Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty Surgery for Post-Pregnancy Redundant Skin

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Dr Bernard Beldholm

A Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty procedure addresses redundant skin tissue on the lower abdominal region that may result from pregnancy.

Many women experience post-pregnancy side effects, including redundant loose skin in the abdominal region and separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), which can be the result of significant weight changes during pregnancy and childbirth. Redundant abdominal skin not only affects the abdominal contour but can also interfere with normal bodily functions.

Mini Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a much less invasive procedure than standard Tummy Tuck performed by Dr Beldholm
Mini Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is a much less invasive procedure than standard Tummy Tuck performed by Dr Beldholm

Disclaimer: Operation performed by Dr Bernard Beldholm. Adult content, surgery has risks; individual results vary, seek 2nd opinion. Please see the full disclaimer.

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As a post-pregnancy patient, you may find it challenging to address the excess abdominal skin tissue through a healthy diet, exercise, or other non-surgical procedures alone, requiring a more effective surgical procedure. I recommend a mini tummy tuck (mini abdominoplasty) procedure to women who visit my clinic to address minimal amounts of redundant skin on the lower abdominal area after pregnancy. 

Allow me to take you deeper into the effectiveness of a mini abdominoplasty in addressing post-pregnancy redundant and sagging abdominal skin.

Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction
Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction

Disclaimer: Operation performed by Dr Bernard Beldholm. Adult content, surgery has risks; individual results vary, seek 2nd opinion. Please see the full disclaimer.

Are You Suitable for a Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty?

A Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty is a procedure that removes redundant skin and fat tissue and addresses muscle separation in the lower abdominal region. Separated abdominal muscles and sagging skin on the lower abdomen are common side effects during and after pregnancy. It also addressed adipose tissue (Fat) in the abdominal area.

A study on diastasis recti during pregnancy notes that “[t]he prevalence of mild DRA (diastasis recti abdominis) was high both during pregnancy and after childbirth. Prevalence of DRA was 33.1%, 60.0%, 45.4%, and 32.6% at gestation week 21, 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months postpartum, respectively.”

It’s important to note that mini abdominoplasty only addresses minimal skin sagging and diastasis recti on the lower abdomen. Therefore, I recommend traditional mini tummy tuck to only post-pregnancy women with minimal redundant skin on the lower abdomen and minimal or no muscle separation. Post-pregnancy women with significant, redundant skin and muscle separation in the entire region will require a different abdominoplasty procedure for muscle tightening.

I almost always combine a mini tummy tuck with VASER liposuction. VASER liposuction effectively addresses excess fatty tissue through suction, enhancing surgical results.

Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction
Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction

Disclaimer: Operation performed by Dr Bernard Beldholm. Adult content, surgery has risks; individual results vary, seek 2nd opinion. Please see the full disclaimer.

Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty Candidate Checklist

Candidates for a mini tummy take should meet the following requirements. 

  • Minimal redundant skin on the lower abdominal region after pregnancy

  • Minimal or no muscle separation on the lower abdominal region after pregnancy

  • No redundant skin and muscle separation on the upper abdominal wall after pregnancy

  • Reached stable weight after significant weight loss and maintained it steadily for a minimum of 6 months

  • Good general health

  • Non-surgical treatments like eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly have failed. 

  • Have an understanding of the potential risks and have realistic expectations

  • Are a non-smoker or agree to refrain from smoking for 6 weeks before and after the procedure

You should note that these are general qualifications for a post-pregnancy patient and don’t guarantee suitability for your surgical journey. I invite you to schedule a consultation with me to confirm suitability.

Comparison Between Mini and Standard or Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Both mini and full abdominoplasty address sagging abdominal skin. However, the two vary, depending majorly on the amount of skin tissue being removed and the location of the skin.

A full abdominoplasty is extensive and addresses excess skin tissue in the entire abdominal region (upper and lower), while a mini abdominoplasty surgery addresses only the lower abdomen. Also, a full abdominoplasty suits patients with significant, redundant skin and muscle separation, while a mini abdominoplasty is ideal for patients with minimal redundant skin and separation of the underlying muscles. In addition, a full tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) involves belly button repositioning, which isn’t addressed in a mini tummy tuck procedure.

Additionally, full abdominoplasty is more invasive than a mini abdominoplasty, increasing the surgical time and recovery period.

Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction
Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction

Disclaimer: Operation performed by Dr Bernard Beldholm. Adult content, surgery has risks; individual results vary, seek 2nd opinion. Please see the full disclaimer.

Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty Surgery Process

As noted earlier, I almost always incorporate VASER liposuction to enhance the results of a mini abdominoplasty. I refer to the procedure as mini VASER lipo-abdominoplasty, which takes 2-3 hours. Let’s look at what happens during this procedure.

