Do you have extra skin, muscle laxity, and excess body fat in your lower belly? It can be a cause of frustration, especially when diet and exercise can seem to fix the problem. The mini tummy tuck is a less invasive surgical procedure recommended for those who only need a small amount of contouring. It’s one of the popular procedures performed at Ver Halen Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery in Colleyville, TX.
What Is Involved in a Mini Tummy Tuck?
Due to aging, pregnancy, childbirth, or weight gain, you may suffer from loose skin and excess fat below the belly button. Some people also have a natural tendency to accumulate fat in this specific area. This creates the appearance of a so-called “belly pooch” or lower belly bulge, with excess skin hanging just below the navel.
In a nutshell, the common aesthetic problems this procedure can solve are:
- Excess skin below the belly button
- The presence of a small “belly pooch”
- Stubborn lower belly fat that can’t be eliminated through exercise
Even people with a healthy weight can develop this unwanted physical appearance. They find that diet and exercise alone cannot fix the problem. In this case, only a surgical procedure or aesthetic treatment can give you the change you’re hoping for.
Do You Need a Full Tummy Tuck or a Mini Tummy Tuck?
The full tummy tuck is highly recommended for those who have lost a significant amount of weight and have a lot of excess skin in their midsection. The full procedure is widely popular among women who have had several pregnancies or people who were obese at some point in the past. The goal is the full tummy tuck procedure is to eliminate excessive fat deposits or loose skin in the abdominal area.
A mini tummy tuck offers similar benefits, but it only involves the lower abdomen. It also does not tighten abdominal muscles or fix any muscle-weakening issues. Are you only dealing with a smaller area with minor problems and prefer a less invasive procedure? Then a full tummy tuck will not be necessary.
What Happens During the Process?
First, you’ll need to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine whether you are an ideal candidate. The initial consultation will help to set your expectations and determine whether a mini tummy tuck is enough to address your issues. Depending on your case, additional or other procedures might be recommended.
The initial consultation discusses the following:
- Desired outcomes and expectations
- Medical history
- Use of drugs and supplements
How To Prepare for the Procedure
A mini tummy tuck is less invasive compared to a full tummy tuck, but you’ll still need to make sure that you’re fully prepared for it. After all, it’s still a huge and very personal decision. You might likely feel nervous, anxious, or excited about the success of your procedure. But there’s nothing to worry about. The recovery period of your surgical procedure can be minimized if you’re well-prepared for it.
Your surgeon should give you a set of guidelines to follow after you’ve scheduled the surgery. During the initial consultation, you should also have a general idea of what will happen on the day of your surgery. Here are some of the tips that we recommend you follow to feel prepared.
Maintain a Healthy, Stable Weight
A mini tummy tuck is useful for those who have a relatively healthy weight, but specifically want to address the area below the belly button. Keep note that it does not make you drop weight. This procedure can only eliminate the appearance of a small, lower belly pooch.
You’re not training for a marathon, but being at a healthy, stable weight will ease your anxiety. The right preparation will make you feel more prepared for surgery and recovery. If you are feeling your overall best health, it is usually a good sign. Fuel your body with good nutrition, and try to consume more low-fat and protein-rich foods. Look out for healthy diets that can boost your immune system and improve blood circulation.
Have a Dependable Support System
Good moral support and personal assistance during the first two weeks of your recovery are necessary. If you are taking care of kids, it’s important to make sure that you have got childcare arranged for you. You can also ask your partner, friends, and family to give you a helping hand around the house.
Take Note of Your Medication
Two weeks before your surgery, your doctor will ask you to stop taking any of the following medications or anti-inflammatory medicines:
- Herbal medications
- Diet pills and teas
These medicines can increase bleeding and may cause complications in the procedure. Until your surgery, avoid taking unnecessary pain medication.
Not smoking includes refraining from the consumption of substances with nicotine, such as tobacco, vape, nicotine patches, or nicotine gums. Continued consumption of these harmful products may cause complications. It may also slow down your healing and recovery process. To avoid infections, it is important to boost your immune system and try to quit or minimize smoking.
What Happens During the Surgery?
The surgery generally takes 1-3 hours. It is performed by board-certified surgeons with excellent training and experience. On the day of your procedure, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and raise any concerns or questions you may have. The room where the procedure is conducted is well-maintained and meets safety requirements.
