A mini tummy tuck is a surgical procedure to reduce the appearance of loose, excess skin and fat tissue just under the belly button and above the pubis. While men and women can both benefit from a mini tummy tuck, this procedure is largely used to help post-pregnancy women reclaim their pre-baby bodies. Compared to a traditional tummy tuck procedure, a mini tummy tuck exclusively addresses the area just under the bikini line — a trouble spot that isn’t effectively treated with diet and exercise. After pregnancy or a weight-loss journey, this area can have excess skin that causes clothing to fit awkwardly, uncomfortably, or painfully. To address unwanted fat, diet and exercise are often touted as the sole factors to achieve your ideal physique. But, many health and wellness gurus won’t tell you that diet and exercise, unfortunately, do not affect unwanted, excess skin.
To address both loose skin and unwanted fatty tissue just under the bikini line, Dr. Amber Allen uses a mini tummy tuck. As an expertly trained cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Allen has given thousands of patients their ideal aesthetic goals through procedures like this one. If you wish to see a slimmer lower midsection, the first step is to schedule a personal consultation at our offices in Raleigh. Here, Dr. Allen and her staff will ensure a mini tummy tuck is the right approach for you and the best way to achieve your desired results. To reach us directly, please call our front desk at (919) 676-5052.
Before and After Photos
Loose Skin Under Your Bikini Line
To tone and define muscles, there are certain exercises designed to address individual muscle groups. But what if the overlying skin sags or hangs, veiling the hard-earned muscles? There’s no set workout routine to tighten skin or restore the appearance of overstretched skin. Creams, lotions, and serums advertise “skin-tightening technology,” but often leave our patients with underwhelming or nonexistent results.
Our skin is a complex organ. In fact, it is the biggest in our bodies. In our youth, fibroblast cells deep in the recesses of our dermis readily produce collagen and elastin fibers to make up the tensile scaffolding of our skin. These fibers fight against gravity and intrinsic aging factors to ward off wrinkles and fine lines. But, the fibroblast cells begin to slow as we get older. They no longer produce the same amount of fibers to replace or repair existing ones, causing the current collagen and elastin bands to grow slack and loose. Now, add on top of that a pregnancy or weight gain, and you probably have loose skin that doesn’t bounce back. With pregnancy or weight gain, the internal pressures cause the skin to stretch past its physiological limits and, without a steady stream of fresh collagen and elastin, the skin continues to expand to accommodate the growing tissue or fetus. If enough time passes after the skin is stretched past its limits, no amount of exercising can return it to its former appearance, causing the expanded skin to hang after you give birth or lose weight. This results in loose skin that awkwardly rests around the abdomen.
What Is A Mini Tummy Tuck?
For those interested in a slimmer, flatter bikini line but who don’t have enough loose skin to qualify for a full tummy tuck, you might be a perfect candidate for a mini! A mini tummy tuck focuses on the lower third of the abdomen, just above the space known as the pubis. During a mini tummy tuck, Dr. Allen makes a minimal incision and oftentimes uses liposuction to extract subcutaneous fat cells from this area, creating smoother results that you’ll appreciate on a daily basis once you’ve fully recovered. Two main advantages may make you consider a mini over a full tummy tuck.
In a traditional tummy tuck, an incision is made from hip to hip just under the belly button. While expert surgeons like Dr. Allen strategically place this incision discreetly under the bikini line, some patients are apprehensive about such an incision. For these patients, a mini tummy tuck might be ideal. A mini tummy tuck is more focused on one particular part of the abdomen, ignoring the top two-thirds. Due to just lower abdominal skin being removed, on occasion the incision can be smaller than the one created during a traditional full abdominoplasty.
