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MINI TUMMY TUCK

What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Also known as mini abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin and, in some cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.  A mini tummy tuck treats the skin and excess fat below the belly button.

A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals. Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:

  • Aging

  • Heredity

  • Pregnancy

  • Prior surgery

  • Significant fluctuations in weight

What it won't do:

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck. Also, a tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.

Consultation and Preparing for Surgery:

The success and safety of your tummy tuck procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You'll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Is it right for me?

Tummy tuck surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Abdominoplasty is a good option for you if:

  • You are physically healthy and at a stable weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 30

  • You have realistic expectations

  • You are a non-smoker

  • You are bothered by the appearance of your abdomen

During your consultation be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals

  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments

  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use

  • Previous surgeries

Dr. Smith will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors

  • Take photographs (with consent, for your secure medical file)

  • Discuss your options

  • Recommend a course of treatment

  • Discuss likely outcomes of the tummy tuck and any risks or potential complications

Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation

  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications

  • Stop smoking

  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

In most cases, you will be able to go home the same day as your surgery.  However, a tummy tuck may be performed with other procedures.  If this is the case, you will likely spend one night in the hospital after surgery  In either case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following your operation.

The Procedure

Step 1 - Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. Abdominoplasty is usually performed with general anesthesia (asleep during the entire procedure).

Step 2 - The incision

A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin.

Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired.  This step is not always required with the mini tummy tuck procedure.  

The upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade. The excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together.

Step 3 - Closing the incisions

Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.

Step 4 - See the results
Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight. The final results may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete.  Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident in your new slimmer profile.  You will be asked to wear an abdominal compression device for 6 weeks after surgery.  You will also be asked to avoid heavy lifting and exercise for the first 6 weeks after your surgery.

Risks and Safety

The decision to have a tummy tuck is extremely personal, and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks.

The risks include:

  • Anesthesia risks

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)

  • Poor wound healing

  • Skin loss

  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation

  • Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling

  • Unfavorable scarring

  • Recurrent looseness of skin

  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)

  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications

  • Asymmetry

  • Suboptimal aesthetic result

  • Possibility of revisional surgery

  • Persistent pain

These risks and others will be fully discussed with Dr. Smith prior to your consent. It's important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Smith.

Recovery After Surgery

Following your surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith will address these specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:

  • Where will I recover for the first night after my surgery (discharge home or overnight stay in hospital)?

  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?

  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?

  • When will they be removed?

  • When will the stitches be removed?

  • How will I bathe?

  • How long will I wear the pressure garment?

  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?

  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Results

The final results of your tummy tuck may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete. Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight. Previous abdominal surgery may limit the potential results of a tummy tuck. In women who have undergone cesarean section, the existing scars may be incorporated into the new scar. Scar may take several months to a year to fade as much as they will.

Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Following Dr. Smith’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. It's important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Dr. Smith will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

Cost

Prices for tummy tuck procedures can vary. The cost will be based on the type of procedure required to address your specific needs.  Dr. Smith does offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
 

You will be charged one fee and this will include:

  • Anesthesia fees

  • Hospital or surgical facility costs

  • Medical tests (if required)

  • Post-surgery garments

  • Surgeon's fee

Dr. Smith

Your satisfaction involves more than a fee.  When choosing a plastic surgeon for tummy tuck, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her is just as important as the final cost of the surgery.

Plastic surgery involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a Plastic Surgeon you can trust. Plastic Surgeons such as Dr. Smith, certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada meet rigorous standards:

  • Board certification by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®

  • Completed five years of surgical training following medical school

  • Pass comprehensive oral and written exams

  • Graduate from an accredited medical school

  • Complete continuing medical education, including patient safety

  • Perform surgery in accredited hospitals and surgical facilities

Do not be confused by other official sounding boards and certifications.  Be sure to choose a highly trained plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

This procedural information is intended strictly for educational purposes. Only models are depicted in these procedural information pages. It is not intended to make any representations or warranties about the outcome of any procedure. It is not a substitute for a thorough, in-person consultation with Dr. Smith.