Mini Tummy Tuck

For many women and men, tummy tuck surgery is the only way to achieve the slim and toned midsection. Weight fluctuations, previous surgery, pregnancy, and genetics can all contribute to skin excess, muscle laxity and fatty deposits in the abdominal area which cause the belly to protrude and sag. Diet and exercise may help to some degree, but often the only solution is a tummy tuck.

A Mini-abdominoplasty usually has a shorter scar and tightens the lower abdominal area only. This is often all that is required to get rid of problems related to a previous C-section scar or those limited to the lowermost abdomen. This will do nothing to help with excess skin or protrusion above the bellybutton. The incision length is determined by the degree of skin laxity. The incision shape and position can be individualized to achieve the results you are looking for.

Is a Mini-Tummy Tuck Right For Me?

For some patients, a mini tummy tuck may be sufficient, while for others an extended procedure may be necessary. Dr. Dawes will help you to determine which of these approaches will best achieve your desired results.

Good candidates for a mini-tummy tuck include:

  • Women who are finished having children, and who have excess skin, stretch marks, and a protruding abdomen
  • Men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight and have loose, sagging skin on their midsections
  • Individuals whose skin is losing elasticity as they age and who are bothered by the laxity of their abdomens

Recovery Expectations

You can expect moderate discomfort and tightness in your abdominal area, which should gradually improve over about one week. Over this time, your ability to stand up straight will also improve. If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 10-14 days, with the understanding that you may still have discomfort with motion. Swelling usually subsides after three weeks, but can occasionally persist longer. Bruising will likely occur. It will be worst at 3-4 days post and may persist for up to 3 weeks.

Mini Tummy Tuck FAQs

What results can a mini tummy tuck achieve?

Pregnancy is the primary culprit behind the need for a tummy tuck. The localized weight gain of pregnancy is unique in that it stretches the skin and support muscles of the abdomen to such a degree they cannot return to their former level of tautness. You can equate it to a rubber band that has been stretched around a large object for a period of time. When you remove the rubber band it no longer shrinks down to its prior size, instead of remaining stretched. This is what happens with your abdominal skin and muscle.

What are the risks involved?
Abdominoplasty is major surgery, and the procedure involves the same risks as with most any surgery: reaction to anesthesia, poor healing, continued bleeding, and danger of infection. The procedure with Dr. Dawes involves very low rates of complication or risk. However, it’s important to remember there will be a major scar involved. Over time, the scar will fade. There can also be some changes in skin sensation affecting the sensory nerves in the abdominal area. This usually resolves in the months after your procedure.
Are there alternatives to a mini tummy tuck?
There aren’t any other options for tightening contours of your abdomen to the degree achieved with abdominoplasty. While treatments such as CoolSculpting or liposuction can remove fat, they cannot re-position separated stomach muscles and they cannot trim away excess loose skin. In fact, if you remove more fat under your loose, sagging skin you will simply have more hanging skin.
How soon can I return to normal activity?
Patients will need to avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks. If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on retuning to work in 10-14 
Will a mini tummy tuck help me lose weight?
This is not a weight-loss procedure. In fact, Dr. Dawes requires his patients to usually be within 10 percent of their ideal body weight before considering a tummy tuck. This is not to be confused with weight-loss procedures such as gastro bypass surgery.

Why is it important to be at a stable, healthy weight? If you still need to lose additional weight, you will simply create more sagging skin that would have been removed by this surgery. That’s why you need to be at a healthy weight, and you should also resolve to stay there to maintain your results for the long term.

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“My role, in part, is to assist patients through the process of determining which surgical or non-surgical options would help them meet their aesthetic goals and realistic expectations”

Jeffrey C. Dawes MD, FRSC

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