You’re pretty happy with your body over all. It is just that niggling flap of skin on your lower belly that makes you feel uncomfortable. Ever since giving birth, you found yourself reaching for roomy clothing that hides your body. Maybe you feel like you can’t wear a two-piece swimsuits anymore, either. Well, play dates at the beach don’t have to make you squirm. There is a solution for mothers like you. A mini tummy tuck can take care of that loose flap of skin on the lower abdomen in one simple procedure.
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If you are considering a mini tummy tuck but need more information, you have come to the right place. Some patients are torn between a mini vs. a full tummy tuck. It is not always obvious which one you need, and the truth is you can get great results with both. If you are on the fence, these 15 facts can help you decide which one is the right choice for you:
A mini tummy tuck can be an attractive alternative to a full tummy tuck [Fact 1]
For patients looking for a little refinement of the tummy, a mini abdominoplasty is the perfect solution. Compared to a normal tummy tuck, it has many benefits. One of the most important is that it has a fast recovery time. Patients want to get back to their lives as quickly as possible after surgery. Mini tummy tuck surgery is less invasive than a full tummy tuck, so you’ll heal faster. That means less time off work, less time caring for incisions, quicker scar healing, less swelling, and more. Everything is a little faster and easier with a mini tummy tuck. This is very important for body contouring patients who want to get back to life with minimal downtime.
While a full tummy tuck is a safe procedure, there are always some risks associated with any kind of surgery. Possible surgical risks, while uncommon, include infection, necrosis, blood loss, hematoma, and seroma. Those are the big ones. Complication rates can be lower with an experienced surgeon, but it is a good idea to have the least invasive surgery possible to reduce your risks. A mini tummy tuck has fewer complications linked to it. Again, this is because it is the less invasive treatment. For the right candidate, such as mums with a small tummy pooch or C-section scar, it is quite safe.
Another benefit is that a mini tummy tuck is less costly. It is faster and simpler for a skilled plastic surgeon to perform this kind of tummy tuck. Since it takes less time, you can get a substantial savings compared to a full tummy tuck. That is good news since plastic surgery can be pricey, depending on the procedure and your location.
Mini tummy tucks are often called the “scarless tummy tuck” [Fact 2]
No surgery is actually scarless because once the skin is cut, there will always be a scar. However, scars can be well hidden for a “scarless” look when you wear a bikini or underwear. A mini tummy tuck is perfect for that. Doctor Bernard can place the scar in the bikini line so it will be hidden once it is healed. Unlike a full tummy tuck, there is no scar around the belly button. Also, a mini tummy tuck has minimal dissection that helps improve blood supply to the skin, which is better for reducing scars.
Scarring from a full tummy tuck is not as easy to hide since it is a more extensive surgery, although efforts will be made to make the most attractive scar possible. That’s where having an experienced surgeon like Doctor Beldholm comes into play. Once the scars heal, they usually fade and turn white in a year or two. However, the goal is to minimize scarring as much as possible. If you are a candidate for a mini tummy tuck, that may be the way to go – especially if you are hoping to keep scars minimal.
Download our short guide: “Preparing for your Abdominoplasty Surgery Checklist”
Loose skin below the belly button can be removed to give your tummy the flattest appearance [Fact 3]
Patients often want to address excess skin below the belly button. That is especially so after having a baby. Tightening the skin in this area can give you a firmer, flatter belly overall. A mini tummy tuck allows the skin to be stretched and tightened for a more youthful result.
A full tummy tuck means the patient has more skin to remove. Post weight loss patients and women with multiple pregnancies are good examples. That requires repositioning of the belly button. This is not necessary with a mini tummy tuck. The skin can be pulled nice and taut, leaving the navel in a natural position. Again, your healing will be easier because of this.
If you do not want to have a full tummy tuck (even if it is recommended), you can certainly do that. In fact, a mini tummy tuck does make the upper belly skin appear firmer as a result of the lower abdominal skin being stretched. It may not give you the results of a full tummy tuck, but it is a mistake to think that a mini tummy tuck gives no improvement to the upper abdomen.
