In the past, for all of its potential to transform, there was no getting around the long weeks of recovery that a tummy tuck requires. But that’s finally changing.
Recent advances have enabled new variations of the tummy tuck to be more efficient and easier to recover from while still effectively reshaping the midsection.
The mini tummy tuck and the drainless tummy tuck are two such advancements. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The mini tummy tuck
While there’s no universal definition for the mini tummy tuck, the procedure is used most commonly to remove loose skin from below the belly button. A mini tummy tuck scar is about half the size of one from a full tummy tuck, and it can be placed lower on the pubic bone so it’s less likely to be seen above a bikini line.
The mini tummy tuck can tighten the look of the lower belly, making it the ideal solution for women with a small but persistent pooch. It also affords more flexibility than the full tummy tuck, which is a procedure best performed once. The mini tummy tuck can be updated or even repeated, which makes it an option between pregnancies.
Generally, you’ll want to take it easy for a week to two weeks after the mini tummy tuck. By that point, the bruising and swelling should have subsided enough to allow you to return to work, but it may be another week or two before you’ll want to attempt anything strenuous.
The drainless tuck
Drains play a key role in a full tummy tuck, helping to rid the body of natural fluid buildup. They can, however, be a major inconvenience during the recovery process. And they come with their own set of risks.
The drainless tummy tuck basically combines liposuction with a full tummy tuck using a particular suturing technique that eliminates the needs for the drains. Liposuction is used to remove stubborn fat from isolated areas of the abdominal area, which tones and sculpts abdominal contours while minimizing the amount of surgical intervention that’s needed.
From there, an incision is made along the abdomen, through which the plastic surgeon can remove loose skin and tighten muscle tissue. The surgeon then uses a technique called progressive tension sutures to secure the abdominal skin to the underlying tissue layers. That creates a tighter bond, leaving little room for fluid build-up.
You should be able to return to work and light physical activity within a week or two of the surgery. And gradually, over the next several weeks, you’ll start to notice improvements in your body contours. In all, it’ll take about six to eight weeks for the final results to become visible.