Cosmetic Q&A: Mini Tummy Tucks & Healing

flat-tummy1. Does the mini tummy tuck remove any skin above the navel?

Dr. Rohrich: Absolutely not. That is the reason a mini-tummy tuck should be limited to only those patients who do not have extreme skin or fat above the umbilicus as this cannot be altered or significantly changed. A mini-tummy tuck is only good for patients with a high torso, little to no redundant skin above the umbilicus, and have had no children or only one at the most, because it does not tighten abdominal skin above the belly button. A mini tummy tuck does, however reduce the length of the incision and the recovery by one week.

2. Can you do a rectus muscle plication using a mini tummy tuck?

Dr. Rohrich: Of course, you can do a rectus muscle plication (or tightening of the abdominal muscle) of the inferior portion. If you use an endoscope, you can to it above the umbilicus or you can float the umbilicus and do the plication centrally. This procedure should only be done by people that have a long torso with a high umbilicus.

3. Why should you have swelling after a tummy tuck?

Dr. Rohrich: I think it is not uncommon to have some swelling, especially below the belly button for 3 months after tummy tuck. This should subside over time and if it doesn’t you may consider having an external ultrasound or massage in the area in the early post-op period.

4. How long should you have drainage after a tummy tuck?

Dr. Rohrich: It depends. It can be for days or up to 2 weeks in extreme situations. However, in most cases the drainage should end in 3-5 days, or less with current techniques of leaving the deep fatty layer as well as doing quilting or sutures to close the dead space around the drain sites. The key also is to wear compression and to limit physical activity and exercise for 3 weeks after surgery.