Abdominoplasty enhances the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the muscles for patients with pockets of fat or loose skin that have not responded to traditional diet and exercise, including those who have undergone weight loss surgery or women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy.
Partial abdominoplasty, or "mini tummy tuck", is similar to the regular tummy tuck procedure, except it involves a shorter incision and the skin is only lifted to the navel, which does not have to be moved.
The "mini" procedure is ideal for patients who need just a little improvement in order to reach their desired results, such as those within 10% of their ideal body weight. It offers patients many benefits, including less scarring, shorter recovery times and an overall less invasive procedure. You can discuss the differences between these procedures, as well as weigh their benefits and risks with your doctor in order to decide which procedure is best for you.
Candidates for Partial Abdominoplasty
Ideal candidates for partial abdominoplasty include those patients who do not have enough excess fat and skin for a full abdominoplasty procedure, yet too much for liposuction alone. It is especially effective for those with a localized fullness within the lower abdomen that can be easily removed through the smaller incision.
As with any type of plastic surgery procedure, it is also important for patients to be in good overall health and to have realistic expectations for their procedure. While abdominoplasty can significantly improve the appearance of the abdomen, it cannot be used as a means of major weight loss. Your doctor will determine whether or not you are an ideal candidate for this procedure after a physical exam and detailed discussion of your goals for surgery.
Partial Abdominoplasty Procedure
The partial abdominoplasty procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the amount of fat and skin being removed, as well as the overall health and preference of the patient.
During the procedure, your doctor will create a small incision above the pubic area, instead of the hip-to-hip incision needed for a full abdominoplasty. This procedure also eliminates the need for an incision around the navel. The skin is lifted up to the navel to remove localized fat and tighten muscles in the lower abdominal area. Depending on the amount of fat removal needed, liposuction may be used for a less invasive removal. The navel does not have to be repositioned with this less invasive procedure.
The incisions are then closed with sutures, and small drains may be inserted to reduce the risk of fluid buildup in the area. The entire procedure usually takes one to two hours to perform, which is much shorter than a full abdominoplasty.
Recovery from Partial Abdominoplasty
After the partial abdominoplasty procedure, patients can return home the same day after a few hours of monitoring. The recovery period is substantially shorter than that of a full abdominoplasty procedure. Compression garments will be needed to ensure proper healing for two to three weeks, although most patients will be able to return to work after a week or two. Heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.
The results of the partial abdominoplasty procedure will be visible right away, allowing patients to enjoy a flatter, more toned abdominal area that more appropriately matches the natural contours of your body. Many patients experience improved self-confidence after this procedure and are able to maintain their results with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Although partial abdominoplasty is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with any type of surgery. Some of these risks may include infection, bleeding, blood clots and poor healing. Patients can reduce their risk of complications by choosing an experienced doctor to perform their procedure, and by following their doctor's instructions before and after surgery.
To learn more about the partial abdominoplasty procedure and to find out whether or not it is right for you, please call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.