with time. However non-dissolving stitches will be removed in approximately one week. Sutures on the other hand may remain in place for up to two weeks.

Mini Tummy Tuck Results

Most patients are able to return to work after one to three weeks. However, it may take up to eight weeks before you feel able to return to full normal activity including heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. You will have a permanent scar, but it will slowly fade over time. It is important to realize that if you become pregnant or experience substantial weight change the results from your procedure may be compromised. However, with proper diet and exercise, the results from a tummy tuck can be maintained for several years.

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