If a surgeon is selling you on a mini tummy tuck, be careful before you say, "Yes." Very few patients are good candidates for the procedure, and the last thing you want is to go through surgery without getting great results. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, tightens a belly that has become stretched out of shape. Typically, tummy tuck patients are women who have had children or people who have had significant weight loss. Both experiences can give you stretched-out muscles and loose, hanging skin. One part of the tummy tuck procedure tightens the muscles. This leaves no visible scar on the outside. However, the surgeon may also remove extra skin to give you a more attractive contour. Cutting out this skin requires a long incision, and the more loose skin there is, the longer that incision needs to be. It's common for patients to have a hip-to-hip scar or longer. When a surgeon talks to you about a "mini tummy tuck," he's likely referring to a tummy tuck that doesn't leave a long scar.
However, a mini tummy tuck is only possible if you have little-to-no extra skin. In this case, the incision just needs to be big enough for the surgeon to tighten the muscles. The resulting scar will be short: about the length of a C-section scar. How do you know if you're a candidate? Speak with a qualified surgeon. If you are a woman who has some lower abdominal roundness—like a small pot belly—but very little loose skin, a mini tummy tuck may be possible. Again, very few patients fit this description after pregnancy or weight loss. As a surgeon, I probably see one mini tummy tuck candidate out of 30 abdominoplasty consults.
If we've conducted your examination and decided it's right for you, we'll go with a mini tummy tuck and provide you with great-looking results. But don’t get taken by promises of a "mini" procedure from a surgeon who hasn't considered your medical needs. Likely, you’ll be disappointed by the outcome.