What Is a Mini Abdominoplasty?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
A surgeon determines how effective a mini abdominoplasty would be in removing excess abdomen tissues during an initial consultation.
A surgeon determines how effective a mini abdominoplasty would be in removing excess abdomen tissues during an initial consultation.

A mini abdominoplasty is an alternative to a standard abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, and is meant for patients who only have a little bit of loose skin that they would like tightened. The incision is usually smaller than the one resulting from a full abdominoplasty, and the recovery period is shorter. This procedure is often called a scarless tummy tuck, because the scar's small size means it is barely visible. The downside is that this type of cosmetic surgery only addresses excess skin in the lower abdomen, such as that left after pregnancy, and cannot get rid of issues in the upper abdomen the way a full abdominoplasty can. Patients are advised to attend an initial consultation with a surgeon to determine whether a mini abdominoplasty will suit their needs.

Unlike a full tummy tuck, a mini abdominoplasty does not require general anesthesia, though some patients request it. Instead, many doctors opt to use a local anesthetic and mild sedation. During a mini abdominoplasty, a small incision is made in the lower abdomen, through which excess skin is removed. The incision is then sewn up with sutures. In some cases, the doctor will use liposuction to contour the waist so the shape is improved.

The recovery period after a mini abdominoplasty is much shorter than the recuperation involved with a standard tummy tuck. Most patients are released from the hospital a few hours after the surgery and are expected to wear a compression garment for up to three weeks during recovery. The average patient can return to work within one to two weeks, but strenuous activity is not advised for about a month after the procedure. Swelling and numbness near the incision are the most common side effects of this surgery, but any post-operative pain can be controlled with pain medication.

Good candidates for a mini abdominoplasty are near the ideal weight for their height, because this surgery only gets rid of excess skin and a small amount of flab in the lower abdomen. Patients should not expect to lose weight through this surgery. Unlike a full abdominoplasty, a mini abdominoplasty does not tighten the abdominal muscles or trim excess skin from the upper stomach. While the smaller incision and shorter recovery period of this procedure are often appealing to patients, those looking for extreme results may be more interested in a standard tummy tuck.

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    • A surgeon determines how effective a mini abdominoplasty would be in removing excess abdomen tissues during an initial consultation.
      By: JackF
      A surgeon determines how effective a mini abdominoplasty would be in removing excess abdomen tissues during an initial consultation.