Tummy tucks are popular surgical procedures, particularly after significant weight loss or pregnancy. But not all patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their abdomens fall into those categories. Patients with excessive fatty tissue and sagging skin below the belly button are also candidates for a less invasive version of the tummy tuck, known as a mini tummy tuck.
The principals of a tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck are the same. An incision is made just above the pubic area, excess fat is removed, muscles are tighted, then excess skin is removed. However, because less skin is to be removed and muscles require less tightening, a much smaller incision is required to perform this procedure (typically only about 10 -15 cm).
Because less skin is to be removed, it is not necessary to detach and re-attach the belly button, which often is the case with a standard tummy tuck. This is where the term “scarless tummy tuck” came about. It is important to know that you will still have a scar from a mini tummy tuck; however you will have no visible scars. The incision is carefully made just above the public zone, low enough to be able to hide the scar with underwear or a swimsuit.
Recovery from a mini tummy tuck is similar to that of a standard tummy tuck, but is often-time a bit shorter because the mini tummy tuck technique is less invasive. After surgery, it is recommended to take at least one week off of work. You will be required to wear a compression garment for 2-3 weeks and may require a small drain to rid of excess fluid for about a week. It is important to refrain from strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks.
Tummy tuck scars will fade over 6 months to a year after your surgery. We recommend our 12 week Kelocote Scar Treatment Program to help the healing process and improve the appearance of your scar.
Risks associated with the mini tummy tuck include: unfavorable scarring (keloids), seroma, hematoma, infection, possible revision surgery and risks associated with the use of general anesthesia.