The Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure
By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on September 17, 2013
It’s not uncommon for excess fat or skin to accumulate in the abdomen, especially with age or after childbirth. Sometimes, people are able to lose the extra fat in the stomach through diet and exercise. However, loose skin will not respond to diet and exercise; if the skin doesn’t contract after weight loss, it is there to stay. Fortunately, patients will loose abdominal skin can undergo abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery.
As opposed to the conventional tummy tuck procedure, a mini tummy tuck removes a relatively small amount of loose skin from the lower abdomen. This option is better suited for patients who only require work below the navel, and who do not require strengthening of the stomach’s musculature. Because the operation is smaller and less invasive, recovery time is shorter, scarring is minimal, and the cost is often lower.
Reasons for the Procedure
Before coming to any decisions, it’s best to determine whether this is the appropriate procedure for you. The following are common examples of why our Minneapolis-area patients undergo a mini tummy tuck:
- Loose skin or fat below the belly button: First and foremost, a mini tummy tuck only addresses the skin below the navel, and as such, candidates for this procedure are those who are looking to improve that area exclusively. If you wish to remove excess skin beyond that area or are looking to improve your overall body, you may be better suited for a full tummy tuck or another procedure.
- After pregnancy: Each mother’s body responds differently after childbirth, and some women have great difficulty returning their belly to the way it was. If you’re a mother whose lower stomach is still sagging despite your best efforts, you may be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck, among other “mommy makeover” procedures.
- After weight loss: After losing a substantial amount of weight, some patients retain excess skin where the weight loss occurred. A mini tummy tuck may be a way to properly reflect the stomach you worked to achieve.
Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure
This outpatient operation is performed by plastic surgeon Brian Kobienia in one to two hours. The procedure is simple and straightforward, as laid out in the following steps:
- A horizontal incision is made in the lower abdomen, below to bikini line, similar to a full tummy tuck. Unlike a full tuck, however, the incision is much smaller and less noticeable, with limited scarring.
- Extra fat and skin are removed from the area, while the remaining skin is stretched down to create a more desirable appearance. In some cases, temporary tubes may be inserted to help drain fluid after the surgery.
- The incision is stitched and bandaged.
Some patients may have liposuction performed in conjunction with this procedure to improve results and create smoother contours in the abdominal area.
After the Surgery
Once the surgery is complete, patients are often given a compression garment to wear around their stomach for a specified time. Wearing this garment reduces swelling and helps the body hold its new shape.
If you undergo a mini tummy tuck and notice any signs of infection, such as increasing redness, swelling, or pain, please inform us or your doctor to receive appropriate treatment.
Generally, patients should not perform any demanding physical tasks for six weeks following the procedure. However, we urge you to consider your job and daily routine, and we will help you determine when you can safely return to it.
To inquire further about our tummy tuck procedures, contact us and we’ll help you schedule an initial consultation. With years of experience and hundreds of satisfied patients, Dr. Kobienia will help you arrive at a decision best suited to your requirements and your well-being.
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"I am grateful for how easy and comfortable you made me feel at every appointment and every surgery, but most of all I am thankful for all you do and have done for me."- Sandy