One of the most effective plastic surgery procedures that can reshape the belly to create a sculpted and flatter abdomen is a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck reshapes and tightens the abdominal area, making it flatter and trimmer. It is the best plastic surgery procedure that can be used in reshaping and tightening the abdomen to improve the way clothes fit. A mini tummy tuck is basically the small version of a full tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck involves the removal of the loose and excess fats and skin between the pubic mons and the umbilicus. It is a plastic surgery procedure suitable for a selected few. It allows the correction of the abdomen, especially after pregnancy. It is a plastic surgery that is not suitable for some patients with loose skin located on or above the belly button. A mini tummy tuck removes only small amounts of fats and skin and the incision is smaller compared to a full tummy tuck. The best way to find out whether you need a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck is by consulting your plastic surgeon. Only the plastic surgeon can assess whether you are suitable for any of the two procedures or not. Let us now find out where the difference lies between a full tummy tuck procedure and a mini tummy tuck procedure. What is a tummy tuck procedure? Also known as abdominoplasty, this procedure removes excess skin and fats found in the abdominal area, tightens and restores weakened abdominal muscles. It is a procedure that has enabled many Americans acquire a firmer and smoother abdomen. Many people have tried to get a well-toned and firm abdomen through diet and exercise, but in the end up, went through a full tummy tuck to meet their goals. A fatty, sagging and protruding abdomen is usually a result of the following. • Pregnancy • Massive weight loss • Aging • Genes Preparing for tummy tuck procedure If you are a smoker, you will be told to quit before and after surgery. Alcohol intake is also discouraged. You also need to stop taking blood thinning medications or herbal supplements prior surgery. The surgeon will also require some lab and medical tests to ensure you are medically fit for surgery and have no chronic ailments that may cause complications or increase risks. This procedure can be done in a hospital, an accredited facility, or a surgical center depending on where your plastic surgeon is allowed to perform such treatment. You will not be in a position to drive yourself home so make arrangements beforehand for somebody to drive for you after discharge. It should be noted that this procedure is not a shortcut to losing weight. The best way to lose weight should be through the natural methods such as diet and exercising. In most cases, the results of a tummy tuck are permanent but it can be affected by weight fluctuations and lifestyle. You must maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly to make the beneficial effects of tummy tuck last. Any woman planning to become pregnant should seek professional advice from a board certified plastic surgeon before proceeding with a tummy tuck procedure. This procedure cannot remove stretch marks but can improve its appearance over time. It is very important to have realistic expectations before undergoing a full tummy tuck procedure. It bears repeating that smoking before undergoing this plastic surgery procedure is not recommended because this may lead to complications such as bleeding during recovery. It is important to consider a tummy tuck procedure for the right reasons. Going under the knife for a tummy tuck procedure because of someone else or to make a loved one happy is not a good enough reason to do so. Recovery You will be advised to wear a compression garment or an elastic bandage after surgery and during recovery until otherwise advised by your surgeon. Compression garments can speed up recovery, reduce discomfort and control swelling. The surgeon will give a list of instructions and guidelines to help you through the recovery period. Follow strictly. It is important that you ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about recovery from tummy tuck surgery. After a tummy tuck procedure, you may not be able to stand straight until the internal healing of your abdominal skin is complete. You will start seeing results and a slimmer profile after a week or two when the swelling has subsided. Tummy tuck procedure can deliver a firmer, flatter and tighter abdomen. Cesarean section scars left behind may be absorbed into new scars after a tummy tuck procedure. The scars from a tummy tuck procedure may take years to fade completely. For optimal results, follow instructions of your plastic surgeon for post-operative care. After a tummy tuck procedure, avoid any excessive and quick movements that could add pressure to your incisions especially in the first few weeks after procedure. This may lead to pains, prolonged healing time and swelling. Risks and complications Having a tummy tuck procedure is a personal decision arrived at, with full knowledge and acceptance of the associated risks and complications. Before making a decision, carefully consider the pros and cons and determine if the benefits outweigh the risks and whether the procedure will help you achieve desired goals. The risks and complications for a tummy tuck procedure are as follows: • infection • bleeding • adverse reaction to anesthesia • accumulation of fluids or seroma • loss of skin • poor healing of the wound • discoloration of the skin • numbness • scarring • Asymmetry problems • Persistent pain • Deep vein thrombosis • Nerve damage All these should be discussed during the consultation to help patients understand how they can help reduce and minimize risks and complications. Mini Tummy Tuck procedure A mini tummy tuck improves the lower belly in the abdominal area through a less extensive procedure. If you are one of those people who feel bothered about stretch marks and a ‘pouch’ in the abdominal area, then a mini tummy tuck would be suitable for you. A mini tummy tuck mostly involves the use of a single incision above the pubic mound. Your plastic surgeon will then tighten loose muscles in that area. Excess skin will also be removed to give a firmer and flatter abdomen. The scar resulting from this type of tummy tuck procedure is usually a small horizontal line which is not as visible as a scar from a full tummy tuck. Some of the benefits of a mini tummy tuck procedure are shorter recovery time, less extensive procedures and a flatter and firmer abdomen. How to maintain results after tummy tuck surgery A tummy tuck surgery is meant to tighten the weakened abdominal muscles and make them firmer and to remove loose, saggy and excess skin. Patients are advised to strictly follow the guidelines and instructions provided by a board certified plastic surgeon to ensure that the tummy tuck results last for long. Factors such as future pregnancies can adversely affect tummy tuck surgery results. If you are planning to get pregnant after a tummy tuck procedure, it important to inform your plastic surgeon. Chances are, you will be advised to defer plans until you are done with your pregnancies. Tummy tuck surgery should only be performed by a board certified and well-experienced plastic surgeon in order to achieve the desired youthful body and a slimmer, flatter abdomen. Any type of plastic surgery whether surgical or nonsurgical comes with a number of complications and risks. These complications are rare in some procedures but very common in others. If a plastic surgery patient follows instructions from a plastic surgeon, the risks are minimized and the possibility of achieving desired results increases. Conclusion Tummy tuck is one of the riskiest plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States these days. Thus, it is very important for tummy tuck surgery patients to follow instructions and learn more about possible risks. Both mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck procedures can help improve the shape of the abdomen. Anyone planning to undergo this procedure should remember that critical to the success of the procedure is choosing a board certified plastic surgeon. Do not be blinded by offers of lower costs and empty promises. A board certified and highly skilled surgeon offers value and gives you the best chance to achieve your goals. Because it may involve the removal of a large amount of the abdominal skin, a tummy tuck procedure can lead to visible scarring especially if the incisions get infected or get exposed to the sun. Stay away from the sun as much as possible before incisions heal properly. Get all the important information you need from your plastic surgeon during consultation.