As the name indicates, a mini tummy tuck is less involved and extensive than a full tummy tuck. So, you will have fewer surgical requirements and less downtime to recover from your operation. In a mini tummy tuck, the belly button remains intact, while in a traditional tummy tuck, the belly button is surgically excised from the skin and then the skin is gently pulled down. Next, the overlying skin is cut around the belly button where it is sutured in its new place. Also, during pregnancy, the growing fetus pushes outward on the abdominal walls. Typically during the third trimester, the internal pressures from the fetus will be too much for the linea alba and push it past its limits, causing the two walls to disconnect from each other. This condition is called diastasis recti and often results in undesired abdominal appearance and weak pelvic floor muscles that cause symptoms like urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, diastasis recti does not correct itself on its own. In a full tummy tuck, these separated muscles are repaired and set back into their organic alignment. However, a mini tummy tuck does not treat separated muscles, which decreases the surgery time.
For those interested in these exciting benefits and more, please schedule an initial consultation at our Raleigh offices today.
Our ideal patient is someone who:
- Just went through their final pregnancy and are having difficulty reclaiming a flat, slim belly. Please note: subsequent pregnancies will diminish results.
- Have excess abdominal skin from either a pregnancy or a weight-loss journey.
- Is a non-smoker or able to quit smoking a few weeks before and after surgery to promote proper healing and blood flow.
- Can take a week or two off from duties that require heavy lifting or strenuous activities.
Our team at Allen Aesthetic Surgery is so excited and honored to help you look and feel your best with our host of surgical procedures. At your initial consultation, we will perform a basic physical examination and a new patient intake interview. This will help us see where your health is currently and what your aesthetic desires are. Then, Dr. Allen will inspect your excess abdominal tissue and discern whether a mini tummy tuck will meet your needs. We will also strive to learn about any other cosmetic concerns you might have. Motherhood comes with many joys, but also difficulties when it comes to our appearance.
Dr. Allen may recommend other surgical procedures to ensure you leave our care feeling and looking your best. Before we end your consultation, we will give you a list of preparatory steps to follow between now and your surgery. Read these instructions closely as they may have personalized steps exclusive to your procedure.
To prepare for your mini tummy tuck, it is important to:
- Avoid blood-thinning medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil) as these will cause excessive bleeding during your surgery.
- Discontinue smoking a few weeks before your surgery.
- Designate a caregiver to drive you home. This procedure involves general anesthesia, so you will not be fit to drive yourself home.
- Prefill all prescription medications our office sends out beforehand.
Before your procedure, Dr. Allen will review your treatment goals and ensure that you are completely informed, comfortable, and ready to begin this new chapter of your aesthetic journey. We will then administer the appropriate anesthesia and ensure you are comfortably relaxed. Then, Dr. Allen will make a baseline incision just under the excess skin, above the pubic mons. She will then aspirate any unwanted fat cells with a suctioning tube called a cannula. Next, she will gently pull the excess skin down and excise all overlapping tissue. After ensuring the treated area is smooth and slim, she will suture the incision closed and wrap the area in a compression bandage to help promote optimal healing.
Following your mini tummy tuck, the area will be tender and swollen. Make sure to focus the next few days to a week solely on rest and recovery. Avoid any strenuous activities and lifting. Motherly duties that engage the core like lifting children will have to be on hold for some time after your procedure. We will be able to tell where you are in the recovery process during your follow-up appointments and recommend any next steps to promote continual healing.
The cost of your mini tummy tuck will depend on your surgical requirements. We will determine the price of your procedure during your consultation. Be sure to keep an eye on our specials and stay up to date on the aesthetics industry by reading our blog!
- Chait, A., & den Hartigh, L. J. (2020). Adipose Tissue Distribution, Inflammation and Its Metabolic Consequences, Including Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 7, 22. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2020.00022
- Nahabedian M. Y. (2018). Management Strategies for Diastasis Recti. Seminars in plastic surgery, 32(3), 147–154. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1661380
- Benjamin, D. R., van de Water, A. T., & Peiris, C. L. (2014). Effects of exercise on diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle in the antenatal and postnatal periods: a systematic review. Physiotherapy, 100(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2013.08.005