Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery – A Surgical Solution for Loose Tummy Skin
You gained weight, you lost weight. With age, the skin stretches. These are all normal life events that can cause excess saggy skin on the tummy. An Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic procedure that can tighten loose skin on the belly after weight loss, remove some of the stretch marks after pregnancy, and help get rid of stubborn belly fat (a mummy pooch) with Mini Tummy Tuck procedure.
After pregnancy, you may also have split tummy muscles or diastasis recti. A full tummy tuck includes a split tummy muscle repair whereas a mini tummy tuck is a procedure to just remove excess fat & Skin below the belly button only.
A mini tummy tuck surgery is similar to a full tummy tuck except that it targets the stretched skin and extra fat in the lower belly area only. A mini abdominoplasty can also be combined with other procedures, like liposuction and breast surgery to maximise the cosmetic results and also address the fat build-up above the navel.
For some people, the excess skin and fat are limited to the area below the belly button and they don’t have a lot of it. A mini tummy tuck, or mini abdominoplasty, is ideal for those individuals who are thinner and have less extra skin and fat they want to get rid of.
Dr Hunt and Dr Maryam are both Specialist Plastic surgeons with an interest in cosmetic surgery for the body. Dr Hunt has years of experience in performing mini-abdominoplasty for patients in Woolongong and Sydney.
Our surgeons tailor each mini tuck surgery to meet the cosmetic goals of the patients. A mini tuck can tone the lower belly, get rid of mummy pooch, and improve the stomach contour with a less invasive approach compared to a full abdominoplasty. Do you want a skin-only tummy tuck or do you need a muscle repair too?
What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A mini tummy tuck is an abdominoplasty that removes lax skin and accumulated fat mainly in the lower abdomen. It is considered a less invasive procedure than a full abdominoplasty. A Full tummy tuck surgery can fix your postpartum mummy pooch, abdominal hernia, and muscle laxity in the lower abdomen.
After pregnancy or weight loss, you can lose muscle tone and skin elasticity in your abdominal area. For some people, the problem area is restricted to the lower part of the abdomen:
- Extra fat and loose skin below the belly button give the belly a bulging appearance (abdominal pooch)
- Muscle laxity under the navel creates an uneven stomach contour
The mini tummy tuck is considered the best cosmetic procedure to sculpt the stomach area beneath the belly button, tone the lower abs muscles, and fix the stretch marks and sagginess in the lower part of the belly. You trade a well-hidden tummy tuck scar that fades over time for a smoother tummy contour.
How Is a Mini Tummy Tuck Different from a Full Tummy Tuck?
Both the full abdominoplasty and mini abdominoplasty are designed to remove loose skin and fat build-up from the stomach area. They both tighten the abdomen and make it flat again.
However, unlike a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck:
- Involves a smaller incision (around 15-20 cm long) that doesn’t go all the way to the sides of the hips
- Removes less amount of skin and fat compared to a full abdominoplasty
- Only works on the lower abdomen; it does not address the upper abdomen
- Does not reposition the belly button
In general, a full tummy tuck works on a larger area of the stomach than a mini tummy tuck, which focuses on the lower parts of the stomach. In addition, a full abdominoplasty involves a longer incision and more skin and fat removal than a mini abdominoplasty.
Who Needs a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A mini tummy tuck procedure is ideal for people who have lost weight or given birth but are not able to lose the stubborn lower belly fat with diet and exercise.
This procedure works very well for candidates who:
- Are thin but have excess skin and fat above their pubic area
- Have a small pouch of fat at the front of their lower abs
- Have a flat upper tummy with a lower belly bulge
- Are satisfied with the way their upper abdomen and hips look
What Are The Benefits of a Mini Tummy Tuck?
In case you have minimal loose skin in your lower abdominal region, a mini tummy tuck procedure can offer the following advantages over a full abdominoplasty:
- Less invasive (less skin and fat removal)
- Smaller incision and a smaller scar
- Less demanding (takes less time, about an hour and a half)
- Can be done using local anaesthesia
- Shorter recovery time
- Can pull the belly button down into a more aesthetically pleasing position by tightening the skin (this works really well for women whose belly button is shifted upwards in an abnormal position after pregnancy)
Despite being a less demanding procedure, a mini tummy tuck needs great surgical skills to perform successfully. Your surgeon needs to maximise fat removal and tightening with minimal invasiveness – a skill not usually found in just any plastic surgeon.
How Is a Mini Tummy Tuck Performed?
A mini tummy tuck surgery can be performed under local or general anaesthesia. During the procedure, Dr Hunt or Dr Maryam will do the following:
- First, a horizontal incision (around 15-20 cm long) is done, similar to a C-section incision, really low down the abdomen just above the pubic area (along the bikini line)
- After that, your surgeon will separate the fat layer from the deep muscle layer, all the way up to the belly button without repositioning the navel
- Following this, the deep abdominal muscles and connective tissue are pulled tightly together and held together with strong sutures
- Afterward, your surgeon will be able to pull the overlying skin and fat downwards to repair the stretched abdomen and flatten the stretch marks
- Then, excess skin and fat (usually a minimal amount) are cut out
- Lastly, your surgeon will suture the skin back together using fine sutures
A mini tummy tuck surgery usually lasts between one and a half to three hours. After your surgery, your wound will be covered by wound dressing and you will be transferred to the recovery room.
Recovery after a Mini Tummy Tuck
Mini abdominoplasty is less demanding than a full tummy tuck, hence it has a shorter recovery time. During your postoperative recovery from a mini tummy tuck you can expect:
- Belly swelling: most of the swelling subsides within 4 to 6 weeks. After that, a minimal amount of swelling remains that could take a few more months to resolve
- Bruising: bruising in your abdomen will peak during the first few days following your surgery before resolving around 2 weeks later
- Pain: postoperative pain might be experienced the first week following the surgery. The pain and discomfort should completely subside 2 weeks after your mini tummy tuck
- You might have to stay for a night at the hospital for observation after mini tuck surgery
- Your surgeon may place drains underneath your skin to prevent fluid accumulation. These are normally taken out a couple of days later
- You might be asked to wear compression garments for two to six weeks to speed up your healing after mini abdominoplasty
- You can usually return to normal activity, like working and driving, within about a week following your surgery
- You will mostly be able to go back to all forms of exercise, including heavy lifting, at about six weeks after a mini tummy tuck
Every patient will have a slightly different recovery timeline after their tummy tuck surgery depending on the extent of removed skin, age, body weight, and overall health condition. Nevertheless, full recovery after a mini tummy tuck usually takes about 4-6 weeks.
Your surgeon will follow up with you for a couple of months after your mini-abdominoplasty surgery to make sure your wound is healing nicely and your scar continues to improve.
Potential Risks and Complications of a Mini Tummy Tuck
Just like a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck can have some complications including:
- Seroma (fluid build-up under the skin): drainage tubes, and sometimes a syringe, are used to remove the accumulated fluid after your surgery
- Hematoma (blood collection under the skin): some bruises after surgery are a result of pooled blood under the skin
- Skin numbness: the incision and repositioning of skin and muscles in your abdomen can affect the nerves in that area. The reduced sensation or numbness lasts for a few weeks after surgery
- Wound infection: it’s very important to inform your surgeon about any redness around your wound, excessive swelling, chills, or fever. These could be signs of postoperative wound infection
- Skin necrosis (rare complication): injury to some blood vessels during surgery could disrupt the blood flow to the skin surface. This causes skin tissue death known as skin necrosis
To avoid possible complications after your surgery, it’s very important that you carefully choose the right plastic surgeon for your mini tummy tuck. Our surgeons use their extensive surgical skills and experience to meet your desired outcomes, prioritise your health, and foresee any possible complications.
Can a Mini Tummy Tuck Be Combined With Other Procedures?
Yes, a mini tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures to get the best possible results. A mini abdominoplasty does not usually improve the appearance of the upper abdomen. It can be combined with liposuction to get rid of fat accumulated around the love handles and further contour the belly. Liposuction can also help further tone the lower belly, hips, and pubic area (mons or FUPA).
A post-pregnancy mini tummy tuck can also be combined with breast augmentation, reduction, or lift surgery as a part of a full Mummy Makeover. Dr Hunt frequently performs this kind of combined surgical procedure to restore the pre-pregnancy body with one recovery period. Dr Maryam can also combine Tummy Surgery with Labiaplasty.
Is A Mini Tummy Tuck Worth it?
Definitely. More than 90% of surveyed Realself patients find that a mini tummy tuck surgery gives them satisfying results that are worth the cost and time invested into it. The procedure can help you get your pre-pregnancy tummy back by correcting your lower abdomen problems like lax skin and excess fat. You end up with a more cosmetically pleasant flat abdomen with clear muscle markings.
Overall, a mini-abdominoplasty is the ideal alternative to a full tummy tuck if you’re looking to tuck in a little excess skin in the lower region of your belly and get rid of mummy pooch.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
During your consultation, Your surgeon will give you an estimation of how much your tummy tuck surgery will cost. In some cases, Medicare covers abdominoplasty after significant weight loss. So you might be eligible for a rebate and partial health insurance coverage.
Mini Tummy Tuck FAQs
What is the least invasive tummy tuck?
- A mini tummy tuck is considered less invasive than a full tummy tuck because it involves a small incision and minimal skin and fat removal.
What helps reduce swelling after a mini tummy tuck?
- Compression garments and anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by your surgeon help minimise your post-op swelling.
Can I sleep on my stomach after a mini tummy tuck?
- You should avoid sleeping on your stomach for about 4 weeks after your mini tummy tuck so your tummy can heal and recover properly. Avoid putting pressure on the incision.
How long does it take for the scar to heal?
- The scar from your mini tummy tuck surgery will gradually heal over the months after your surgery. It can take about a year before the scar becomes almost invisible. Scar minimisation treatments are available.
How much weight do you lose after the procedure?
- A mini tummy tuck is not a weight-loss procedure. It can help you contour and tighten your abdominal area. Nonetheless, the excess skin and fat removed can take between 2 to 5 kg out of your weight. Additional liposuction can help you lose more.
Is it normal to look the same the procedure?
- Good candidates for mini tummy tuck surgery should end up with pleasing results and look better. Make sure you choose a specialist plastic surgeon to give you the best results you can achieve with your surgery. Please avoid choosing an inexperienced surgeon doing an apronectomy.
Further Reading about Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Tummy Tuck Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Patient Case Study of Tummy Tuck
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Tummy Tuck Patients Before and After Photos
- Read Dr Hunt’s blog about Bruising and Swelling after Tummy Tuck Surgery
Medical References – Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery Sydney
- Tummy tuck – Mayo Clinic
- Abdominoplasty – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- Clinics in Plastic Surgery | Abdominoplasty | ScienceDirect.com by Elsevier
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is one of Australia’s leading specialist plastic surgeons for breast, body, face and nose surgery. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing expert cosmetic and plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is best for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and, through his expert guidance, can achieve the best possible results.
Dr Hunt’s personal, one-on-one service and attention to detail has given thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia the confidence and body shape they desire.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
If breast reduction is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.