A Tummy Tuck, whether full or mini, is a plastic surgery procedure that’s used to give a patient a flatter and tighter stomach and midsection. Most patients who choose a tummy tuck have slack, excess skin that has stubbornly persisted after aging, pregnancy or rapid weight loss.
During a full tummy tuck, the surgeon makes a horizontal incision from hip to hip around the bikini line. He or she then makes another incision to free the patient’s navel from the surrounding skin. That skin is then separated from the abdominal wall. This reveals the muscles and fascia, which are then tightened, and excess skin and fat are trimmed away. Once the surgical incision is closed the belly button is repositioned, and sometimes liposuction is used to remove a bit more fat from the abdomen. After that, dressings and a drainage tube are applied to remove any excess fluid. Patients recover from a full tummy tuck in about three to six months.
During a mini tummy tuck on the other hand, the doctor makes a smaller incision and the skin and fat are detached in a more limited way. The skin is stretched down and any excess is removed. Sometimes the fascia and muscles are tightened and the belly button repositioned before the skin flap is sutured back in place.
Whether from a mini or full tummy tuck, patients often enjoy a firmer, more taut, and more youthful stomach profile, and a boost of self-confidence. For many patients, Tummy Tucks can be life-transforming.
As an ABMS board certified plastic surgeon and one of the few plastic surgeons in Washington state to be appointed Clinical Instructor in The University of Washington’s Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Seattle Plastic Surgeon Dr. Shahram Salemy has years of experience in performing both full and mini tummy tucks for his patients in the greater Seattle area. As for whether to opt for full of mini tummy tuck, Dr. Salemy says that while most tummy tuck patients are good candidates for a full tummy tuck, some can achieve excellent results from a mini- tummy tuck and it very much depends on the patient’s anatomy and goals for the procedure.
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