You can still have a baby after a mini tummy tuck [Fact 4]
Many mother wonder if they can still have a baby safely after a mini tummy tuck, but there is no need to worry. Having a mini or full tummy tuck will not impact your fertility. It is perfectly safe to have a baby after surgery. Of course, you might want to wait until after you are done having children to get cosmetic surgery. Otherwise, the skin might stretch again, leaving you at square one. However, in terms of safety, there is no reason you couldn’t have the procedure then decide to have more children later.
A mini tummy tuck often has a quicker recovery than other types of abdominoplasties [Fact 5]
A mini tummy tuck is a day-only procedure. That means you can leave the hospital after waking up from anesthesia. You’ll have plenty of time to recover in the recovery room. But as soon as you feel up to it, you can return home to rest and heal. A full tummy tuck can sometimes mean an overnight hospital stay. Most people can return home the same day, but with a mini tummy tuck this is virtually guaranteed.
Another benefit is that patients usually get back to driving just one week after surgery. That is a big one for patients who are worried about being self sufficient as soon as possible. Generally, mini tummy tucks have less downtime than other kinds of abdominoplasty. Most people can even get back into the gym at around four weeks. Lifting your kids should be possible by the second week, and you can return to work in just one to two weeks. Getting back to your normal activities of daily living sooner is a great relief to patients who can’t afford to take time away from their busy schedule.
Mini tummy tuck should be done under general anesthesia in a private hospital [Fact 6]
By now, you know that a mini tummy tuck carries less risks and has a faster recovery than a full tummy tuck. However, it is still considered a major surgery. You should be sedated with general anesthesia. This reduces your discomfort greatly. When you wake up after surgery with your new body, you will have no memory of the surgery. It can be done without general anesthetic, but Dr. Beldholm does not recommend this.
Another important factor to consider is where your surgery will take place. Dr. Bernard prefers to use a private hospital rather than a public one for many reasons that greatly benefit you. The main advantage of a private hospital is that there is less risk of cross contamination.3 Cleanliness is better managed at private hospitals since they are required to uphold government requirements. This is very important since cleaner operating rooms reduce your chance of infection.
Private hospitals are also better equipped to give you more personalized care since there are fewer patients.1 Not to mention, the amenities at private hospitals tend to be far better than public hospitals. Quality of care is important for your wellbeing and safety. You’re also going to have shorter wait times at private hospitals.
In fact, here in Newcastle, Australia, the rules have changed. It is now mandatory to have all abdominoplasty newcastle surgeries performed in a private, accredited hospital. Patients tend to be much happier this way.
A mini tummy tuck is often done with breast surgery [Fact 7]
A mini tummy tuck can be a standalone procedure, or it can be added with breast surgery. There are two main areas that are affected by pregnancy. Those are the breasts and tummy. It is very common to combine a mini tummy tuck with a breast lift, breast reduction, or breast augmentation. A combination procedure can give you beautiful results with a single surgery. There has been an estimated 41 percent increase in the procedure from the year 2000 to 2017.2
Muscle separation can be treated as part of a mini tummy tuck [Fact 8]
Many patients with diastasis recti, or ab muscle separation from pregnancy, think they have to have a full tummy tuck. This is not always the case. If the muscle separation exists below the belly button instead of above it, a mini tummy tuck can easily repair the muscle. Otherwise, a full tummy tuck may be needed. If you’re not sure, Dr. Beldholm will share the options that are available to you at a consultation after examining your abdominal muscles.
Mini tummy tucks are most commonly done for moms after pregnancy [Fact 9]
For mothers, a mini tummy tuck is the top requested procedure. Mums who have had a C-section can benefit greatly from this type of surgery. The reason is that a C-section usually leaves an overhang of loose skin over the C-section scar on the lower abdomen. A lot of mums find that it goes away beautifully with a mini tummy tuck. It is also great for the loose, stretched skin or mummy pooch in the lower tummy that is so common after giving birth. It is a ideal surgical procedure for new mothers. And again, you can add a mini tummy tuck as part of a breast surgery.
