Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck, partial abdominoplasty or scarless tummy tuck is a surgical procedure carried out to remove excess fat and skin below the naval line. This procedure is far less invasive than a full tummy tuck, has a much shorter recovery time and costs considerably less.
The surgeon will make a small incision above the pubic bone to remove the excess fat and may also use liposuction to help shape the abdominal area. If need be the abdominal muscles will also be tightened and then the surgeon will stretch the loose skin down towards the incision and cut away the excess skin and tissue before stitching the remaining skin into place. Often a drainage tube will be inserted into the incision to allow any fluid build up to drain away safely. The surgical procedure will be carried out under general anaesthetic and will take between 1 and 2 hours depending on the amount of tissue removed. A mini tummy tuck can be performed on an outpatient basis eliminating the need for the patient to stay in hospital overnight unless there are complications.
What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
Watch Mr David Floyd, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, describe what is involved in a mini tummy tuck operation:
"There are a range of different types of tummy tucks that are available; most patients actually are suitable for a full tummy tuck. But if someone hasn’t got a lot of excess skin, often what they’ll have is just a little roll of skin in their abdomen but actually the rest of their abdomen looks very good.
If that’s the case all we do is remove the roll at the bottom, leaving the same scar, but just taking less skin away. That’s called a Mini Tummy Tuck. In that case, there is no muscle stitch, there is no repositioning of the tummy button because all of that’s okay. It really is just a removal of a fold of skin in their abdomen.
There are procedures in between that have a combination of both. You can take a mini bit of skin away but also do a slight more extensive operation and tighten up the muscle at the same time.
The important thing is to tailor the surgery to the individual and not every woman is identical so therefore not every woman needs the same operation.
As a surgeon carrying out this sort of thing the important thing is to carefully assess the patient to make a decision as to which elements of these operations are necessary with each patient."
Mr David Floyd, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital
How Much Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
This question is not easy to quickly answer. You can pay as little at £1,900 or as much as £12,000 depending on where you get it done, the reputation of the clinic that does the procedure and the level of aftercare you need. If you live in the UK then the average cost is £4,500. A full tummy tuck costs at least £3,000 more.
If you sign up for other procedures when you arrange your mini tummy tuck most clinics will offer you a discount on one or both of the procedures.
|London Bridge Plastic Surgery||£4,500||£1,125||0% APR x 6 months = £562.50|
|Aurora Clinic||£5,400||£540||0% APR x 6 months = £810.00|
|MYA||£4,750||£2,375||0% APR x 10 months = £237.50|
|Harley Medical||£4,500||£500||9.9% APR x 12 months = £366.33|
|The Hospital Group||£4,995||£500||0% APR x 12 months = £374.60|
Is It Less Painful Than a Full Tummy Tuck?
A mini tummy tuck is not less painful than a full tummy tuck, but the pain is confined to a smaller area of your abdomen. With a mini tummy tuck excess skin and fat is only being removed from the lower part of your tummy. A full tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin from your upper tummy as well as your lower tummy. Most mini tummy tucks are carried out with local anaesthetic, full tummy tucks use a general anaesthetic. Some people find the local anaesthetic injection painful, but that pain soon fades.
In both cases, practically everyone experiences some pain when undergoing a tummy tuck, but if you take your pain medication on time the pain is minimal. After the first week or so, there is little if any actual pain just a feeling of soreness and discomfort, which fades away within another week or two. After that, your tummy will feel normal apart from when you overexert yourself. Within 8 weeks, most people feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever even when exercising.
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Who Can Have a Mini Tummy Tuck?
Generally people with excess loose skin and fat lying below the naval are good candidates for mini tummy tuck surgery and the patient will be required to be within 10% of their ideal weight. The patient will need to be over 18 years of age and have realistic views of what to expect from the surgery. The patient should not be planning a pregnancy and, if a smoker will be asked to give up smoking at least 3 weeks prior to the operation as smoking can delay the healing process and, in some cases, may cause complications.
The Procedure and Recovery
Unlike a traditional tummy tuck, a partial abdominoplasty procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.
It can be carried out under either or local general anaesthesia with sedation at your surgeon’s discretion, normally dependent on how much fat and skin will be removed along with your overall health. During the procedure, your surgeon will create just a small incision above the pubic area, instead of the large hip-to-hip incision required for a full tummy tuck. There will be no incision made around the navel, either. The skin is then lifted, localised fat is removed, and the underlying abdominal muscles are tightened. If possible, your surgeon may opt to use liposuction to remove the fat for a less-invasive option. The incisions will be then sutured closed, and small drainage tubes will be inserted to reduce the risk of fluid build-up. A partial abdominoplasty procedure takes less time than a full procedure, lasting roughly one to two hours from start to finish.
Following the procedure, patients can return home the same day after a few hours, and the recovery period less than that associated with a full abdominoplasty. You will be asked to wear a support compression garment for two to three weeks afterwards, and most patients will be able to return to work a week or two following the surgery. However, during the first month after your surgery, heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided. You can begin to resume your normal activities and return to your everyday routine gradually to facilitate safe healing. You will be able to see initial results straight away, as patients can see a flatter, smoother and more refined abdominal area. However, as your wound heals and scar fades, you will really be able to enjoy the full effects of your partial abdominoplasty procedure. In order to maximise and retain the results, adhere to a healthy eating and regular exercise programme after your surgery.
Post Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery
After the operation the patient will most likely experience some pain and discomfort as the abdominal muscles tighten and can take pain medication to help relieve the symptoms. The patient will have to wear a support garment for several weeks after the surgery and will need to take things easy for a week and refrain from any strenuous exercise for around 3 weeks. In order to maintain their new, sculpted figure the patient will need to keep up a healthy diet and take regular exercise.
Is a Mini Tummy Tuck Worthwhile?
A good mini tummy tuck will make a huge difference to the way you look. Your stomach will be considerably flatter, your muscles will be tighter and all loose skin will be removed so that your tummy will not look saggy. With a mini tummy tuck, the scar is hidden just above your pubic bone, so there is no negative cosmetic impact from a mini tummy tuck.
Once you are fully recovered, you can begin exercising again to build up better muscle coverage on your abdomen. Making the effort to do this is well worth it, you will get so much more out of your mini tummy tuck if you do so. A mini tummy tuck will not automatically produce a toned and muscled stomach. However, it will ensure that when you take the time to exercise the muscles you build will not be hidden under loose, saggy skin.