If you are interested in getting the flat stomach of your dreams, you may have thought about getting a tummy tuck. What you may not know, however, is that there are different types of this surgery, and a “mini tummy tuck” is one version that you may not have considered. Although similar procedures, a tummy tuck, and a mini tummy tuck address different abdominal medical and aesthetic concerns.
A mini tummy tuck tightens muscles and removes excess skin beneath the naval and above the pelvis. One the other hand, a tummy tuck treats muscles that have entirely separated from the abdominal wall.
In general, a mini tummy tuck is suitable for those whose abdomen doesn’t protrude excessively, whereas women whose skin has been stretched over multiple pregnancies or formerly obese individuals generally require a full tummy tuck.
Here, Dr. Farber of Farber Plastic Surgery in Boca Raton explains the difference between the two procedures and so that you can determine which one may be correct for you. When you are ready to move forward, you’ll want a consultation with an expert plastic surgeon to help you make your final decision. Choosing the right procedure ensures you get the results you want.
What is the Main Purpose of a Tuck?
The primary purpose of any abdominal ‘tuck’ surgery is to reinforce the abdominal region and remove excess skin.
A properly functioning abdominal wall has various responsibilities in our bodies. These include:
- Supporting the lower spine
- Helping maintain good posture
- Holding the abdominal organs such as the liver, kidneys, stomach, and intestines in their relative positions.
When an abdominal wall becomes weakened, it is less capable of performing these duties and can result in back pain, poor posture, and in more severe cases, intestinal hernias and incontinence.
Excess skin, as a by-product of obesity, can also be removed in a tummy tuck procedure. Overall health and the state of any patients’ abdominal wall determines the suitability of procedures like a mini tummy tuck or a tummy tuck.
Why Choose a Mini-Tummy Tuck?
Over 130,000 people in the U.S. opted for a tummy tuck procedure last year. But several studies are revealing that many of these patients only required a mini-tummy tuck.
When patients who don’t require a full tummy tuck receive the procedure, they undergo an unnecessary invasive procedure, risk unnecessary complications, pay an unnecessary amount of money, and recover for an unnecessary amount of time.
For these reasons, it is essential that patients consult with surgeons who are experienced in performing tummy tucks, so as to get a reliable recommendation for which procedure best suits the patients’ circumstances.
When Should I Get a Mini-Tummy Tuck, not a Full Tummy Tuck?
If you are experiencing lower back pain, have compromised posture, and more severe symptoms such as incontinence (involuntary urination) or hernias, then you will require a full tummy tuck.
Mothers who have had several pregnancies may experience muscular separation of the abdomen, which can compromise the functioning of the abdominal wall. In these cases, a full tummy tuck will also be necessary.
If, on the other hand, the musculature of the abdomen was stretched in an accident, perhaps in a sporting mishap, there is a good chance a mini-tummy tuck will sufficiently rejoin the musculature of the stomach.
Other cases where a mini-tummy tuck is sufficient can include instances of childhood obesity, where the patient lost weight coming out of their teenage years and, as a result, has excess skin underneath the belly button.
In most cases, anytime the functioning of the abdominal wall is not compromised, and excess skin is further down towards the pelvis, a mini-tummy tuck can be considered.
How is a Mini-Tummy Tuck Performed?
During a mini-tummy tuck, your surgeon will use liposuction to remove excess fat tissue, then use sutures to tighten the musculature and skin around the lower abdomen. This results in a stronger, more contoured, and flatter lower abdomen. For patients without too much excess skin or damage to the abdominal wall, the mini tummy tuck can be enough to give them the results they desire. Other patients prefer the full tummy tuck when a more dramatic transformation is needed.
A mini-tummy tuck can be done under local anesthesia and usually takes no longer than two hours, and it leaves only a small scar near the pelvis. While the full tummy tuck requires a longer incision and more time for recovery, our patients who undergo both procedures say that their results are well worth the scars.
Choosing a surgeon who knows the different applications of a mini-tummy tuck and full tummy-tuck is vital to the long-term success of your procedure. You may not need the more extensive surgery of the full tummy tuck. However, if you get a mini-tummy tuck when you have a compromised abdominal wall, you will require subsequent surgery and risk permanent damage.
Dr. Farber has extensive experience in performing both mini and full tummy tucks in the Boca Raton region. If you require an abdominal tuck, be sure to consult with Dr. Farber about which procedure best suits your needs. Call 561 503 2700 or fill out his online form to arrange your consultation.