• Priti Patel MD

When is a mini tummy tuck enough?

Priya Halanı, Priti P Patel MD


When is a mini tummy tuck enough?

Like with any other medical procedure, there are a lot of criteria that need to be considered before getting a mini tummy tuck. When diet and exercise have not corrected excess fat and loose skin, people may seek out surgical procedures to help change their appearance. Often times, individuals will request something known as a mini tummy tuck. What’s important to know is that not all patients are candidates for this particular procedure. Generally, the excess skin and fat in a mini tummy tuck should be below the belly button level and the level of muscle separation (known as diastasis recti or separation of the rectus muscles) is minimal.

What is a mini tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty or partial abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that allows for a smooth look on the area below the belly button and is typically done by removing excess skin and fat. It tightens the area of the stomach between your belly button and pubic area. It is most effective for people who have a little bit of excess skin that does not seem to go away with diet or exercise. Some people will also consider liposuction of the flanks to enhance the effects.

Why would I not be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck?

If you do not have any subcutaneous fat of any sort (and you are super lucky), there may not be a need to receive a mini tummy tuck. Those with fat above and below the bellybutton are usually not good candidates because a full abdominoplasty is better indicated.

If you are planning to conceive in the future, there is no guarantee that the procedures results will be preserved post-pregnancy. When a woman gets pregnant, she goes through many physical changes, including weight gain and an expanding midsection. The muscles tightened by the initial tummy tuck surgery will separate, and the skin around the stomach area will stretch and sag again. According to Dr. Priti Patel, a board certified Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, “it is recommended to wait at least 6-9 months after pregnancy to consider abdominal body contouring. The best time is when your body has achieved a significant weight plateau.”


What is the recovery with abdominoplasty?

The full recovery from a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can take up to 6-8 weeks.. Tummy tucks are an outpatient procedure and patients can go home the same day. It is recommended that patients avoid lifting anything heavy to keep the incision clean and healthy. Most patients will also have drains placed at the time of the procedure that are removed a few weeks later. A surgical garment or binder is often used for 8 weeks post surgery.

Does a mini tummy tuck fix diastasis recti?

If diastasis recti is only present in the lower abdominal muscles, muscle plication may address it. However, if the condition goes further than the level of the belly button, it may require a full tummy tuck to correct it.



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