The mini-tummy tuck can achieve results similar to abdominoplasty, but the procedure is less extensive. It is commonly recommended to patients with less pronounced abdominal fat.
Many patients who undergo the mini tummy tuck have been pregnant, or experienced weight fluctuations, which can negatively affect the abdomen.
First pushing against the abdomen from the inside, from intra-abdominal fat or a pregnant uterus, can cause the muscles to widen in the middle creating a condition called diastasis. When this occurs, the rectus muscles (or six-pack) are not able to support the abdomen or the back. Next, fat outside of the abdominal wall can sap your energy, eventually leading to an excess amount of hanging tissue.
A mini-tummy tuck is performed less frequently than the traditional tummy tuck. The mini tuck may be recommended when there is only a moderate amount of excess skin and fat located below the belly button. When skin and fat noticeably hangs, and the fold of skin reaches the hips, a full tummy-tuck should be considered.
First, liposuction is performed on the entire abdomen and flanks. Next, an ellipse of skin and fat, no longer than about 8 inches, is removed from the lower central abdomen (below the belly button). To improve this problematic area, the muscles are tightened in the midline up to the belly button.
Since liposuction is used, a compression garment must be worn for up to 6 weeks to help the skin shrink. After full recovery, patients have a sculpted abdomen with a scar that is very discreet. The scars that result from mini-tummy tuck surgery are usually about half the length of a full tummy tuck.