A full abdominoplasty involves a long scar above the pubic area, a navel scar, some liposuction and a plication or reinforcement of the abdominal wall to bring the central (rectus) muscles together. Some women’s abdominal contours do not require all of these components. These patients would be good candidates for a mini-abdominoplasty. This can mean several different things including a shorter scar to tighten the lower abdomen only (avoiding the umbilical scar), the usual abdominal external scars without the internal plication of the abdominal muscles in patients who are in very good shape, or bringing the entire abdominal wall skin down including the navel, floating the navel to avoid the umbilical scar, although lowering it as well.
The mini-abdominoplasty will usually be done as an outpatient procedure in my office. The risks are the same as for the usual abdominoplasty except that it is a smaller operation so that there is less chance of bleeding, less discomfort and less of a recovery. The risk of infection is about 1%. The scar may be wide after this operation, although in the past few years, I have been using absorbable staples on the inside so the scars have been much more attractive. As with a full abdominoplasty, I would ask you to refrain from heavy lifting for 6 weeks. I generally do not use a drain.
Smokers heal poorly in terms of infection and wound breakdown, and you are advised not to smoke for at least 1 month before and after the surgery.
It will be a pleasure discussing a mini-abdominoplasty with you. Please call my office with any questions (804-320-8545).