"For many women, the ability to have a flat, firm tummy is a dream and yearning desire. The slender, curved waist, the hint of muscle definition, the exposed midriff and those slender fitting dresses."
With the joy of delivering a family has also come the tossing out of the bikini and the relegation to a one-piece for evermore to hide the loose skin and small bulge that just won’t budge despite all the sensible eating and exercise.
Liposculpture has been a tremendous help for those with an excessive abdominal bulge but unfortunately, it is a poor operation for those with looser, more mobile skin. For in these cases, no matter how skillfully and smoothly the Liposculpture is performed the normal healing will produce scar tissue which can anchor the looser skin to the underlying muscle in a haphazard manner and produce a hail damaged and irregular appearance.
The alternative, a ‘Tummy Tuck’ (Abdominoplasty) is declined because it is too major an operation and not worth the big scar, significant downtime, risk profile and discomfort.
This leaves many women in the middle ground without a procedure to do them justice.
Enter, the 'Mini Tummy Tuck' a smaller and less invasive alternative with Dr Rastogi in Sydney. In this procedure, the loose skin and excess fat is removed from the lower abdomen and underling muscles are tightened.
See the image gallery of Before & After Tummy Tuck results from Dr Rastogi.
A very low incision will be made at the hairline on much the same level as a cesarean scar (but about 5cm longer). The skin is tightened and the skin removed from a smile shaped flap. The resulting scar usually lies wholly within the bikini line and the belly button is not interfered with and so maintains a very natural look.
Patients can go home the same day or the next morning. And because there is no involvement of the abdominal muscles, lifting and exercise such as sit-ups are not restricted, though over stretching is.
The case study presents a 44-year-old mother of two. Following her pregnancies, she complained of loose, floppy skin and was also unhappy with the development of a thicker waist and fat deposits on her buttocks, hips, thighs and knees. Her body shape persisted despite conscious eating and exercise.
A mini tummy tuck was performed with liposculpture contouring of the abdomen and skin pull to tighten the skin. The waist, hips, buttocks, thighs and knees were also sculpted into slender curves with a Liposculpture. The edges of the mini abdominoplasty can be seen as they appear three months post-surgery.
Dr Rastogi emphasises that the mini tummy tuck does not replace a traditional abdominoplasty, and that it is not suitable for patients with significant skin excess or when the abdominal muscles need repair.
He goes on to say, “The mini tummy tuck has become very popular and provides a beautiful, safe, simple and very effective way of treating the ‘in-between' patient."
When compared to a mini tummy tuck, a full abdominoplasty is a far more extensive surgical procedure. A full tummy tuck targets the entire abdomen, removes up to twice as much skin and tightens the abdominal muscles and skin all the way up to the ribs.
If you have sagging and loose skin above the belly button, you are likely better suited to a full tummy tuck. Keep in mind that a full abdominoplasty involves a larger incision (from hip to hip and around the belly button), thus resulting in a larger scar. Additionally, a full tummy tuck involves longer recovery times, is associated with a higher risk of complications and is far more expensive.
A mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, only addresses below the belly button. As the navel is not interfered with during the procedure, the skin and muscles on the upper half of the abdomen cannot be tightened. One benefit to a mini abdominoplasty is that the procedure usually creates a much shorter scar. Ultimately, a mini tummy tuck is ideal for those concerned about excess fat and skin below the belly button.
A mini tummy tuck may be a good choice for those who are unhappy with the appearance of extra skin and tissue hanging below the belly button. The ideal mini tummy tuck surgical candidate is someone who:
Additionally, a mini abdominoplasty candidate should be in overall good health, doesn't smoke, understands how the procedure will be performed and has realistic expectations as to what can be achieved.
The cost of your mini tummy tuck procedure is dependant on a number of factors. These include the complexity of the surgery, the experience level of your surgeon, hospital costs and anaesthetic fees. If you combine your mini tummy tuck with another procedure, for instance, liposculpture, this will increase the cost of your procedure.
It is in your best interests to choose a qualified surgeon who specialises in tummy tucks and other body contouring procedures. While this may cost more, the results will be entirely worth it.
After a mini tummy tuck, expect to experience some swelling, bruising and tenderness. Typically, these symptoms will resolve themselves within a couple of weeks and medications will be prescribed to keep you comfortable during your recovery. To compress your abdomen and reduce swelling, a compression garment should be worn for around six to eight weeks after your procedure.
In most instances, patients are able to return to work and resume most of their everyday activities within one to two weeks. Exercise and other more strenuous activities, however, should be avoided for at least one month post-op.
Despite this, each patient is different, so it is important to follow Dr Rastogi’s specific instructions to help reduce complications and reduce your time spent in recovery.
Unfortunately, no surgery is without risk. While rare, some of the risks associated with this procedure that you should be aware of include: