Many women who have been pregnant struggle with loose and sagging abdominal skin. Houston liposuction can remove extra fat from this zone, but it won’t fix the skin issue. The loose skin also isn’t helped by diet and exercise.
That’s why so many patients turn to a Houston mini tummy tuck. After this procedure, they can have a taut, smooth belly and wear their favorite clothes again.
If you consider this procedure, below is more information about a mini tummy tuck, including recovery time.
Mini Tummy Tuck Overview
A tummy tuck addresses loose belly skin left over after pregnancy. During pregnancy, the belly stretches to accommodate the growing fetus. But this process can stretch the skin and separate the abdominal muscles.
After giving birth, the skin may not bounce back, leaving rolls of unattractive, loose skin that you want to lose. But liposuction won’t eliminate the loose skin. Only a tummy tuck can.
Some women have loose skin above and below the bully button, so a full tummy tuck is needed. Others only have sagging skin below the navel, and that’s when a mini tummy tuck is appropriate.
Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure
A mini tummy tuck removes sagging skin from below the belly button and eliminates the extra skin that may have developed from pregnancy.
The surgeon will remove the extra skin during the operation and tighten the abdominal muscles. The remaining skin will be stretched and laid flat to give you a tighter belly.
The surgeon may also liposuction the area to remove extra fat that can’t be eliminated with diet and exercise.
This procedure has an incision up to eight inches long and is made to the lower abdomen. This is about as long as the typical C-section scar. Your surgeon would probably use the same if you had a C-section incision.
Patients enjoy the best results if they are close to the goal weight and don’t want to get pregnant again.
Mini Tummy Tuck Vs. Full Tummy Tuck
Whether you need a mini or full tummy tuck depends on your anatomy. For example, you may need a full tummy tuck if you have loose skin above the navel and loose abdominal muscles.
If your major issue is loose skin below the navel, you probably need a mini tummy tuck only.
Your surgeon will perform an examination and quickly decide which procedure is best for your needs.
Getting Ready For A Mini Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is a major surgery, and you will need to take several steps before the procedure. First, your surgeon will do blood tests to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery.
If you smoke, you will need to stop for at least several weeks before and after surgery. Tobacco use reduces blood circulation and causes many health problems, and it also can impede the recovery process.
You also shouldn’t drink alcohol before and after surgery, and remember to stop taking drugs that thin the blood, such as aspirin.
Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery
The first thing to know about your mini tummy tuck recovery time is every patient is different. How long it takes depends on your age, body weight, health, and the skill of your surgeon.
It’s normal to want to get back to your customary activities after a mini tummy tuck, but you need to give the body time to heal.
Your surgeon may insert drains in the abdomen to eliminate fluid buildup after surgery. The drains will probably be removed after a week or so. The surgeon also will likely give you antibiotics and anticoagulants when the drains are in place to reduce the chances of infection.
You also will need to wear a binder on your abdomen for four to six weeks. This will reduce fluid buildup and help the skin to adhere to your slimmer profile.
The pain will be the most intense in the first few days, but your doctor will give you pain medication. Some patients have abdominal swelling for up to three months.
Your belly may feel like it pulls when you attempt to stand up straight, but your ability to move will improve after two or three weeks. Some patients have numbness in the abdomen for weeks or months, but this should resolve on its own.
The good news is your recovery will be shorter with a mini tummy tuck compared to a full tummy tuck. But you will need to avoid intense activities for about six weeks, especially vigorous exercise and heavy lifting.
Tips For Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery
It’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions after a tummy tuck to ensure you have the fastest recovery. Here are some critical tips that will help:
- Sleep on an incline for a few days after the procedure. You can use several pillows to elevate your torso in bed, which will reduce pain and swelling.
- You shouldn’t exercise for a few weeks, but make sure to go for a daily walk as soon as you can. This activity will speed your recovery by keeping the blood flowing. It also reduces the chances of a blood clot in the legs.
- Rest as much as you can for the first month, so your body has the energy to heal.
- Remember that a tummy tuck is a major surgery, and even someone in excellent health needs to rest to recover quickly.
- You won’t be able to drive as long as you are on prescription pain pills, so have someone to help you get around.
- Most tummy tuck patients also may not be able to drive for longer because of the pain and swelling in the abdomen.
- Your doctor will let you know when it’s ok to start driving and engaging in more activities.
Most patients have excellent results from their mini tummy tuck and recover in two to three months. Talk to your surgeon to see if you’re a candidate for this procedure.
Request a Houston Mini Tummy Tuck Consultation
Interested in a mini tummy tuck in Houston? Please set up a consultation with Dr. Ashley Steinberg today. She’ll talk to you about the benefits and risks of a mini tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Recovery. (2020). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/tummy-tuck-recovery#generalguidelines
Mini Tummy Tuck Overview. (2020). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/cosmetic-surgery/mini-tummy-tuck#