Abdominoplasty, as well as its companion procedure – the mini abdominoplasty, are better known by the name tummy tuck. This is a form of plastic surgery that has become very popular with both men and women for its quick cosmetic effects and the resulting natural look. It is harder to notice abdominoplasty than breast surgery or a facelift. The problem, as well as the results, are usually disguised by clothing. Many people flock to this surgical alternative because they prefer it to suffering the excruciating exercise regimens and extreme diets that are often necessary to getting excellent abs.

What Is Abdominoplasty?

When a person goes in for an abdominoplasty, he or she is going to undergo a procedure that combines a certain amount of liposuction treatment with the excision and removal of skin tissue from the abdomen. Due to varying factors, such as the condition of the patient and the extent of the requested intervention, this surgery can last anywhere from one to five hours.

The procedure begins with an incision that begins at one hip and ends at the other. A second, smaller incision is made around the umbilicus. All of this skin is released to reveal the stomach muscles. Plastic surgeons use sutures to tighten this wall of muscle before removing excess fatty tissue in the area. Traditional liposuction techniques are used for this removal.

How Does Mini Abdominoplasty Differ from the Standard Procedure?

Standard abdominoplasty is not always necessary, especially in cases in which the patients do not have particularly distended abdomens.  This mini tummy tuck is performed as follows:

  1. A smaller incision between the hips begins the procedure.
  2. The skin is stretched downward from the upper abdomen after a limited detachment procedure. The surgeon cuts away the extra skin.
  3. The navel may or may not need to be freed completely as in standard abdominoplasty.
  4. The surgeon does not do any tightening of the abdominal muscle with sutures.
  5. Limited liposuction is used to reduce fatty tissue around the area of the tummy tuck.
  6. The surgeon replaces the flap of skin and stitches it in place.

Who Can Undergo Mini Abdominoplasty?

Not everyone is a good candidate for adominoplasty, and even fewer qualify to undergo a mini abdominoplasty. Many people desire the mini tummy tuck because it involves a less invasive approach, usually has a shorter recovery period, and is typically less expensive. You have to meet a few conditions, however, for doctors to agree that this is the right approach for you.

Good candidates for this procedure are those patients who have a very small amount of skin to be removed from their abdomens. Also, it is important that their abdominal wall does not protrude too much. Such significant protrusion requires the use of sutures, which usually entails a standard abdominoplasty.

In general, there are certain types of people who often qualify for the mini abdominoplasty. Among these are patients who are just beginning to see a sag in their stomachs due to the aging process. Also, some patients do not really have what people would consider to be a protruding belly, but they wish to sculpt their abdomen into a more attractive contour. These people meet the conditions that most doctors require for mini tummy tuck patients.

In essence, you should not consider it likely for your doctor to approve a mini tummy tuck if you have a belly that sticks out more than a little. Women with severe stretch marks, loose hanging skin, and muscle separation are not candidates for a mini-tuck.

Never presume to know which procedure is right for you. If you have questions, talk to a plastic surgeon. You can learn more about both procedures as well as your qualifications to undergo either one.