Your midsection can change over time, as skin laxity and stubborn fat deposits begin to form. Women that have had children are particularly susceptible to these changes since the process of stretching the muscles and ligaments to accommodate a growing baby can take its toll. While these changes may not require substantial corrections in the abdomen, you may wish to eliminate some of the loose skin and bulges that you can’t seem to get rid of with diet and exercise alone.
Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgeries are designed for individuals that want to achieve a tighter, more contoured abdomen. During a full procedure, Dr. Barrett tightens the core muscles that often separate as a result of pregnancy or weight gain. He also removes excess fat and skin, leaving you with a beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing midsection. Patients that do not need as much correction can undergo procedures tailored to their precise needs.
What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
For patients that require minimal correction, Dr. Barrett performs a partial abdominoplasty or mini tummy tuck. A full tummy tuck involves two incisions – a horizontal incision that runs from hipbone to hipbone and another one that encircles the navel. A mini tummy tuck uses a shorter incision and is less invasive overall, which means you can get the correction you need with a quicker, more comfortable recovery process in many cases.
During your pre-operative consultation, Dr. Barrett can discuss the differences between the two techniques so you can weigh the benefits and choose the right procedure for you. Together, you can plan exactly what will happen surgically to ensure you get the results you want from your operation. If more correction is needed than what Dr. Barrett can do during a mini tummy tuck, he may recommend a full tuck to produce an optimal outcome. You can also opt to combine your tummy tuck with other procedures like liposuction or breast enhancement to create even more dramatic results.
Is a Mini Tummy Tuck Right for You?
This type of surgery is appropriate for both men and women who need less correction than a full tummy tuck offers. Many of the candidates Dr. Barrett sees for this procedure fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Older, slightly obese individuals with some skin laxity affecting the contour of the midsection
- Individuals that retain excess fat and skin despite their diet and exercise attempts
- Women that experience stretched skin and separated abdominal muscles after pregnancy
Candidates for any surgery should be in relatively good health, non-smokers with realistic expectations about their results. Dr. Barrett recommends patients pursue surgery after completing weight loss plans and are finished having children, as additional weight fluctuations can affect the quality of the results you achieve with this procedure.
Choosing a Surgeon for Your Mini Tummy Tuck
While you might think a less invasive procedure like a mini tummy tuck can be handled by any plastic surgeon, your choice of physician will make a significant impact on both your personal safety and the quality of your outcome. It is critical to choose a surgeon that takes enough time to understand your concerns and desires, so your procedure is customized to your needs and your unique body proportions. In addition to his reputation for personal attention, Dr. Barrett has extensive experience in all types of body contouring procedures, equipping him to provide you with the highest level of care and superior results.
Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck
While a mini tummy tuck doesn’t offer the same dramatic results of a full tuck, this procedure can provide a very satisfactory outcome for the right patient with less discomfort and downtime involved. Some of the advantages you might experience after this procedure include:
- Elimination of mild to moderate loose skin around the middle
- Reduction in isolated fat areas (usually via liposuction)
- Correction of mild separation of abdominal muscles
- Creation of a flatter, smoother abdomen Mini tummy tuck scar, which is easily concealed within underwear or bathing suits
If you undergo a mini tummy tuck when you would be better off with a full tuck, you are likely to be disappointed in your results. Dr. Barrett will take plenty of time at your initial consultation to determine whether a mini abdominoplasty will meet your needs. This procedure focuses on the lower abdomen only. If you need correction above the belly button, a full tummy tuck is likely the right choice for you.
Dr. Barrett usually performs mini tummy tucks under general anesthesia, ensuring you are comfortably asleep throughout your procedure. The incision is placed just above the pubic bone and low enough to be concealed under panties or a bathing suit. This is generally the only incision needed for the mini tuck, and it is much shorter than the line used for a full or traditional abdominoplasty.
Through the incision, Dr. Barrett can perform some tightening of the muscles, remove loose skin from the lower abdomen and eliminate stubborn fat deposits. Liposuction is often added for the latter purpose. Most mini tummy tucks take just two to three hours to complete unless other procedures are performed at the same time. Once the corrections are made, Dr. Barrett will close the incision using a layered technique that ensures a more attractive scar after surgery.
After Your Mini Tummy Tuck
Recovery from a mini tummy tuck is approximately two weeks. For the first few days, you are likely to be a bit sore and swollen, and you will want to rest as much as possible to allow your body time to heal. At that time, you will likely be able to return to work and most of your activities. Dr. Barrett will advise you to refrain from your more vigorous workouts for at least six weeks. Incision care will be critical during your recovery, to ensure your scar heals well and is minimally visible.
A mini tummy tuck isn’t right for everyone, but for some patients, it is just the right amount of correction to achieve the body contour you want. Contact Barrett Plastic Surgery today at 310-598-2648 to find out which tuck technique is the best choice for you.