Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery: Procedure & Best Candidates

Mini tummy tuck is a popular cosmetic procedure for individuals with a small amount of excess skin and fat in their lower abdomen. This procedure can be an effective option for those already within their recommended weight range but with a stubborn pooch that doesn't respond to diet and exercise. In this article, we have gathered useful information about the procedure, side effects, and advantages of this operation and catch you up on how to reduce mini tummy tuck scar. Read on to learn more!

Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery before & after

What Is Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is an outpatient plastic surgery that targets excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen and separated or loose abdominal muscles. This minimally invasive procedure is most effective for women in the postpartum period who have bulgy bellies, stretch marks, and c-section scars. Also, people with normal weight but excess fat in their abdomen can benefit from this operation and have a flat stomach.

Tummy Tuck Surgery
Read more: What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tuck Surgeries?

Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure

This operation consists of 4 steps:

  • Anesthesia: this operation is done under general anesthesia. You may receive the anesthetics through a mask or an IV.
  • Making incision: in a mini tummy tuck, a small incision of 4 to 8 inches (about the length of the C-section scar) is made in the lower abdomen, usually below the bikini line. If you want your belly button to be removed as well, the surgeon cuts around it, too. The incision made during a mini tummy tuck is typically smaller than a full tummy tuck, resulting in less scarring.
  • Tightening muscle: the surgeon removes excess skin and fat from your abdomen and tightens your abdominal muscles if necessary. If you have Diastasis recti (separation of six-pack abs due to multiple birth or vaginal delivery), the doctor can correct it in this surgery.
  • Closing incision: in the final step, the surgeon closes the incisions with absorbable stitches and covers the wound with a bandage. The healthcare staff will also put a compression garment on you if required.

Mini tummy tuck surgery is a procedure that targets excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen.

Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck are two different procedures that target different abdomen areas.

A mini tummy tuck, also known as a partial abdominoplasty, is designed to address excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen. It is typically recommended for individuals with a small amount of loose skin and fat below the belly button. During a mini tummy tuck, a smaller incision is made, and the surgeon removes excess skin and tightens the muscles in the lower abdomen. This procedure is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time than a full tummy tuck.

On the other hand, a full tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a more extensive procedure that addresses both the upper and lower abdomen. It is typically recommended for individuals with significant amounts of loose skin and fat throughout the entire abdominal area. During a full tummy tuck, a longer incision is made, and the surgeon removes excess skin and fat, tightens the abdominal muscles, and repositions the belly button if necessary. This procedure has a longer recovery time compared to a mini abdominoplasty.

The choice between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck depends on factors such as the amount of loose skin and fat present, the desired outcome, and the surgeon's recommendation.

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck
Read more: Differences of Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck: Which Method Should I Choose?

Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck

Who Is a Good Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon is necessary to determine if a mini tummy tuck is the right procedure for an individual's specific needs and goals. 

In general, a good mini tummy tuck candidate is someone who:

  • has a small amount of excess skin and fat in the lower abdominal area, typically resulting from pregnancy or weight loss;
  • is in good overall health and has realistic expectations about the procedure's outcomes.;
  • is stable and has tried diet and exercise to address their concerns before considering surgery.

How Long Does Mini Tummy Tuck Take?

The whole mini tummy tuck surgery takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on how much excess skin needs to be removed and how loose the abdominal muscles are. After this operation, it will also take 1 to 2 hours to regain consciousness.

Good Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck

How to Prepare for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Preparing for a mini tummy tuck involves several steps to ensure a smooth and successful procedure. 

First, the patients should schedule a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon specialising in body surgery. They will discuss their goals, medical history, and concerns during this consultation. The surgeon will evaluate the patient's suitability for the procedure and provide personalized recommendations such as blood tests, imaging scans, and an electrocardiogram (ECG).

The surgeon will then provide specific instructions to follow in the days leading up to the surgery. These may include restrictions on eating and drinking before the procedure and guidelines for taking any prescribed medications.

It is strongly recommended that patients quit smoking and avoid alcohol at least six weeks before the surgery because smoking and drinking can impair healing and increase the risk of complications.

Certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin) and certain herbal supplements, may need to be adjusted or temporarily discontinued before the surgery.

It is also important to maintain a stable weight before the procedure. Rapid weight loss or gain can affect the results of a mini tummy tuck. Patients must apply moisturizers and prescribed creams on their abdomen two weeks before the surgery to prevent mini tummy tuck scars.

