Mini abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a mini tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that creates a firmer, flatter lower abdomen for patients who have undergone pregnancy or weight loss. Unlike a traditional tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck focuses exclusively on excess fat, loose skin, and scarring in the lower abdomen below the navel.
Mini abdominoplasty offers a range of benefits to patients, including:
• Repair lower abdominal muscles after postpartum separation
• Complete removal or precise revision of C-section scars
• Remove stubborn pockets of excess abdominal fat
• Less scarring than a traditional tummy tuck
• Elimination of loose skin and even stretch marks
If you want to recapture your flat stomach after pregnancy or wish to remove excess skin and fat following weight loss, then consider a mini abdominoplasty procedure. A mini tummy tuck can be tailored to suit each patient’s needs and can even be used specifically for the revision of an unfavorable C-section scar. At Millennial Plastic Surgery, Dr. David Shokrian can help you actualize your dream body and revise C-section scars with mini abdominoplasty surgery.
C-Section Scar Revision
In addition to sculpting a flatter stomach, mini abdominoplasty can be used as a means for C-section scar revision. Following an emergency or planned Caesarean section, some women find themselves with unsightly scars horizontally spanning their midsection that may be highly visible, even when wearing clothing. Using mini abdominoplasty, Dr. Shokrian can remove the scar completely or redo the incision to give their patients a more desirable and inconspicuous scar normal clothing can hide that, including bikini bottoms.
Mini abdominoplasty can be completed under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation, depending on the extent of the procedure for each patient. After the patient has been properly numbed, an incision along a pre-marked line will be made below the navel. Any excess fat will be removed from the lower abdomen using liposuction.
Patients affected by diastasis recti, a condition sometimes caused by pregnancy wherein the abdominal muscles separate, are great candidates for mini abdominoplasty. The lower abdomen can be stitched back together to eliminate discomfort and address any additional sagging caused by the condition. Patients with abdominal separation located or extending above the navel may be better candidates for traditional abdominoplasty surgery.
After the excess fat has been removed and the abdominal wall has been repaired as necessary, the surgeon will then remove loose skin. The skin will be stretched tight to meet the bottom incision line and any overlapping loose tissue will be cut away. Depending on the location, stretch marks caused by pregnancy or weight gain may be reduced or eliminated completely. After all excess tissue has been removed, the skin is then sutured closed to complete the procedure. The length of the surgery can last between two and four hours.
Recovery and Results
Side effects from mini abdominoplasty include swelling, bruising, soreness and a temporary change in sensation around the targeted area. Most symptoms fade within the first couple of weeks, although the length of the recovery period will vary based on each patient’s procedure. Patients with non-dissolvable sutures and/or surgical drains will have them removed five to 10 days following surgery.
Patients can typically go home the same day as the procedure. Recovery lasts around one week, with some patients able to return to work in as little as a few days. Strenuous activities and exercise will need to be avoided for a few weeks, especially if the abdominal wall was repaired. Patients with repaired abdominal separation will need to wait two to three months before resuming core-focused exercises to ensure their abdominal muscles have healed completely.
Results will be immediately visible, although swelling will take several months to fully subside. The use of compression garments will be prescribed to help alleviate swelling and provide a more comfortable recovery. The surgical scar will at first appear red and puffy but will continue to diminish in appearance as the scar tissue matures. It takes scars two to three years to completely heal, although the mini abdominoplasty scar will fade to a thin white line by the end of the first year.
Q&A with Dr.Shokrian
Who is a good candidate for a mini abdominoplasty?
Patients with loose skin, abdominal separation, excess belly fat, and/or scarring below the navel are good candidates for a mini abdominoplasty. The ideal candidate will already be at or near their ideal body weight, since abdominoplasty is not intended to be a weight loss procedure or as a substitute for living a healthy lifestyle. To determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure, come in for an in-person evaluation.
How can a mini abdominoplasty fix a C-section scar?
By targeting the lower abdomen, we can revise or potentially even remove the old C-section scar and replace it with a straighter, thinner scar in a more inconspicuous location. It’s important to note that a mini abdominoplasty will leave a scar of its own and that we are only aiming to replace or revise the unfavorable C-section scar with a more precise surgical scar. The incision line for mini abdominoplasty surgery is only a few inches or less, making it smaller than the typical C-section scar.
I don’t have loose skin or excess fat, but I have an unsightly C-section scar. Is a mini abdominoplasty right for me?
Absolutely. If you only want to revise your C-section scar, then we can tailor the procedure to suit your needs. Patients undergoing a C-section scar revision will have a shorter procedure with a quicker recovery time.
How soon after giving birth can I undergo C-section scar revision?
We recommend waiting for at least six months to one year after finishing breastfeeding before undergoing a C-section scar revision. Patients interested in a mini abdominoplasty should also be done having children, as future pregnancies can distort and ruin results.
Can a mini abdominoplasty be part of a mommy makeover procedure?
Yes, abdominoplasty procedures are commonly part of a comprehensive approach to restoring mothers’ bodies after the effects of pregnancy. We can discuss all of your concerns with you during an initial consultation and will help you form an individualized treatment plan that meets all of your needs.
What’s the difference between a traditional tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck?
Traditional abdominoplasty addresses loose skin, excess fat and diastasis recti located throughout the entire abdominal region. A mini abdominoplasty focuses specifically on the area of the abdomen below the navel, meaning the belly button and any skin or tissue above it is not affected by the procedure. Because a mini abdominoplasty is a smaller procedure, the recovery is quicker and the resulting scar is more minimal than a traditional abdominoplasty.
How long will results last?
Results following a mini abdominoplasty are lifelong. In order to best preserve your results, you should be capable of maintaining a stable body weight and be prepared to commit to a relatively healthy lifestyle, as future weight gain can negatively impact your results.