Initial Consultation

During the initial consultation, I will assess your health, the amount of excess skin to be removed, and your suitability for a mini abdominoplasty. I will then discuss the possible risks, and how to prepare for the surgery and help you set a date for the surgery.

Anaesthesia 

On the day of surgery, I will meet you at the anaesthetic bay where I’ll clarify all your last-minute questions and walk you through the expected surgery process, risks, and recovery. I’ll then make marks on your abdomen to show the excision area and the incision site. The anaesthetist will administer the anaesthesia while you’re lying on the operating table. I prefer general anaesthesia; therefore, the patient will be fully asleep for the surgery.

Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction performed by Dr Beldholm
Mini abdominoplasty with VASER Liposuction performed by Dr Beldholm

Disclaimer: Operation performed by Dr Bernard Beldholm. Adult content, surgery has risks; individual results vary, seek 2nd opinion. Please see the full disclaimer.

VASER Liposuction

The next step involves VASER liposuction, a specialised liposuction procedure that uses ultrasonic waves and high-frequency vibration to break down and liquefy the fatty tissue to remove the excess fatty tissue. A comparison study of VASER liposuction and standard liposuction notes that “[t]he VASER-assisted lipoplasty method demonstrated improved skin retraction and reduction in blood loss compared with suction-assisted lipoplasty.”

During the procedure, I’ll first inject a wetting solution (tumescent solution) into the abdominal skin through small incisions. The wetting solution consists of sterile saline, local anaesthesia, and medication that constricts blood flow, reducing bleeding, bruising, and swelling.

I’ll then insert a VASER probe through the incisions. The probe produces ultrasonic waves that break down and liquefy the excess fat, separating it from the skin. The next step involves using a cannula to suck the liquified fat and the wetting solution. 

VASER liposuction during an abdominoplasty performed by Dr Beldholm
VASER liposuction during an abdominoplasty performed by Dr Beldholm

Muscle Separation Repair

After liposuction, I’ll make a horizontal incision a few inches longer than a C-section incision and just above the pubic region. The incision’s length depends on how much redundant skin you have, and underwear easily covers it. After dissecting the skin flap, I’ll repair any separated tummy muscles.

Removing Excess Skin

The last step involves removing the excess skin and tissue from the lower abdomen, typically below the belly button. This helps create a smoother and more toned appearance. 

Closing the Wound

At this point, I will strategically close the wound using absorbable sutures and adhesive surgical glue to minimise scarring and achieve the desired results. 

PICO Dressing

PICO dressing applied to abdominal wound by Dr Beldholm
PICO dressing applied to abdominal wound by Dr Beldholm

Next, I’ll dress the wound using PICO dressing, a type of negative pressure wound therapy that helps promote healing and reduce the risk of complications such as infection. I will apply it to the incision site after surgery and require you to use it for about 7 days to promote healing.

Compression Garment

Finally, I will place a support garment on the excision area to reduce swelling, support the healing tissue, and enhance the procedure’s overall results. I expect you to wear the compression garment for at least 4 weeks.

Download your Post Pregnancy Abdominoplasty GP Referral Form

Dr Bernard Beldholm GP Referral Form

Recovering from Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty Surgery

Mini abdominoplasty is an inpatient day procedure. The hospital stay after the procedure is a few hours. Therefore, it’s important that someone drives you home to begin your aftercare. Also, ensure you take some time off work, about 1 to 2 weeks, to concentrate on recovery.

I will provide you with a list of post-operative care instructions after surgery. Following these instructions and attending follow-up sessions enhances recovery. Below is a common recovery timeline.

During the first 1-2 days after surgery, you will experience intense pain, swelling, bruising, and soreness around the incision. I prescribe painkillers for my patients to ease the pain. During this period, ensure you have enough sleep and rest while staying hydrated. After around 3 days, I always encourage my patients to take light walks around the house to improve blood flow and enhance recovery.

Post-surgical side effects will subside gradually, and most patients can resume light activities by the first to second week. However, I advise patients to avoid strenuous activities and continue to wear the compression garment for at least 4 weeks.

By week 6-8, most patients will begin to notice the procedure’s results. However, it will take longer before you enjoy the final results of a mini VASER lipo-abdominoplasty. Residual swelling takes between 3 and 6 months to subside, while scars take 12-18 months to fade.

How Long Should You Wait After Pregnancy Before Undergoing a Mini Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

My recommendation is that patients wait at least 12 months after childbirth before undergoing any abdominoplasty procedure, including mini tummy tuck surgery. This ensures that they recover from childbirth and attain their ideal weight. In addition, it offers them time to nurse and bond with their newborn.

What Are the Benefits of a Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty?

A mini abdominoplasty is less invasive compared to other abdominoplasty procedures. Below are the key benefits of a mini VASER lipo-abdominoplasty.

