A mini tummy tuck is a relatively simple body contouring procedure that serves to remove excess fat and tighten loose skin in the lower abdomen. The procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours and is ideal for women and men who don’t need the more transformative effects rendered by a full abdominoplasty. Side effects following a mini tummy tuck include uncomfortable swelling and tenderness in the affected area, both of which tend to go away in a couple weeks.
During the operation, a small incision is made above the pubic area and liposuction is commonly performed. Loose skin resulting from post-pregnancy or rapid weight loss is removed. Small sutures are used to close the incision and tubes are inserted to allow fluid to drain. Bandages cover the surgical area while healing. With a mini tummy tuck, the belly button is not typically repositioned as it is in a full tummy tuck. It’s almost always an outpatient procedure and may require only local anesthesia.
While patients heal, they wear a compression garment around the waist for about 2 to 3 weeks to preserve the results of the procedure and keep the area tight. Used by athletes, compression garments promote circulation and reduce swelling. Patients may graduate from tighter compression garments for the first couple weeks to a looser version while they completely recover over the remaining 6 weeks. Sutures are removed within 2 weeks and most patients resume light activity about 48 hours following surgery. Patients usually return to work in 1 to 2 weeks and resume moderate exercise 5-6 weeks post-op.
Getting Back to Normal After a Mini Tummy Tuck
As with all surgeries, recovery time depends on the age, activity level and general health of the patient. Individuals who undergo plastic surgery in good shape and with strong abdominal muscles have been known to heal in as little as 2 weeks. Men and women who don’t exercise and who aren’t in particularly good health will require a longer recovery. Light abdominal exercises, such as controlled crunches help accelerate recovery, reduce pain and stiffness, and help minimize the mini tummy tuck scar. Walking, long known to be the best post-surgery exercise, is encouraged to maintain fitness and reduce the chance of blood clots. Strenuous exercise including running, jumping and lifting should be avoided for at least 6 weeks after any invasive or non-invasive surgery.
At the Talbott Plastic Surgery Center, we preach common sense care for all patients, regardless of the type of surgery they’ve had. While a lot has changed in medical practice over thousands of years, the basic principles of healing have not. To promote the best healing experience possible after a mini tummy tuck, a full mommy makeover, or any type of plastic surgery, patients should follow these three simple rules: Sleep soundly, eat nutritiously and stay appropriately active. Make good choices and your body will reward you with remarkable outcomes.