Abdominoplasty or Full or Mini Tummy Tuck
Full or Mini Tummy Tuck
One of the most common questions I get from patients who are seeing me for a tummy tuck is, “Am I a candidate for a mini tummy tuck?” Basically the difference between the two surgeries has to do with the incision, the belly button, and the amount of dissection. In a traditional tummy tuck, the incision typically goes from hip to hip, the cut out is carried above the bellybutton (which remains attached to the muscles like a mushroom), the muscles are tightened from the xyphoid (which is at the bottom of the breast bone) to the pubis, and the extra skin and fat is removed. A new opening for the bellybutton is made and it is then pulled through. Liposuction to thin out the upper abdominal is not commonly done as it may interfere with the blood supply to the skin. While producing the best result for many patients, it is a big operation, requires 7 to 14 days of drains, and will take 3 to 4 weeks to fully recover. This operation is best used in patients who have excess skin and or bulging above and below their belly buttons.
In a mini tummy tuck the incision can usually be placed lower and the incision is shorter than a traditional tummy tuck. Also the dissection only goes up to the belly button. The muscles may or may not be tightened but excess skin is removed. The ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck is someone whose bulge is only in their lower belly with a mild to moderate amount of loose skin. Drains are still used but typically for 5-7 days. An abdominal binder is still worn for 4 weeks and exercise and strenuous activity may begin at 4 weeks.
Just like everything else in plastic surgery, in order to get the best results, the correct operation has to be performed. Please see my website for more about Abdominoplasty or Full or Mini Tummy Tuck