Abdominoplasty (or “tummy tuck”) is one of the top 5 requested cosmetic surgery procedures each year in the United States. It’s designed to remove excess fat and skin from the midsection of the body to bring the body back into balance and harmony.
A traditional, full abdominoplasty corrects a host of problems voiced by men and women who are looking for a solution for a protruding abdomen, sagging skin or stretch marks. This procedure involves removing excess fat and loose skin, while also tightening abdominal muscles that have loosened from the abdominal wall due to pregnancies, significant weight gain or in some cases the aging process itself. The navel is usually repositioned in the process, to bring the abdominal area back to a more youthful, well-toned appearance.
What’s a mini-abdominoplasty?
Many patients donâ??t require a full abdominoplasty. If you are basically in good physical shape and have a minimal amount of excess fat and loose skin below the navel area, the mini tummy tuck might be an excellent option to consider. Less invasive than the full abdominoplasty, the mini tummy tuck repairs muscle separation and loose skin below the navel only. This procedure involves a smaller incision and a shorter recovery period than the full abdominoplasty calls for.
The mini tummy tuck can often be performed using local anesthesia and a sedative that keeps you comfortable, drowsy and pain free. Excess fat and sagging skin are removed and the lower abdomen is resculpted to smooth, flatten and tighten it. The result is a midsection that is restored to balance and a more attractive, youthful appearance.
How to know when a mini-abdominoplasty might be the best choice for you:
1. If you are within 10% of the ideal weight for your age and height and have good skin elasticity and tone. To determine your ideal weight, see the American Medical Associationâ??s chart:
2. If you have only a small amount of excess fat and loose skin and itâ??s localized below the navel line (lower abdomen).
3. If you are not planning to get pregnant again.
4. If you donâ??t have significant stretch marks that extend over your entire belly & abdomen. Stretch marks are not addressed by a mini-abdominoplasty. However, a full tummy tuck may be able to hide stretch marks.
5. If you have a firm upper abdomen with no separation of the muscles, but have some weakness or protrusion between your navel and the top of the pubic mound. Some individuals have looseness in the lower abdominal wall due to a genetic tendency, which a mini abdominoplasty combined with liposuction can often correct. Heavy sagging of muscles and significant looseness of upper and lower abdominal skin is better addressed by a full abdominoplasty.
6. If subcutaneous fat (fat that is situated just under the skin) is limited above and below the belly.
7. If you have a disciplined diet and exercise regimen. You’ll want to avoid future weight gain to maintain your new shape.
- See the difference in the average incision length for the mini tummy tuck vs. the full tummy tuck.
- Before and after photos of mini-tummy tuck
Dr. Jonov is a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in plastic surgeries of the face, breast, and body at Seattle Plastic Surgery.