Excess skin around the midsection can be a real problem area for patients. A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical method to remove excess fat and skin from the tummy area. Triple-board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Leo Lapuerta, offers several variations of abdominoplasty surgery in Houston, Katy, and Pearland, TX, including the mini tummy tuck.
Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure that helps redefine the lower abdomen. Also known as a tummy tuck, it is sometimes necessary for patients that cannot achieve a flat, well-toned stomach with diet and exercise alone. The mini tummy tuck is an altered version used on patients who do not necessarily need to undergo a full tummy tuck.
The differences between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck are important to understand. Both a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck will reduce excess skin, fat and tissue in the lower abdomen. Both will produce a flatter, more toned stomach and a more feminine waistline. The important thing to understand when considering a mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck is not the final outcome that is desired but the amount of excess skin, fat and tissue a patient has, that will need to be removed to achieve the desired final outcome.
With a Mini Tummy Tuck vs a Full Tummy Tuck;
A mini tummy tuck is perfect for both men and women who are in good shape but still battle an unwanted pooch in their midsection. A small amount of loose or excess skin and fat should primarily be concentrated between the belly button and pubic bone for best results. Candidates should also have relatively good skin tone to help aid a healthy healing process, and should not be planning a future pregnancy or drastic weight loss. Patients with moderate to larger amounts of skin, fat and tissue, problems above the belly button with excess tissue or stretch marks and patients who experience stomach distention or “pooching” after eating will better be served by a full tummy tuck and are not suitable candidates for a mini tummy tuck.
Potential patients should also be in good overall health and have a good understanding of what to expect both during and after the procedure. Dr. Lapuerta will sit down with the patient during a consultation and clearly communicate the treatment plan and expected results, making sure the patient is fully aware of what is to come.
Combining a mini tummy tuck after a c-section is not advised. Besides the possibility of complications and the difficulty of recovering from pregnancy and plastic surgery simultaneously, the best results are seen in patients who are back to their desired weight and physical condition prior to a mini tummy or a full tummy tuck. Therefore, patients should wait until after their body has fully recovered from pregnancy and have no plans to get pregnant again before undergoing the procedure. Additionally, many women experience a separation of the abdominal wall fascia which is a piece of tissue that hold the abdominal wall muscles close together. Pregnancy puts stress on this fascia tissue and in many women this tissue is permanently damaged. Patients are left with a separation of their abdominal muscles that cannot be repaired or improved with any diet or amount of exercise. Patients will notice that their stomach looks “ok” most of the time but will protrude, distend or “pooch” after meals. This is because their abdominal wall muscles are separated and only a tummy tuck can repair this problem.
The technique used for a mini tummy tuck is similar to that of full abdominoplasty. However, with a mini version, the incision is smaller and the area addressed will only be the area under the belly button. Liposuction is usually used during this procedure to remove excess fat and contour the waistline. The excess skin that remains will be pulled tight so that the tummy has a new toned, flat appearance. Unlike a full tummy tuck, the belly button is unaffected. Scarring, while it does exist, is minimal and is easily concealed under a bathing suit or undergarments.
A mini tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility and typically takes around 2 hours to complete. Dr. Lapuerta’s office features its own on-site accredited operating room and surgical facility, giving his patients access to the highest quality accommodations.
Immediately following surgery, there will be some swelling, bruising and soreness of the abdomen. It is also natural to have a temporary change in the way the area feels. Patients can expect to be back on their feet the day after the surgery and can return to work in 2 weeks. While shorter than the recovery from a full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck recovery will still generally take somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks. After 4 to 6 weeks, patients are usually given clearance to resume exercise and other strenuous activities.
No longer forced to “suck it in”, patients love their results and feel that their abdomen looks and feels more toned and fit. The results following a mini tummy tuck can be visible for years unless a pregnancy or significant weight gain occurs, both of which could compromise the results of the surgery.
Abdominoplasty continues to be a popular choice for men and women seeking a flatter and tighter stomach following weight loss and pregnancy. Since a mini tummy tuck is a less extensive surgery than a full abdominoplasty, the cost will be a little less. Most patients can expect to pay between $5,000-$7,500 for a mini tummy tuck.
However, each individual case will vary, and the only way to get an accurate quote for the expected mini tummy tuck cost is to request a consultation with Dr. Lapuerta. Dr. Lapuerta will meet with the patient and partner with them to determine the best way to meet their goals. Once a treatment plan is determined, Dr. Lapuerta can provide the patient with the expected mini tummy tuck cost. Contact Dr. Lapuerta today to schedule a consultation.