Mini-abdominoplasty The Woodlands
What Is A Mini Tummy Tuck?
A mini abdominoplasty is also known as a “mini tummy tuck”.
Who Benefits From A Mini Tummy Tuck
The ideal client for a mini tummy tuck operation is one that has loose, excess abdominal skin and fat along with loose muscles in the lower abdominal wall, resulting in an abdomen that bulges out, BELOW the belly button. These aesthetic problems are usually not treatable with diet and exercise alone. Typically these clients are in good shape but just have this one problem area. Others that may benefit from a mini tummy tuck are clients who have significant stretch marks below the belly button, as these will be excised. Clients will benefit by having a flatter tummy that looks better in clothes, bikinis, or swimwear.
Mini tummy tuck surgery
It is very important that clients undergoing a mini tummy tuck procedure not be actively smoking. Smokers should stop at least two months prior to your mini tummy tuck. You are still at an increased risk of complications if you stop smoking. A test will likely be done on the day of surgery to ensure that you have not been smoking. All blood thinning and anti-platelet medications should be stopped at least two weeks prior to the operation if approved by the prescribing doctor.
During the operation, a single incision is made in the pubic area across the lower abdomen beneath the panty/underwear line. The incision will be made as low as possible and will range from just a few inches but can also be made across the entire width of the lower abdomen depending on the client’s needs. In a mini abdominoplasty, no incision is made around the belly button. Excess skin and fat below the belly button are removed. The abdominal muscles are tightened up with permanent sutures. Liposuction is sometimes added to this operation to treat other areas giving a better cosmetic result.
The mini tuck tuck operation usually takes place in an outpatient surgery center. The operation normally takes about one to two hours. Clients usually go home the same day. However, overnight accommodations can be made if the client desires.
Mini Tummy Tuck Post-operative care
Usually, two surgical drains will be left in place. The purpose of the drain is to drain any bleeding or fluid accumulation that may occur. A prescription for narcotic pain medication is given. It is important that the client begins walking the night of surgery to decrease the risk of blood clots in the legs that can result in a pulmonary embolism. The recovery from a mini abdominoplasty is easier and faster than a full abdominoplasty. However, the first couple of days are the worse and you will likely need assistance walking around the house. Usually by five days, things will start to loosen up and you will start to feel better and will be able to ambulate easier. Your first follow-up appointment will be within five to seven days. The surgical drains may be removed at that visit, depending on how much fluid they are putting out. All sutures are buried and absorbable. Clients can typically return to light duty/work in one to two weeks. You should not lift anything over the weight of a full milk jug for six weeks. Most client return to full activity and exercise in six weeks.
Potential Complications from a Mini Tummy Tuck
Potential complications can include, but are not limited to, post-op bleeding (hematoma), infection, death or loss of the belly button, wound healing problems, development of seromas (fluid collection), bruising/swelling (resolve in two to three weeks), and blood clots in the legs. The complication that we worry most about is a pulmonary embolism, which can result in death. It is important to start walking the first night of your surgery and several times per day each day after. If you develop chest tightness, shortness of breath, or chest pain it is very important that you call an ambulance immediately and let our office know (even if after hours). You should also notify us if you develop increased pain or swelling in either of your legs.
Possible unfavorable results include having “dog ears” at the lateral edges of the incision over the hipbone area (if your incision extends out this far with the mini abdominoplasty). This depends on the client’s pre-operative fat/skin distribution. Revision surgery is sometimes needed to correct these if correction is possible. Also, widened scars can occur if there is a problem with healing. With this procedure, the belly button will be moved to a slightly lower position (~two centimeters).
It is important for females to understand that if they get pregnant after the mini abdominoplasty, the aesthetic results can be diminished. Clients should wait until after they are finished child bearing to have this operation. Also, gaining significant weight post-operatively can effect the aesthetic outcome.
Jeffrey G. Lind II, MD and The Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery offers safe, all-inclusive care for mini abdominoplasty clients in The Woodlands and Houston, Texas area.