If struggling with loose skin in the lower abdomen, then you may benefit from a mini tummy tuck surgery. However, as with any surgical procedures, it involves some risks and scarring is just one of them, albeit to a lesser extent compared to full tummy tuck. This article will explain what causes mini tummy tuck scarring and what you can do about it.
Mini Tummy Tuck Scars
Exercise and proper diet are some of the ways commonly used to get rid of loose skin in your abdomen, but stubborn cases may benefit from a mini tummy tuck. This is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is used to tighten loose skin in lower abdomen.
It is very much like a tummy tuck procedure except that it involves a shorter, horizontal incision just at or above the pubic area, akin to that made during a caesarian section and the navel is left intact (tummy tuck on the other hand involves repositioning of the belly button). Mini tummy tuck is sometimes used alongside liposuction to further tone the abdomen.
The procedure is usually aimed at removing excess skin in the lower abdomen and tightening the underlying muscles. It is thus ideal for patients whose main area of contention (loose skin and excess fat) is the part below the belly button.
Dr. Peter Geldner, a plastic surgeon based in Chicago recommends mini tummy tuck for patients with“…no laxity or only laxity in the muscle below the belly button”.
Because a tummy tuck focuses only on the lower abdomen and doesn’t do anything for the upper abdomen, most plastic surgeons hold the opinion that it gives half the results of a complete tummy tuck; some even describes it as “tummy tucks’ little sister”.
As with any surgical procedure, the mini tummy tuck causes scars as the skin heals the incisions. However, unlike complete tummy tuck scars that extend from hipbone to hipbone, mini tummy tuck scars are typically shorter, usually the same length as that resulting from a c-section.
As Lloyd Gayle, MD, a plastic surgeon based in New York says, a small incision is enough because a mini tummy tuck neither requires so much tightening of the muscles nor lots of fat removal.
This makes the mini tummy tuck scars less noticeable compared to those left by a complete tummy tuck. Most surgeons will also aim at ensuring that the mini tummy scars are situated in a location that makes it easy to hide them under the bikini line.
The size and appearance of the scar is influenced by a whole range of factors ranging from the patient’s genetic predisposition to scarring to their following of the post surgery guidelines which are instrumental in ensuring proper healing and thus less scarring.
On a god note however, most tummy tuck scars heal gradually with time as to eventually fade into a thin, gray line that is not as visible.
Mini Tummy Tuck Scar Pictures – Photos, Images
A mini tummy tuck surgery will leave you with a tighter flatter stomach, but will also leave you with a scar to show for it. Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, a Dallas plastic surgeon puts it into perspective saying, “Even though you can cover it up with clothes and it’s rarely seen in a bathing suit, it’s not a scar that’s in a crease like when a breast augmentation or facelift is performed,”
Lined up below are a few “mini tummy tuck scar” pictures to give you an idea of what to expect:
Tummy scar1, 2
Minimizing Mini Tummy Tuck Scars Before and After Surgery – Useful tips
Your surgeon will provide you with a list of pre-operation and post-operation guidelines during the consultation and after the surgery. These are aimed at ensuring a smooth healing process and minimizing the degree of scarring as much as possible.
In addition to (but not in place of), you will want to avoid smoking for a couple weeks prior to and after the surgery. And as the wound and scar heals, you will want to protect it from excessive exposure to UV by covering it with clothes. It is also a good idea to eat balanced diet and let your surgeon know if you are on any medication.
Tummy Tuck Scar Removal
With the scar left behind after a tummy tuck surgery, you might be left wondering what tummy tuck scar removal options are at your disposal.
Although tummy tuck scars fade gradually over time, there are several options available to improve the appearance of any stubborn scar. Here are numerous tummy tuck scar removal options you may want to discuss with your surgeon:
- Surgical scar revision: As the name suggests, this involves having another surgery to enhance the appearance of the scar sustained from the first surgery. York Yates, MD, a Salt Lake City based plastic surgeon however recommends waiting 6 to 12 months before considering surgical scar revision. Punch grafting is one commonly used technique whereby the scar is cut off and replaced with a skin graft from another part of the body.
- Laser treatment: This involves using high energy laser light to remove the upper layer of skin and stimulate growth of new, healthy skin.
- Silicone sheeting: Silicone gel sheeting products such as Oleeva, Rejuveness and ScarAway can as well help to improve tummy tuck scars
Creams: there are numerous scar creams on the market today that can as well help. These range from the silicone based varieties such as Scarguard and Kelo-cote to the onion extract based Mederma
Hybrid Tummy Tuck Scar
If you have been looking around for surgical options to improve sagging abdominal skin, then you might have come across the term Hybrid Tummy Tuck ™, otherwise known as Hybrid Abdominoplasty ™.
Pioneered by Brent Moelleken, MD, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, this is a mini-tummy-tuck-like procedure that involves small incisions as those used for traditional mini tummy tuck but it can as well be used to tighten the upper abdomen.