Mini Tummy Tuck: Am I a Candidate
The abdomen is a shared area of concern for men and women. Aging, weight changes, hormonal changes and other factors make this part of the body susceptible to excess fat. The fat that hangs from the lower belly is especially difficult because it is caused by a combination of visceral and subcutaneous fat.
Visceral fat is the type that is found around your organs to provide protection and warmth. Subcutaneous fat is found in the skin. As visceral fat increases, it pushes outward, making any subcutaneous fat more obvious. Visceral fat is easy to lose with lifestyle changes, but subcutaneous fat can take much longer. A mini tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that removes the excess subcutaneous fat and skin from the area below the belly button.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck?
The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck are men and women who have subcutaneous fat that is restricted to the area under the navel. Those with fat above and below the bellybutton are typically not good candidates. However, Dr. Wall recommends a consultation to map out the best options for each patient! Another consideration for a mini tummy tuck is the integrity of the abdominal muscles. Lax muscles cannot be tightened with a mini tummy tuck above the umbilicus (belly button).
Details of a Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck involves making an incision along the lower abdominal area. After the incision is made, Dr. Wall pulls the skin tight over the lower belly and trims away any excess. The incision is closed with sutures. Some muscle tightening may be performed but only below the belly button.
Mini Tummy Tuck: Incisions
The incision for a mini tummy tuck starts at the hip bone and goes slightly downward to just above the pelvic region. The incision continues slightly upward to the opposite hip bone. To the extent possible, the incision is made in a manner that allows the resultant scar to be hidden with underwear or bikini bottoms. The scar initially heals slightly darker than the natural skin color and fades over the first year. It is often compared to a slightly wider C-section scar.
Mini Tummy Tuck: Anesthesia
A mini tummy tuck requires the use of general anesthesia. Those who are considering a mini tummy tuck should be in good health, overall. We may recommend that you meet with your primary physician for bloodwork to ensure that you are able to undergo procedures that require general anesthesia. Patients with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, may not be good candidates for elective cosmetic procedures that require general anesthesia. Again, this will all be discussed in your initial consultation with Dr. Wall.
Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery Duration
Mini abdominoplasty takes one to 1 ½ hours, in most cases. There will be additional time during the surgical appointment to prepare for the procedure, administer general anesthesia and recover after the procedure. We typically advise men and women to plan for the surgical appointment to take at least four hours.
Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery Risks
All surgery carries risks related to general anesthesia, unexpected complications and other circumstances. Risks that are specific to a mini tummy tuck include both medical and aesthetic complications. Medical complications that are rare, but may include:
- Excess bleeding
- Damage to muscles, nerves and blood vessels
- Blood clots
- Clots caused by dislodged fat
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation
- Excessive scarring
- Changes in skin color
- Edema in the legs
The risks associated with mini tummy tuck surgery are rare, and these risks can be minimized by working with a plastic surgeon who is experienced in mini tummy tuck procedures, such as Dr. Forrest Wall.
Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery Preparation
During the initial consultation, all medications and medical conditions should be discussed with the surgeon. Many medical risks associated with mini tummy tuck surgery can be alleviated by following Dr. Wall’s instructions before the procedure. This may include:
- Stop smoking at least two weeks before the procedure
- Achieve and maintain an ideal weight at least 3 months before the surgery
- Stop taking medications and supplements as advised by Dr. Wall
- Waiting at least one year after having a baby or losing a large amount of weight before having a mini tummy tuck
- Arrange for someone to drive the day of the surgery and be available for at least several days following surgery.
- Schedule at least two weeks off from work and school. For jobs that are physically demanding, plan to take four weeks off from work.
Recovering After a Mini Tummy Tuck
The first one to two weeks after mini tummy tuck surgery involves managing symptoms, such as swelling, tenderness and tightness in the lower abdomen. The area may also have changes in sensation, tingling or numbness.
Activity restrictions should be followed to help the tissues heal properly:
- Week One and Two: Limited walking at home with ample time for rest.
- Weeks Two through Four: Activities are limited to light walking, and patients can return to work if their professions do not require strenuous activity.
- Weeks Four through Six: The surgeon may allow more strenuous activities, such as light exercise. Lifting heavy objects should be avoided.
The lower abdominal area will be sore for several weeks and swelling can take six months to one year to resolve.
Periodic appointments are scheduled to monitor progress and identify any complications. If the lower abdomen or incisions do not heal properly, revision procedures may be required.
Mini Tummy Tuck Results
Initially, the incision heals with a slightly pink or tan coloration. The color fades slightly over the next six to 12 months, and the final scar may be slightly darker than the surrounding skin. We may recommend treatments to make the scar less visible, but it will always be present.
Immediately after the procedure, the lower abdomen is significantly improved and has a more toned appearance, yet the swelling will mask the final results. Most swelling should resolve within six months, but some patients have minor swelling for up to one year.
A mini tummy tuck does not stop the aging process nor prevent the abdominal area from gaining new fat. Following a healthy lifestyle, eating the right foods and exercising will extend the results of the procedure.
You will see a more tightened and reshaped abdominal area, which helps to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing and slimmer overall appearance. This should dramatically improve the way your clothing fits and help you feel more confident and comfortable in your body.
Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon ensures that the doctor who’s performing the procedure has had ample formal training and that your mini tummy tuck will be performed in an accredited surgical facility. Dr. Forrest Wall is one of the leading plastic surgeons in his area. If you’re tired of stubborn fat or excess skin, feel free to give us a call.
For more information on plastic surgery, or to schedule a consultation,you can contact us at:
Shreveport Center: 318-221-1629
Monroe Center: 318-812-0182
Wall Rejuvenation Center and Medical Spa: 318-352-2250