What is the Best BMI for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

The best BMI for a tummy tuck varies depending on the individual's body composition and overall health. Generally, a BMI below 30 is ideal for cosmetic surgery procedures such as a partial tummy tuck. Patients with a lower BMI typically have better overall health, less excess skin, and less fat to remove, and they may experience faster recovery times. However, individuals with a BMI above 30 can still be good candidates for a mini tummy tuck if they are in good health and have realistic expectations for the results.

What to Expect After a Mini Tummy Tuck?

The incision site will be covered with dressings or bandages after a mini tummy tuck. Patients can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the treated area that can be managed by pain medication. They should wear a compression garment for 6 weeks to help reduce swelling, support healing, and minimize mini tummy tuck scar.

Patients must follow the surgeon's post-operative instructions, including any restrictions on strenuous activities and proper wound care.

Tummy Tuck Recovery
Read more: What Are the Warning Signs After Tummy Tuck Recovery?

Following the doctor's recommendations for care will result in a successful mini-tummy tuck.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck's recovery time is generally shorter than a full tummy tuck. Most patients can return to light activities within a week or two, but it may take about 6 weeks to recover and resume normal activities fully. 

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Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

During the mini tummy tuck recovery period, consider the following points:

The day after the surgery

  • Ask someone to drive you home
  • Get plenty of rest and avoid unnecessary movements
  • Be careful not to get your dressings wet when using the bathroom
  • Drink fresh juice and water to feel less dizzy
  • There are still sedatives in your blood so that you won’t feel severe pain that day. But if you have unbearable pain, take your prescribed painkillers.

The first week after the surgery

  • Keep your dressings dry and clean
  • Avoid taking a shower or cleaning your body with a wet sponge
  • Wear a compression garment to support your stomach
  • Take pain relief medications if you are in severe pain
  • Bending, heavy physical activities, even walking fast is off the table
  • Ask someone to take care of your children and do the household chores
  • Get enough rest, but avoid bed rest

The second week after the surgery

  • Visit your surgeon to change your dressing
  • Take a shower with low-pressure and lukewarm water
  • Dry your stomach completely after showering
  • You can do light house chores and walk short distances
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects and bending over
  • Refrain from activities that stretch your abdominal muscles
  • Use the elevator instead of the stairs
  • You can drive within close range

 A month after the surgery

  • Although your swelling is greatly reduced, you should still wear a compression garment 
  • Start having moderate exercises under the supervision of a professional trainer
  • Go walking or jogging every day to improve your blood flow and speed up your healing rate
  • Start applying anti-scar gels and creams to prevent severe scarring

What Are the Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Some of the benefits of a mini tummy tuck can include:

  • Less invasive procedure: A mini tummy tuck is less invasive than a full tummy tuck, as it involves a smaller incision and requires less extensive tissue removal and muscle repair.
  • Shorter recovery time: Due to its less invasive nature, the recovery time for a mini tummy tuck is shorter than a full tummy tuck. Patients may experience less pain, swelling, and bruising, allowing them to return to normal activities sooner.
  • Targeted improvement: This procedure addresses excess skin and fat in the lower abdominal area below the belly button. It can effectively tighten loose skin and remove stubborn pockets of fat in this specific area.
  • Improved body contour: By removing excess skin and fat, a mini tummy tuck can help enhance the overall contour and appearance of the abdomen. It can create a flatter, more toned abdominal profile, improving the patient's body shape.
  • Smaller and Less Noticeable Scar: The incision partial abdominoplasty is typically smaller and placed lower on the abdomen, often within the bikini line. This allows for better concealment of the resulting scar, making it less noticeable when wearing underwear.
  • Customizable procedure: A mini tummy tuck can be tailored to meet each patient's needs and goals. It can be combined with other procedures, such as liposuction or breast augmentation, to achieve comprehensive body contouring.

the Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck

What Are the Possible Side Effects of a Mini Tummy Tuck?

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications associated with a mini tummy tuck, including:

  • Pain and discomfort that can be managed with prescribed pain medications;
  • Swelling and bruising that is normal and may take several weeks to subside;
  • Scarring, which may get severe;
  • Numbness or changes in sensation that are temporary and usually resolve over time;
  • Infection (rare) that can be prevented by following post-operative care instructions and keeping the incision clean;
  • Seroma formation (the accumulation of fluid under the skin) can occur after any surgical procedure, including a mini tummy tuck;
  • Blood clots that can be prevented by moving around and wearing a compression garment;
  • Poor wound healing can be managed with proper wound care and follow-up with the surgeon.

