Minimal Incision Tummy Tuck

When excess fat accumulates in the stomach, the skin responds to the excess weight by stretching out. Unfortunately, if the patient loses weight, the abdominal skin does not always retract and return to it former smooth appearance. Instead, patients are left with loose and wrinkled skin that simply does not conform to the patient’s contour. When patients have a small amount of this excess skin that is limited to the lower abdominal region, Bay Area Plastic Surgeon John Griffin can perform mini tummy tuck surgery.

Mini Tummy Tuck Candidates

Mini tummy tuck surgery is a less invasive version of the traditional tummy tuck. The most suitable candidates for the mini tummy tuck procedure are those with a small amount of excess skin that is concentrated below the belly button. This excess skin is common after pregnancy or weight loss, or as a result of the aging process.

Good candidates for a surgical procedure such as the mini tummy tuck should be in good overall health, not smoke, and have reasonable expectations about the results of treatment.

Mini Tummy Tuck Technique

The mini tummy tuck procedure involves the creation of a horizontal incision. The incision is placed near the bikini line. After the incision is made, the skin is separated from the abdominal wall, giving Dr. Griffin access to the underlying muscles. The abdominal muscles can be pulled together and tightened with sutures to produce a flatter abdominal contour. Then, the remaining tissues and skin can be pulled up so the skin is taut and smooth; any excess skin and tissue is excised, and the incision is closed with sutures.

Mini Tummy Tuck Procedural Steps

The mini tummy tuck procedure involves the following steps:

  1. The stomach is marked with a surgical pen that indicates where changes will be made
  2. An antibacterial solution is applied to the stomach
  3. The patient is put under general anesthesia
  4. The incision is made
  5. The skin is separated from the underlying tissue and musculature
  6. The abdominal muscles are tightened
  7. The skin is tightened
  8. Excess skin is removed
  9. The incisions are closed over drains
  10. Bandages are applied to the treatment area

Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery

Though recovery from a mini tummy tuck is usually shorter and results in less side effects than the traditional tummy tuck, patients should still plan for the recovery period. Mini tummy tuck patients will typically take at least one week off from work, during which time they should take it easy. Patients may also have a drain attached to the incision site for the first week after surgery; this ensures that any excess fluid drains out of the body, reducing the risk of infection and seroma.

For the first two to six weeks after surgery, patients should wear a compression garment and avoid strenuous activity. At the six-week mark, patients should have a good idea of what their final results will look like.

Mini Tummy Tuck Side Effects

The side effects of the mini tummy tuck procedure include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Discomfort
  • Itching
  • Numbness

These side effects are concentrated around the incision site and typically fade in one to two weeks, with the exception of swelling and numbness, which may take up to three months to completely subside.

Mini Tummy Tuck Risks

Mini tummy tuck surgery is associated with some risks and possible complications, including:

  • Infection
  • Poor reaction to anesthesia
  • Seroma
  • Hematoma
  • Poor wound healing
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Skin loss
  • Permanent nerve damage that results in loss of sensation
  • Under or overcorrection

Mini Tummy Tuck Results

The final results of mini tummy tuck surgery can be seen once all swelling has gone down, typically six weeks after surgery. The results of tummy tuck surgery can be expected to last a decade or more, provided the patient stays near his or her ideal weight range and maintains a healthy diet and exercise routine.  See before and after photos.

Mini Tummy Tuck Consultations

To schedule a mini tummy tuck consultation, contact Dr. John Griffin today.