What does a mini tummy tuck involve?
A Mini Tummy Tuck is usually used for people who do not have sufficient excess skin in their lower tummy to have a full Tummy Tuck. You can assess whether you would be suitable for a Mini Tummy Tuck by gently pinching your tummy skin whilst leaning forward.
- If you can get the skin around your tummy button down to the area around your pubic skin, you would probably be better suited to a Full Tummy Tuck.
- If, however, the skin does not stretch this far, you may be suitable for a Mini Tummy Tuck.
The scars from a Mini Tummy Tuck are slightly smaller than for a Full Tummy Tuck. In addition, you will not have a scar around the tummy button. In both cases, the muscles of the tummy (rectus-abdominis muscles) can be repaired and stitched together.
During the procedure (as illustrated on our Mini Tummy Tuck video), about half of the skin between your tummy button and your pubic area is removed. The muscles can then be tightened up underneath this. Unlike a Full Tummy Tuck, the tummy button is divided from the inside and brought downwards. No incision is made around the tummy button in a Mini Tummy Tuck, unlike the Full Tummy Tuck procedure. Your incision will be closed in three layers with absorbable sutures which will need to be trimmed 1 week after surgery.
A Mini Tummy Tuck recovery is generally quicker than that of a Full Tummy Tuck. The surgery takes around 1.5 hours and can be combined with liposuction to your upper tummy and flank area as appropriate. Recovery is slightly longer if you do have your muscles repaired. You will also feel slightly more tender following your operation.
You will stay in hospital for 1-2 days following surgery and may have 1-2 small drainage tubes inserted under the skin to remove any excess fluid in your recovery period. On the day after surgery, you will be fitted with a compression garment which produces gentle pressure on your tummy area to reduce swelling and bruising. Your drainage tubes will normally be removed on the day following surgery and you will be encouraged to carefully start regaining mobility.
You may return home 1-2 days after surgery, depending on your recovery. During the first week, prior to your Dressings Clinic appointment, you should mobilise gently around the house including short trips out.
During this recovery period, we would advise you against performing any activities such as lifting or manual work. If you have young children it is best to organise extra help with them during this time to avoid any lifting.
At your Dressings Clinic appointment (1 week following surgery) the wounds will be checked and the ends of the absorbable sutures trimmed. Brown micropore tape will be applied to the incisions to support them and help your scars heal. We will see you regularly after this and take your postoperative photographs at your appointment 6 weeks following surgery.
Mini Tummy Tuck surgery is ideally suited to people of relatively normal weight who have excess skin in the lower part of their abdomen. It can also be used to repair the muscles of your tummy if they have split apart significantly. The scars following your surgery will initially be pink but will, in most cases, fade to a silvery colour within a year. Our surgeons will aim to locate any scars within any underwear or swimwear that you tend to wear.