Cleansing of the Area
To prevent surgical infections, the skin on your abdomen should be well-prepared and cleaned. Proper sanitation will prevent you from having to take antibiotics after the surgery. The bacteria or germs on your skin are eliminated through the use of antiseptics chosen by your surgeon. You might be advised not to put lotion, powder, oil, or deodorants on your body in preparation for the procedure.
Marking of Incision Guidelines
The mini tummy tuck surgery will only require one incision above the pubic mound. The incision is approximately 4-8 inches long, similar to a c-section scar. It is the smallest or shortest incision associated with any other type of abdominoplasty. Women who have had a c-section will not have a new scar because of the procedure.
Administration of Local Anesthesia and Sedative
Depending on your case, there is a possibility of using a general anesthetic during your surgery. However, cases can vary from one person to another. The most common anesthetic options for a less invasive procedure include oral sedation and conscious sedation.
You can almost always opt for conscious sedation. Unlike a full tummy tuck, you will not experience any extensive dissection, muscle tightening, and large skin removal. General anesthesia will not always be necessary.
Removal of Excess Fat and Skin
After your surgeon makes an incision, excess skin and fat will then be removed from your lower abdominal muscles. Any loose skin will be eliminated, or pulled down and tightened. A full tummy tuck can cut out up to five pounds of abdominal tissue. This can make a huge difference if your body has been holding on to fat that you can’t get rid of on your own. The result is a new, flatter abdomen or a lower belly area with a more ideal shape.
Closing of Incision
After excess fat and tissue have been removed, your surgeon will close the incision by the use of sutures, adhesives, and clips. Sutures are synthetic threads that are used to sew your surgical wound closed. Your talented surgeon will also close your incision in such a way that a minimal scar is created. You can easily hide it under a bikini or other types of clothing.
What to Do During Care and Recovery?
A tummy tuck is less invasive and considered minor compared to other types of abdominoplasty. Care and recovery should be easily manageable for you, as long as you take note of your doctor’s safety notes and advice.
After completing your procedure, the next thing you’ll need to do is focus on healing and recovery. Unlike a full tummy tuck, this procedure can even be performed as an outpatient procedure. Two to three weeks after the surgery, most candidates have fully recovered and resumed their normal day-to-day activities.
Does It Require a Hospital Stay?
Your surgeon might recommend an overnight stay or, sometimes, you can go home a few hours after the procedure. Recovery is different for every candidate, and some factors that can affect whether you will need additional care include:
- Health status
Take some time to heal after your surgery. The healthier you are and the stronger your immune system, the faster you’ll recover. In the first few hours following the procedure, you will need to stay put and ask for personal assistance from a caregiver or someone you trust. That’s why it’s important to make such arrangements even before you finalize a date for your procedure.
What Can You Expect Within a Week?
Within a week, you can start driving, cooking, and resume your other daily activities. Avoid overexerting yourself during the entire recovery period. Your doctor may tell you to take sponge baths at first and use a chair for showering. Depending on your surgeon and the outcome of the procedure, you may or may not also have a drainage tube.
In some cases, your surgeon can close the space where the drain should sit. If you’ll ever need to have a drain inserted, maintain proper care, and follow the advice and prescription of your surgeon.
Do You Need to Wear a Compression Garment?
For the next four to six weeks, your surgeon will advise you to wear a binder or compression garment. This is vital for your speedy recovery and safety. It will help support your abdomen and prevent any possible fluid buildup. It also reduces swelling and ensures you have a more comfortable recovery period.
How Long Before You See the Final Results?
It may take up to six months before you can accurately assess the results of your surgery. The initial phase of healing will have a mild swelling that can affect how you perceive the flatness of your lower abdomen. Improvements will occur within the next few months.
You can then discuss with your surgeon if you want additional work done. For this reason, setting the right expectations and maintaining clear communication with your surgeon should always be observed.
Achieve the Flattering Look You Desire
Before you commit your mind and heart to a cosmetic procedure, it is necessary to know everything that is involved in it. Are you interested in getting a mini tummy tuck that will finally solve your problems regarding loose skin and lower belly fat? Contact Ver Halen Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery in Colleyville, TX today and schedule a consultation. We can’t wait to answer all your questions and help you look and feel your best!
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