What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Katie Kelley
Katie Kelley
Woman posing
Woman posing

A mini tummy tuck, also known as a mini abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure, typically performed in the outpatient setting. As a cosmetic procedure, health insurance usually does not cover the costs. Mini tummy tucks focus on the removal and tightening of excess or sagging skin. It may also involve the tightening of muscle. The goal of the procedure is to improve the contours and appearance of the stomach area. Tummy tuck procedures may involve one or more incisions, and mini tummy tucks have fewer and smaller incisions, which typically are made below the navel.

A regular tummy tuck can take several hours to complete but because a mini tummy tuck involves less repair, it usually can be completed in one or two hours. Still, the actual length of time for a given procedure really vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the individual and the amount of skin involved. Also contributing to its shorter procedure time, is the fact that the navel is usually not moved. The navel is usually moved, however, in full abdominoplasty procedures.

People who opt for tummy tucks vary. Many women get tummy tucks to tighten the sagging skin that may have resulted from a pregnancy. It's also a common procedure among people who have lost a lot of weight and are left with loose skin in the belly area. Ideal candidates for a mini tummy tuck are those who have excessive or sagging skin in the abdominal area but are not heavily overweight nor obese.

Abdominoplasty is often confused with liposuction. While the two are similar, and tummy tucks often are performed in conjunction with liposuctions, the two procedures are not exactly the same. The main difference is that liposuction involves the removal of fat, whereas tummy tucks involve the tightening or removal of excess skin.

Tummy tucks are usually preformed on patients under general anesthesia. As a result, it is considered a serious procedure. Physicians often recommend that patients recovering from a mini tummy tuck not be left alone for the first few days following the procedure as severe side effects are possible. Potential side effects include infections and blood clots. Recovery time for mini tummy tucks vary but typically last from one to three weeks. During that time, it's recommended that patients wear compression garments.

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