  • Enhanced abdominal contour and muscle tone

  • Reduced surgery time

  • Reduced scarring

  • Smaller incision

  • Correction of diastasis recti (if in the lower abdomen)

  • Smaller waist

  • Reduced visibility of a C-section scar

  • Reduced recovery time than other procedures

  • Only removes excess skin below the belly button, making a belly button incision not necessary.

Mini VASER Lipo-Abdominoplasty Surgery Risks and Complications

Mini Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure, hence posing several risks and complications, including:

  • Swelling and bruising

  • Hematoma 

  • Seroma

  • Chronic pain

  • Abnormal scarring

  • Loss of skin sensation

  • Skin necrosis

  • Skin infections

  • Prolonged wound healing

  • Wound dehiscence (Incision wound reopening)

  • Allergic reaction to the anaesthesia 

  • Unsatisfactory results

How Does the Cost of a Mini and Full Abdominoplasty Compare?

The cost of a mini abdominoplasty is lower than that of a full abdominoplasty because the procedure is less invasive, takes less time to perform, and does not require a hospital stay.

These include individual goals and the patient’s overall health. I always customise my procedures to fit my patient’s goals in order to achieve excellent satisfactory results while minimising the risk of complications.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Mini Abdominoplasty Procedure. 

The cost of abdominoplasty can vary depending on the following factors: 

  • Overall health

  • Goals

  • Liposuction

  • Muscle separation

  • Your specialist surgeon experience

  • Location of Clinic/Hospital

  • Medicare/MBS Number

  • Private Insurance

  • Hospital Fees

  • Medication 

  • Compression Garment

  • PICO Dressing

  • Anaesthetist Fee

  • Assistant Fees

FAQs

Does a Mini Abdominoplasty Include Liposuction?

I almost always include VASER liposuction in my mini abdominoplasty procedures. This improves the procedure results, reducing the risk of re-operation due to unsatisfactory results. The procedure is known as a mini VASER lipo-abdominoplasty.

How Long Will I Need to Take Off Work?

I advise my patients to take at least 2 weeks off work. This will allow you to focus fully on recovery. Many patients can resume their normal chores 2-3 weeks after surgery. 

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Dr. Bernard’s Final Word

Pregnancy has its share of side effects, including separated abdominal muscles and redundant and excess skin tissue and fat in the abdominal region. These may affect how your body looks post-pregnancy. You may find it hard to return to your previous body profile through non-conventional practices like exercise and a healthy diet. If so, you might be the right patient for my mini VASER lipo-abdominoplasty.

Book a consultation at my clinic today.

Download our short guide: “Preparing for your Abdominoplasty Surgery Checklist”

Preparing for your Tummy Tuck Surgery

References

  1. Nagy, M. W., & Vanek, P. F., Jr (2012). A multicenter, prospective, randomised, single-blind, controlled clinical trial comparing VASER-assisted Lipoplasty and suction-assisted Lipoplasty. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 129(4), 681e–689e. 

  2. Greminger R. F. (1987). The mini-abdominoplasty. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 79(3), 356–365. 

  3. Sperstad, J. B., Tennfjord, M. K., Hilde, G., Ellstrøm‐Engh, M., & Bø, K. (2016). Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(17), 1092–1096.

  4. Hoyos, A. E., & Millard, J. A. (2007). VASER-Assisted High-Definition Liposculpture. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 27(6), 594-604.

  5. Michalska, A., Rokita, W., Wolder, D., Pogorzelska, J., & Kaczmarczyk, K. (2018). Diastasis recti abdominis – a review of treatment methods. Ginekologia polska, 89(2), 97–101.

  6. Sperstad, J. B., Tennfjord, M. K., Hilde, G., Ellström-Engh, M., & Bø, K. (2016). Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain. British journal of sports medicine, 50(17), 1092–1096.

  7. Winocour, J., Gupta, V., Ramirez, J. R., Shack, R. B., Grotting, J. C., & Higdon, K. K. (2015). Abdominoplasty: Risk Factors, Complication Rates, and Safety of Combined Procedures. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 136(5), 597e–606e. 

  8. Mast B. A. (2005). Safety and efficacy of outpatient full abdominoplasty. Annals of plastic surgery, 54(3), 256–259.

  9. Hafezi F, Nouhi A. Safe abdominoplasty with extensive liposuctioning. Ann Plast Surg. 2006 Aug;57(2):149-53.

  10. Rubin P, Jewell ML, Richter D, Uebel CO. Body Contouring and Liposuction. 1st ed. In: Pitanguy I, editor. Introduction. United Kingdom: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. pp. 1-3

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Lorn NSW 2320

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This website contains adult content. You must be 18 years or over to read. All surgery carries risks. You should seek a second opinion before proceeding. Results vary from patient to patient. See our disclaimer.
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