February 15th, 2013 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD
A frequent question San Francisco Bay Area patients ask during consultation for a tummy tuck, is can they get a “mini” tummy tuck? They are hoping for a smaller scar and less involved surgery.
Although the names sound similar, the procedures treat different issues. The mini treats patients with minimal skin laxity, mild to moderate abdominal fat and mild to moderate stretched or separated abdominal muscle. There is a limited amount of tightening of the abdominal muscle, and it is only tightened below the belly button. The removal of stretch marks with this procedure is also limited. The incision is much smaller than for the full tummy tuck. Patients that are within 10% of their ideal body weight may be good candidates for the mini.
The full tummy tuck is usually recommended for women who have had children and have completed their child bearing. The full tummy tuck tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscle above and below the belly button. The incision generally goes from hip to hip but is placed so that it is hidden in the panty line. There is also an incision around the belly button. For the optimal result, a waist enhancement procedure can be done to give more definition to the waist line.
Many Marin County women opt to have breast surgery done at the same time, this may be a breast lift with or without implants, or breast augmentation or in some cases a breast reduction to have what is known as a “mommy makeover”, one of the highest patient satisfaction procedures available.