A mini tummy tuck is a procedure to remove fat and excess skin from the lower belly and the upper pubic area. As a less invasive form of the tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, the mini tummy tuck involves smaller incisions and requires less downtime.
Sometimes, factors such as genetics and pregnancy can make it impossible to lose the “pooch”, even with proper diet and exercise. But with just one incision hidden in the pubic area, you can enjoy a flatter, more attractive belly without the presence of stubborn fat.
As a surgeon with over 20 years of experience and a contributor to multiple research studies in the field of plastic surgery, Dr. Gregory M. Fedele can help you achieve the body you desire. Dr. Fedele carefully balances his skill and extensive knowledge of plastic surgery with his own artistic eye to create quality results that patients love.
- 1 Before and After Photos
- 2 About Abdominal Fat
- 3 Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck
- 4 Candidates for a Mini Tummy Tuck
- 5 Personal Consultation
- 6 Preparation
- 7 Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure
- 8 Recovery
- 9 Cost of a Mini Tummy Tuck in Cleveland, Ohio
- 10 FAQ
- 11 References
Before and After Photos
About Abdominal Fat
Abdominal fat is extremely common, even in people who are not considered overweight. It can develop for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with your lifestyle habits. For one, skin around the midsection tends to develop more laxity, or skin sagginess. Between the ages of 35 and 40, the skin decreases the production of connective proteins like collagen and elastin. (1) While collagen preserves the skin’s rigidity, elastin provides its elasticity; both of which are characteristics of healthy and youthful skin.
As connective proteins begin to degrade, fat deposits are more prone to bulging outward. Alongside the aging process are other life factors like pregnancy, stress, hormonal fluctuations, and major weight loss or weight gain that can negatively affect skin elasticity and fat distribution.
Although tummy tucks aren’t designed to be weight loss procedures, they have numerous benefits and can help improve your sense of well-being and body positivity. (2)
Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tummy tuck has unique advantages that make it stand out from other body sculpting procedures. Consider the benefits of this highly requested procedure:
- A flatter midsection
- Discreet scarring that can be hidden within a bathing suit
- Can get rid of a Cesarean section scar
- Only one week of downtime is required
- No surgical drains required
- No need to reposition the naval
- Only takes 2 to 3 hours
- Outpatient procedure
- Only local anesthesia with sedation is required
- Long-lasting results
Candidates for a Mini Tummy Tuck
The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck are patients who:
- Are non-smokers
- Are at a healthy weight
- Have strong abdominal muscles that do not need repair
- Want a simpler body sculpting procedure to remove excess lower belly skin and fat
The mini tummy tuck is designed for those who have type 2, or mild skin laxity, according to the body contour categorizations developed by Dr. Alan Matarasso. (3) Those with more severe skin laxity and weakening and/or separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) will benefit from a full tummy tuck. You may also read through Dr. Fedele’s blog to get an idea of other body contouring procedures that may pique your interest.
Dr. Fedele’s personal consultations are thorough, comprehensive, and take into account your aesthetic needs and desires. During this session, he will determine if a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck is suitable for your needs and goals. After he has gained insight into your medical history and performed a physical examination, he will draw up a personalized treatment plan based on his findings.
Properly preparing for your mini tummy tuck will optimize your recovery time as well as your long-term results. The first step in preparation is to make sure you are close to your ideal weight. The mini tummy tuck works best for those who are at a healthy, stable weight and simply want to sculpt their lower belly.
In addition, you will need to stop smoking or consuming nicotine products for at least 4 to 6 weeks before your procedure appointment. The chemicals in these products have been known to impede circulation and reduce your body’s ability to heal. Dr. Fedele will also require that you stop taking anti-inflammatory and other blood thinning medications for about 2 weeks before your procedure in order to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding and bruising. You might find it beneficial to stock up on gauze pads, ice packs, and comfortable, loose clothing. This way, you can easily care for your incisions as you heal from the comfort of your home. Finally, you should make a plan with a friend or family member to pick you up after your procedure and help you with daily errands for a few days.
Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure
During your procedure, we will administer local anesthesia with sedation. Mini tummy tucks are sometimes enhanced with liposuction, another fat sculpting procedure. If liposuction is performed alongside the mini tummy tuck, Dr. Fedele will make a tiny incision in the abdomen so that tumescent fluid can be injected. This fluid contains lidocaine for further numbing and epinephrine to separate the fat from other tissues with ease. Then, he will use a thin instrument called a cannula to suction certain fat deposits prior to the tummy tuck. The incision is then bandaged with gauze and surgical tape; no sutures are needed in liposuction.
If only a mini tummy tuck is performed, Dr. Fedele will start by making a horizontal incision in between your naval and pubic area from hip to hip. This incision is about as long as the fat deposit in the lower belly area. He will then remove excess skin and fat through excision to promote tightness once it’s healed. Finally, he will close the incision with dissolvable sutures.
The recovery time required for a mini tummy tuck is much less than that of a full tummy tuck. Typically, patients are able to go back to work within 1 week. However, there are some healing tips to follow if you want to get the best results possible.
After your surgery, Dr. Fedele will provide you with instructions on how to keep your incision clean and infection-free. You will be able to shower 2 days after the procedure. Following this, you should change out your surgical bandage at least every other day. You should also be taking antibiotics as prescribed.
For the first 3 days following surgery, you should prioritize resting and doing very little activity.
After this short period, getting up and around is important to promote healthy blood flow and healing. For the first couple of weeks, you should try to incorporate a healthy, low-sodium diet to encourage the swelling to go down. You will be required to wear a compression garment full-time for 4 weeks, and part-time for another 4 weeks. Although you’ll be able to return to work after 1 week, you will have to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks.
Will I Have a Scar After a Mini Tummy Tuck?
All tummy tucks leave behind a scar. However, the mark can fade significantly over the course of a year, especially with the right postoperative care. Since the scar is so thin and easily hidden in the bikini line, many patients are not bothered by it. Once your incision is fully healed, you can consult Dr. Fedele on topical treatments such as silicone gel sheets, scar cream, Vitamin E, and scar massage to minimize the scar as much as possible.
Cost of a Mini Tummy Tuck in Cleveland, Ohio
The cost of your procedure will depend on the specific recommendations made by Dr. Fedele in your treatment plan. After a personal consultation, you will receive an accurate estimate.
Are the results of a mini tummy tuck permanent?
The results of your mini tummy tuck will remain permanent as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid pregnancy.
Is mini tummy tuck recovery painful?
After your procedure, your doctor will provide you with a compression garment and prescription medication to keep you comfortable during your recovery. Many patients feel well enough to return to work after just 1 week. Doctors regularly prescribe pain medication to mitigate discomfort.
When will I notice the final results of my tummy tuck?
Within one month, you will begin to notice the final result, but the swelling will fully diminish after around 3 months.
How soon after pregnancy can I get a mini tummy tuck?
Most surgeons recommend that you wait at least six months after pregnancy and delivery to get a mini tummy tuck procedure done. Still, there is no standard, since pregnancy affects every woman differently. For smaller women whose midsections got very large during pregnancy, they may have to wait at least a year to see how well their bodies can recover.
Do mini tummy tucks repair abdominal muscles?
Only full tummy tucks suture and strengthen the abdominal muscles; mini tummy tucks only focus on the removal of fat and extra skin. The lack of muscle repair makes mini tummy tucks less invasive and easier to recover from.
- Rousseaux I, Robson S. Body Contouring and Skin Tightening Using a Unique Novel Multisource Radiofrequency Energy Delivery Method. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2017;10(4):24-29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5404777/
- Saariniemi KMM, Salmi AM, Peltoniemi HH, Helle MH, Charpentier P, Kuokkanen HOM. Abdominoplasty Improves Quality of Life, Psychological Distress, and Eating Disorder Symptoms: A Prospective Study. Plastic Surgery International. 2014;2014:197232. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/197232
- O’Kelly N, Nguyen K, Gibstein A, Bradley JP, Tanna N, Matarasso A. Standards and Trends in Lipoabdominoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 2020;8(10). doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000003144