1206 Somerville Rd
Decatur, AL 35603
The basic goal of a mini-abdominoplasty is to perform a standard liposuction of the upper and lower abdomen, the waists and flanks and then to contour the lower abdomen by removing some fat and skin between the belly button and pubic hair. This tightens the loose skin of the lower abdomen, although not as much as a full abdominoplasty. Sometimes muscle tightening is done in a mini-abdominoplasty. The belly button does not have an incision around it in a mini-abdominoplasty, but it can be shifted downward by releasing it from the underlying muscle.
The operation usually starts by doing some liposuction. The incision is re-marked and the length is a little variable and must be long enough to have the end of the incision close smoothly. The length of the incision is about 2/3 of the length of a standard abdominoplasty incision.
After the liposuction the skin is dissected up to the level of the belly button and then a second incision is marked at a level that will excise just enough loose skin. Some muscle work can be done even in a mini-abdominoplasty.
The lower abdomen skin is then pulled downward and sutured to the lower incision. This creates a curved scar on the lower abdomen. The length of the scar is variable but is less then in a standard abdominoplasty.
During your initial consultation we will discuss all of the aspects of the operation and how it relates to you. We will have a second visit that is the pre-operative visit where I will answer all of your final questions, write the prescriptions for the medicines you will need after the surgery and you will do your pre-operative visit at the hospital.
Mini abdominoplasty is always a cosmetic procedure.
The operation is done as an outpatient procedure at Decatur Morgan Hospital using general anesthesia. It is done in the main operating rooms at Decatur Morgan Hospital and takes just about 2 hours to perform. We do the operation in the morning and you will get discharged to home late in the afternoon or the early evening. You will go home with 1 or 2 drainage tubes to remove postoperative blood and fluid so it does not accumulate under the abdominal skin. I discharge you from the hospital with a prescription for narcotic pain medication, an antibiotic and a nausea medication. You will be taught how to empty and measure your drain output.
The mini-abdominoplasty procedure can also be performed at the same operative setting as gynecology procedures. When I do this procedure along with your gynecologist, the morning of surgery I will draw the mini-abdominoplasty marks on you. When you go to sleep in the operating room I discuses the marks with your gynecologist and help mark the incision. When your gynecologist is finished I come into the operating room and do the mini-abdominoplasty. This has the benefit of having you postoperative recovery include both the insurance covered gynecology procedure and the cosmetic mini-abdominoplasty. Therefore, if you have to take time off from work for your gynecology procedure, you can use the time to also recovery from your mini-abdominoplasty procedure.
All patients are unique and the response to post-operative discomfort is variable. Most patients have most of the discomfort from the liposuction which feels like bruising. The lower incision can feel like tightness and burning in the lower abdomen. You will feel slightly tight and you will need to walk slightly bent over. Most patients take the narcotic medicine for a week or two and then switch to Tylenol for pain. Some patients take a narcotic medicine for 3 or 4 weeks after the surgery. As I said, patients are all unique and their pain tolerance is very different. Almost all patients feel normal by 3 weeks. If any muscle tightening was done there si a heavy lifting restriction for 6 to 8 weeks. You will wear an abdominal binder for support and to keep light pressure on your abdomen for about 3 or 4 weeks.
For a desk job that does not require any heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 10 to 14 days. Some women have gone back to a desk job in as little a 1 week, even with their drain tubes still in place.
For a job that requires physical exertion or heavy lifting you should expect to be away from work for 2 to 3 weeks and then no heavy lifting while at work for 6 to 8 weeks if muscle work was done. If there are any small healing problems with your abdomen we may keep you off of work for an additional 1 week or consider a light duty for a week if that is available at your job.
You will need to come to the office the 2 days after your surgery and you need to arrange for someone to drive you to this appointment because you will be sore and on narcotic medications. At this first postoperative check I will change your dressings and check your drain tube. Drain removal depends on the drain outputs you record at home. We will remove the drain in about 6 to 10 days from your surgery. Removing the tube pinches a little but is not terribly painful.
After your drain is removed you will go home with a light gauze dressing. You can take a full shower 24 hours after your last drain is removed. You will take off your dressings and binder, shower, soapy water will not hurt your incisions, pat yourself dry and replace your binder. No sutures will have to be removed, they are all dissolvable.
Your next appointment will be in approximately 2 weeks. After that I will see you again in approximately 1 month and then in about 2 or 3 months. I will see you at 6 months and 12 months after your surgery and do a final assessment of your size and shape, assess the quality of your scars and get your final opinion on the surgery. Resuming Normal Activities Generally you can resume all of you normal activities, including physical exertion and exercise after 3 to 4 weeks. This could be delayed slightly if there are any wound healing problems.
Generally you can resume all of you normal activities, including physical exertion and exercise after 3 to 4 weeks or 6 to 8 weeks with muscle work. This could be delayed slightly if there are any wound healing problems.