Mini tummy tuck with lipo is often performed together to achieve smoother results. Nevertheless, the combo procedure is only suitable for women who need a minimal correction in their abdominal area.
Unlike the traditional or full tummy tuck wherein the scar runs from hip to hip, a “mini” just uses a smaller incision that is almost as short as a C-section (15-20 cm). Regardless of the incision length, a good surgeon will make every effort to place the scar close to the pubic hairline so it remains concealed by the underwear.
Nevertheless, the exact length and position of mini tummy tuck scar is dictated by the skin quality, location of excess skin, and condition of the lower abdominal muscle.
To achieve good results from mini tummy tucks, there should be no or very little loose skin above the navel.
Through a small incision within the underbelly, plastic surgeons are able to remove a limited amount of loose skin in the lower abdomen and/or correct diastasis or splayed muscle.
For an additional amount of contouring, the surgery is often complemented with liposuction sugery (usually of the upper abdomen, hips, and/or flanks) to remove the fat rolls or “unsightly” bulges caused by excess superficial fats close to the skin.
This combo procedure means the patients will only experience one recovery and pay for one anesthesia and surgical facility fee.
Despite the benefits of multiple cosmetic procedures under one surgical setting, it remains imperative to limit the operative time under six hours to minimize the trauma, bleeding, and other variables that can lead to increased risk of complications.
To further minimize the surgical trauma and avoid compromise the healing, most surgeons will only liposuction areas far from the tummy tuck incision, or they will perform the procedures separately if large-volume lipo is warranted to achieve good results.
But even some patients who seem to require little correction, it might be ideal to stage their surgeries. For instance, performing abdominal liposuction first and then waiting 3-6 months to see if the skin would be able to redrape to the new contour, or if a mini tummy tuck is warranted, is a viable option.
While liposuction removes the excess fat through small round incisions, it is imperative not to overdo things to avoid unnatural contour and skin asymmetries. Simply put, the surgery is more about how much fat is left behind rather than how much is removed.
The aforementioned “rule” also applies to tummy tuck. Inadvertent over-removal of skin can lead to the destruction of natural contours and valleys of the abdomen.