Rejuvenation of the mons area can be done as part of a mini tummy tuck [Fact 10]
Your tummy stretches to make room for baby, and the skin rarely bounces back to how it was before pregnancy without a little help. The mons area near the pubic bone is one area that tends to sag after pregnancy. This area is lifted up as part of a mini tummy tuck to give you firmer, more attractive contours that resemble your pre-baby body.
Mini tummy tuck cost is often substantially lower than other abdominoplasties [Fact 11]
We touched on this earlier, but cost is an important consideration when you decide to get plastic surgery. There are finance plans like MAC Credit than can get you in the door, but it is still a big expense for many people. Preparing for the cost is something most patients have to think about. A mini tummy tuck is much more affordable than a full tummy tuck since it is a faster procedure. A mini tummy tuck only three hours. That is substantially less time than a full tummy tuck, which takes up to five hours. The savings gets passed along to you, the patient.
The C-section scar is replaced with a new scar in the mini tummy tuck [Fact 12]
Do you want to get rid of the C-section scar after giving birth? You are not alone. When you have a C-section, the focus is on getting the baby out safely. It is a major surgery. Aesthetics are usually not at the forefront of the doctor’s mind. Many women feel the scar that is left behind is unattractive and hard to hide. Plus, the flap of skin that usually hangs over it does not look great, either.
Many mothers wonder what happens to their old C-section scar after a mini tummy tuck. It is cut out as part of the mini tummy tuck, leaving you with less obvious (and thus, a more attractive) scar in its place. Doctor Bernard understands the importance of well placed scars. He wants to make sure you get a beautiful result.
An apronectomy is a different operation than a mini tummy tuck and is usually done post weight loss [Fact 13]
The two are similar but they have very different purposes. A mini tummy tuck takes less than two hours and it removes a modest amount of excess skin only. It is meant for women who are post pregnancy, not post weight loss. The apron of skin that is left after substantial weight loss means more skin and fat has to be removed. An apronectomy is the procedure of choice for that. Dr. Bernard has removed up to 50 kilos with an apronectomy. Meanwhile, a mini tummy tuck is better for removing the small flap of skin that remains after pregnancy or a C-section.
Skin-only mini tummy tuck and the mini Lipo-abdominoplasty are very different mini abdominoplasties [Fact 14]
They are two different operations with two different results. The mini Lipo-abdominoplasty is a tummy tuck that uses additional VASER liposuction for added refinement of fat. It is basically a bonus treatment that gives you even better results. VASER lipo is perfect for getting ultra smooth results without less risk of the rippling that is common with standard liposuction.
On the other hand, the mini tummy tuck addresses skin only. It is great for removing the hanging flap of leftover skin that is common after pregnancy on the lower belly. This can be trimmed away without liposuction. However, a Lipo-abdominoplasty with liposuction makes a huge difference to the results. It adds an hour to the surgery and a slight increase in cost, but most patients say the final result is well worth it.
Dr. Beldholm uses the latest techniques to give you the smoothest, most attractive result possible. VASER is next-generation liposuction that is perfect for that extra refinement. Adding it to your treatment can mean the difference between a good and a great tummy tuck result. It is easy to add it on to a tummy tuck procedure. Every patient who gets a mini tummy tuck can benefit. You can learn more about what VASER liposuction is here.
Do you need a full or mini tummy tuck? Click here to find out now.
- NPR. The Pros and Cons of Public vs. Private Hospitals, www.npinstitute.com/public-vs-private-hospitals-s/1852.htm.
- Paulson, Sara. “Once Taboo, ‘Mommy Makeover’ Goes Modern.” Florida Today, Florida Today, 22 May 2018, www.floridatoday.com/story/life/wellness/2018/05/22/once-taboo-mommy-makeover-goes-modern/618611002/.
- “Prevalence of Bacterial Contamination in General Operating Theaters in Selected Hospitals in the Gaza Strip, Palestine.” Journal of Infection and Public Health, Elsevier, 30 Nov. 2011, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876034111001079.