A full or standard tummy tuck surgery can significantly improve the abdominal contour by removing the redundant skin and tightening the deeper muscular structure. However, some patients are turned off by the appearance of a long scar, which typically runs from hip to hip, across the lower abdomen.
For patients who need “less correction,” a mini tummy tuck is a good alternative. It uses a shorter scar below the navel, which is about the size or slightly longer than a C-section scar.
If there is an existing C-section scar, leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili says a cost-effective approach is to utilize it during a mini tummy tuck surgery to avoid additional scarring.
Aside from the “usual” requirements—e.g., being physically fit and near one’s ideal weight, non-smoker, and with realistic goals—you must also meet the three anatomical factors that can help you achieve impressive results from a mini tummy tuck.
- The excess skin is isolated to the area below your navel.
Due to the limited length of a mini tummy tuck scar, it has no or very little effect on your upper abdomen. For this reason, the procedure is only suitable for patients with just a small amount of excess skin limited to their lower abdominal area.
Take note that forcing this on someone who has too much redundant skin can lead to asymmetric, unnatural contour, particularly fat rolls and hanging skin tissue in the upper abdomen.
- Relatively good skin tone
If you have maintained a healthy weight throughout your life, most likely you will have a better skin tone compared to individuals who have resorted to “yoyo weight” lifestyle. Nevertheless, pregnancy could lead to some loose skin that is generally limited to your lower abdomen.
Having a decent amount of skin elasticity can also help your skin to shrink-wrap after a minor abdominal liposuction, which is often used as an adjunct procedure of mini tummy tucks.
- Minimal muscle laxity
Mini tummy tuck recovery is shorter than a standard technique’s because of the limited incision. However, the tradeoff is the limited amount of muscle repair, which is not enough for massive weight loss patients.
Due to the limited incision, the abdominal muscle is not as accessible as doing repair in full tummy tuck in which the skin is raised more extensively, as explained by the celebrity Los Angeles plastic surgeon.