Can You Get a Mini Tummy Tuck After C-Section?

During pregnancy, the stomach’s skin stretches, and its muscles are loosened. Body contouring surgeries such as tummy tuck (full, extended, mini), liposuction, body lift surgery, breast lift, etc. help women have a shapely body again. Many moms prefer getting mini tummy tucks to regain their pre-pregnancy body as it is less invasive than other procedures, and its results are outstanding. Also, this operation is favored among women who have had a C-section because its incision is made right below the C-section scar and is less apparent. 

Mini tummy tuck helps you get rid of loose abdominal muscles, extra skin, and excess fat in a short time; however, you should wait 6-12 months before having it. The reasons for waiting almost a year before getting a mini abdominoplasty are: 

  • Your muscles and skin need time to recover;
  • Your C-section scar should be fully healed so that the surgeon can make another incision near it;
  • Your hormones fluctuate when you breastfeed, so you may gain weight and reverse the outcomes of the surgery and
  • Your weight should be stable before this operation.
Good Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck
Read more: Tummy Tuck after C-Section for a Flat Stomach: Is That Possible?

How Much Does a Mini Tummy Tuck Cost in Iran?

The cost of a mini tummy tuck in Iran can vary depending on several factors, including the clinic's location, the surgeon's experience, and the patient's specific requirements. On average, the cost of a mini tummy tuck in Iran ranges from $1,500 to $3,000, which is much more affordable than in other countries. For instance, the same procedure costs $15.000 in the USA, $5.000 in Turkey, $3.000 in India, £6,000 in the UK, and $4.000 in South Korea.

Tummy tuck in Iran

The costs of mini tummy tuck depend on various factors, but overall, it is significantly lower in Iran.

Final Word

A mini tummy tuck surgery is a cosmetic procedure that can help individuals achieve a flatter and more toned abdomen. However, it is important to carefully consider the cost, potential risks, and benefits before deciding. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon can help determine if this procedure is right for individual circumstances.

Mini Tummy Tuck FAQs

1) How long should I wear a compression garment after a mini tummy tuck?

As your doctor has instructed, wearing a compression garment for 6-8 weeks is better.

2) Can I exercise after a mini tummy tuck?

You can go for a short, light walk for a week after the surgery. Running, climbing, contact sports, and heavy gym exercises should be avoided for at least two months. 

3) Should I take medication after a mini tummy tuck?

To prevent infection, you must take antibiotics for one week (until the drains are out). If you have pain, take your prescribed painkiller. Do not take any medications without consulting your doctor first.

4) Can I travel by plane after a tummy tuck?

Yes, you can travel by plane a week after tummy tuck surgery. 

5) When can I drive after a mini tummy tuck?

You can drive independently for 1-2 weeks after the operation. 

6) What should I avoid after a mini tummy tuck?

Avoid any kind of activity that puts pressure on your stomach or strains your muscles. Smoking and drinking, doing heavy exercises (especially abdominal ones), drinking coffee, and exposing your wounds to sunlight and pollution should be avoided after mini abdominoplasty. 

7) Can I walk after a mini tummy tuck?

Absolutely. You should avoid bed rest and start walking around the house a few days after the surgery. 

8) How long does a mini tummy tuck take to heal?

It takes almost 6 weeks to heal from a mini tummy tuck.

9) What can you eat after a mini tummy tuck?

After a mini tummy tuck, have a clear soup and plenty of fluids. When you feel less nauseous, you can have roasted chicken breast, steamed vegetables, scrambled eggs, nuts, and non-sugar drinks. It is suggested that caffeinated beverages be avoided for almost a month after operation. 

10) How should I sleep after a mini tummy tuck?

After a mini tummy tuck, the best sleeping position is lying on the back, with a pillow under the knees to prevent the stomach from straining. If you roll over when sleeping, place 2 heavy pillows around yourself. 

11) When can I take a shower after a mini tummy tuck?

You are allowed to take a quick shower a week after the surgery. Do not use the bathtub, swimming pool, sauna, or hot tub for 4 weeks post-operation. 

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