5 Frequently asked questions about Mini Tummy Tucks

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Mini Tummy Tuck (Partial Abdominoplasty)


What is a mini tummy tuck?

Unlike a full tummy tuck, which is done under general anaesthetic, a mini tummy tuck (or partial abdominoplasty) is performed under sedation. A mini tummy tuck is carried out when the excess fat and skin to be removed is only under the belly button. Often the underlying muscles are not tightened as they are in a full abdominoplasty, and the procedure takes just one to two hours. Partial abdominoplasties are sometimes nicknamed ‘scarless tummy tucks’, but this is misleading — mini tummy tucks will leave scarring, and the scar above the pubic bone may sometimes be as wide as the scar for a full tummy tuck.

What are the risks of a mini tummy tuck?

The main risks of a partial abdominoplasty, besides the risk of a reaction to the sedation, are infection and scarring. Although the surgeon will make incisions in the most inconspicuous places possible there will be visible scarring, and the severity will depend on the extent of your procedure and your body’s ability to heal. In a few cases, tissue may become detached from its blood supply and this can cause necrosis (tissue death). There is also a risk of a blood clot (thrombosis) occurring and this can be serious, particularly if the clot moves to a major organ such as the heart or lungs.

Who can have a mini tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck is suitable for any man or woman who is physically and mentally healthy. If you have any illnesses or pre-existing conditions, you should discuss this with the surgeon. For women planning to have a baby, it’s best to wait until afterwards to have a partial or full abdominoplasty.

A mini tummy tuck can be ideal for removing stubborn fat that hasn’t responded to diet or exercise, and to remove excess skin after weight loss or pregnancy. But it’s not an alternative to losing weight. For many people, liposuction may be a simpler option.

How long will it take me to recover from a mini tummy tuck?

After a short rest, you should be able to walk after your tummy tuck — but it will usually take you a few days to stand up straight comfortably, and you will normally have a wound drain in place for the first few days too. The pain, swelling and bruising from a partial abdominoplasty can take several weeks to subside completely.

Most people can return to work two weeks after surgery, but those in manual jobs may need a month or more off work after a mini tummy tuck.

How much does a mini tummy tuck cost?

Mini tummy tuck prices vary depending on the complexity of the procedure. In the UK, the cost of a partial abdominoplasty typically ranges from £3,500 to £7,000.

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