While they’re both similar procedures, a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck have important differences. Deciding between the two demands an understanding of the two procedures and whether one is better for you than another is something to be discussed with your board certified plastic surgeon.
What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A mini tummy tuck involves a single incision, for patients needing minimal correction, uses a shorter incision than a full tummy tuck, and is less invasive overall, meaning you can get the correction you want with a faster, more comfortable recovery process in many cases. It’s an ideal procedure for patients who need less contouring to the body than what a full tummy tuck offers and can be a good option for you if you:
- Have a little bit of loose or sagging skin below your belly button
- Individuals retaining excess fat and skin despite a regular diet and exercise schedule
- Women experiencing stretched skin and separated abdominal muscles after pregnancy
Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck
Although the mini tummy tuck offers a less dramatic outcome, it can make a major impact for the right patient who needs to remove a smaller amount of skin. It also has less discomfort, a tinier scar, and shorter downtime. It can eliminate mild to moderate loose skin around the middle, reduce isolated fat areas (usually via liposuction), correct mild separation of abdominal muscles and create a flatter, smoother midsection
Recovering After Your Mini Tummy Tuck
Mini tummy tuck recovery can take approximately two weeks. For the first few days, your stomach will be sore and swollen, so limiting movement as much as possible will allow your body to heal. Sleeping in an upright position can also help to eliminate any tension around your midsection. About a week after your mini tummy tuck surgery, you’ll likely be able to resume your regular daily activities, however during the first six weeks, you should avoid vigorous exercise. Don’t be surprised if you continue to experience swelling; however, it’ll slowly dissipate as time passes, revealing your ultimate results. Once you’re feeling better, begin to incorporate short walks to circulate your blood and consider returning to work and other daily routines.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is designed for individuals who desire tight, contoured midsections and offers some of the most dramatic body contouring enhancement, with results that will last a lifetime if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Depending on your unique needs and body, Dr. Barrett may tighten underlying muscles while removing tissue, fat and loose skin. A tummy tuck can offer a lot of benefits for the right patient, including:
- Smoother, flatter midsection
- Tighter abdominal muscles
- Reduction in loose skin around the middle
- Elimination of some stretch marks, those above the belly button typically can’t be removed
- Repositioning of the belly button for a natural look
While often performed as a stand-alone procedure, a tummy tuck can also be combined with liposuction for even more enhanced results.
How long is recovery for a tummy tuck?
A minimum of two weeks of downtime is needed for your initial tummy tuck recovery—but keep in mind that it’s really dependent on the individual and the procedures performed; some may need longer than two weeks of downtime. Keep in mind that no matter what procedure combination you choose, you don’t want to do any heavy lifting for at least six weeks. When it comes to liposuction recovery, you can expect mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area, and you can usually return to work and regular activities within a few days, but strenuous activities like exercise should be avoided for a few weeks.
A tummy tuck might be right for you if you’d like to tighten and flatten the midsection. Have folds of loose skin, retain excess fat despite diet and exercise efforts, and/or pregnancy has caused your muscles and skin to stretch.
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