Pregnancy, weight loss and the inevitable aging process can all take their toll on your midsection. The lower abdomen can go through significant changes from these events, leading to a bulge that does not respond to diet and exercise. At the same time, loose skin in the lower abdominal area can impact both your appearance and your ability to wear a smaller size of clothing. Fortunately, both of these issues can be addressed with a single surgical procedure known as the mini tummy tuck.
Explaining the Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tummy tuck is a less invasive alternative to the traditional or full abdominoplasty. This procedure primarily focuses on the lower abdomen and combines liposuction and the tuck technique to produce the best possible results. Liposuction removes excess fat in the midsection that has not responded to diet and exercise, while the tuck portion of the procedure removes excess loose skin.
The mini tummy tuck was developed in 1999 by Brazilian surgeon Dr. Juarez M. Avelar, which is why the procedure is also referred to as the Avelar tummy tuck. Dr. Avelar discovered that combining liposuction with the tummy tuck procedure allowed for better results with less trauma to the body than a full tummy tuck offered. Since that time, the procedure has been performed – and perfected – by plastic surgeons across the globe. Dr. Smith has further improved the Avelar tummy tuck procedure by incorporating Tickle Lipo, a specialized type of liposuction, into the surgery.
Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck
There are a number of differences between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck. For patients that do not require as much correction in the midsection, the mini tummy tuck offers a number of benefits over the more invasive traditional procedure:
- Can be performed using local anesthesia
- Always done on an outpatient basis
- Involve much smaller incisions, which means less post-operative scarring
- No surgical drains required after the procedure
- Ability to remove more fat due to addition of liposuction
- Less trauma and risk to patient during and after mini tummy tuck
- Recovery time can be cut in half or even more
- Creates a smoother profile due to removal of fat along the abdominal wall
Although the mini tummy tuck does offer a number of advantages, it is not the best procedure for everyone. This procedure focuses on the lower abdomen and will not correct stretch marks or other cosmetic concerns above the belly button. Dr. Smith will meet with you to discuss your concerns and aesthetic goals before determining whether a mini tummy tuck will provide you with the results you are looking for.
Advantages of Tickle Lipo
Dr. Smith uses Tickle Lipo during her mini tummy tuck procedures. This technique utilizes a cannula that gently vibrates after it is placed into the fat tissue, which loosens the fat cells prior to removal. In addition to the advantages to be gained from choosing the mini tummy tuck over the full abdominoplasty, the addition of Tickle Lipo offers a number of benefits over traditional liposuction procedures:
- Less trauma to the treatment area
- No heat used during procedure means fewer risks
- More comfortable procedure with less downtime
- Can be performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia
- Can create smoother results when performed by an experienced physician
The Tickle Lipo procedure is used at the beginning of the mini tummy tuck to thin the abdominal wall, which creates a smoother result and a faster recovery.
An “awake” tummy tuck means that the procedure is performed using local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. This approach offers a number of benefits to the patient, including less risk during and after the procedure. This is particularly beneficial for patients that might be at higher risk for complications with general anesthesia due to some medical conditions, obesity or drug allergies.
The liposuction portion of the procedure is also performed using tumescent anesthesia. This involves the infusion of a tumescent numbing fluid into the treatment area prior to fat removal. In addition to ensuring comfort during the procedure, the tumescent fluid also minimizes bleeding and bruising for a faster, more comfortable recovery process.
A traditional tummy tuck often involves an incision that extends across the bikini line from hipbone to hipbone. In addition to the longer healing process, this type of incision leaves a significant visible scar after the procedure. On the other hand, a mini tummy tuck requires a much smaller incision that will leave less scarring. Smaller scars also mean faster recovery and lower risk for infection and poor wound healing.
Shorter Recovery Time
A traditional tummy tuck often requires a short hospital stay after the procedure. The patient is likely to go home with drains placed into the incision to prevent fluid buildup and infection from occurring. Recovery from a full tummy tuck can be rather slow, with most patients returning to light activities within 3-4 weeks. Strenuous activities are restricted for much longer to give the incision and the treatment area plenty of time to heal completely.
Patients tend to recovery from the mini tummy tuck procedure much quicker. Most of Dr. Smith’s patients are back to work within 5-7 days. Strenuous activity will be restricted for a longer time after this procedure as well, but that time span is typically much shorter than it would be with a traditional tummy tuck.
Like a full abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck offers long-lasting results as long as a healthy weight is maintained after the procedure. This surgery produces a flatter abdomen that makes you look more trim and toned, with the ability to fit comfortably into those smaller clothing sizes. With less risk and discomfort, as well as a shorter recovery period, it is easy to see why qualifying patients will opt for this procedure to meet their body contouring goals.
If you would like to learn more about the mini tummy tuck or find out if this procedure is right for you, contact Sapphire Advanced Aesthetics at 952-460-1970 to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Smith today.