April 2023

The Tiny
Tummy Tuck:
Special Considerations

The Tiny Tummy Tuck: Special Considerations

For many women, a the thought of having a mommy makeover conjures up thoughts of major plastic surgery with rigorous recovery and extensive scars. And while tummy tuck surgery involves removing large amounts of excess skin, fat, and stretch marks, it's no question that the results produce a dramatic body transformation for every woman. Not to mention that those around and closest to you benefit from the ripple effect of your new-found body confidence.

But special attention should be given to the group of women, who have reached a point with diet and exercise where more subtle changes are wanted below the belly button. These women typically have fit bodies and relatively firm abdominal muscles but still have excess skin and less-than-ideal contour. For these women, a mini tummy tuck, or Tiny Tuck, can produce the results they desire and have worked so hard to obtain in the gym or studio. 

Oh No, I've Plateaued On My Own! Now What?

Let's review the three concerns where women most often plateau in their own efforts to maintain a firmer and flatter appearance at their midsection. Eventually, once their own efforts have been exhausted, surgical intervention with a mini abdominoplasty is needed.

Pinching Loose Abdominal Skin

While there are countless "miracle" creams, skin-firming lotions, lasers, and aesthetic devices that promise tight skin, only surgically removing excess skin will yield a long-term, shrink-wrapped result. During pregnancy, the skin at the abdomen and flanks is stretched beyond its natural capacity to recoil, and it can be especially hard for women to conceal in low-cut underwear and swimsuits. Some women comment that the puddling skin & fat on top of the pubic bone becomes a growing source of self-consciousness with age and collagen loss, regardless of their personal efforts to exercise their lower abdominal region.

Slight Bulging Of The Abdominal Muscles

The abdominal muscles will stretch during pregnancy in a process called rectus diastasis. The fascial band that connects the 2 rectus abdominal muscles stretches to accommodate the enlarged uterus. After pregnancy, just like with loose skin, the abdominal wall doesn't completely retract to its pre-pregnancy state, even with dieting or a rigorous abdominal exercise routine. Only tummy tuck surgery can repair and reposition the abdominal muscles to the midline to completely flatten the abs.

Lack of Feminine Body Contour

Pregnancy will result in fat deposition around the flanks, hips, and thighs. This fat is stubborn and often won’t respond to weight loss, diet, and exercise. Liposuction removes this stubborn fat, contouring a woman's figure from a boxy or rectangular shape to an hourglass silhouette. We go about this with careful attention to detail and micro-sculpting lipo techniques:by eliminating a muffin top that is obvious when wearing yoga pants or lower-cut jeans and shorts.by creating a soft, more feminine transition between the lower back and buttocks.by sculpting the waist by removing fat from the sides of the abdomen and flanks to create an hourglass shape or “snatched” waist.

Tummy Tuck Results

Dallas Mini Tummy Tuck Results by Dr. John Burns

Mini Tummy Tuck Special Considerations

When doing a tiny tummy tuck, there are special considerations that make this procedure different than a traditional abdominoplasty. Paying attention to these details separates a good result from a world-class result.

tiny tummy tuck result with scar covered by black bikini bottoms

Abdominal Incision

The incision needs to be placed LOW on the abdomen so that it falls BELOW the swimsuit or panty line. The limit to the incision placement is about 6 centimeters above the vaginal cleft. Using the landmark the incision is extended laterally just far enough to remove all necessary excess skin. Generally, the incision will reside INSIDE the hip bones and be curvilinear in shape; not straight across. The curvilinear incision will follow the natural curve of a woman’s body and also follow a swimsuit of panty cut. A straight incision will often result in a more square or rectangular waist and cause the incision to sit too low which will show below a high-cut bottom.

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Profile View | Before & After Mini Tummy Tuck with Diastasis Recti Repair by Dr. John Burns

Abdominal Muscle Repair, Part I

It is important to repair the ENTIRE abdominal muscle. Many surgeons will only repair the lower half of the muscle below the belly button line. This will create a bulge in the upper half of the abdomen and give the opposite appearance of an hourglass. After pregnancy, the entire abdominal muscle should be repaired from the ribcage to the pubic area.

Before & After Corset Mini Tummy Tuck with Lipo 360 by Dallas Plastic Surgeon, Dr. John Burns

Abdominal Muscle Repair, Part II

In some cases, a technique can be utilized where the muscle is not only tightened in the center but ALSO on the sides. I call this a Corset or 3 vector plication. Tightening the sides or oblique muscles will pull the waist tighter and exaggerate the narrowing of the waist or hourglass shape.

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Before & After Umbilical Float with a mini tummy tuck by Dr. John Burns

Belly Button

The belly button is a critical piece of any tummy tuck procedure. In certain cases, it is possible to do a tummy tuck without placing an incision around the belly button. Patients who have a longer waist and need only a small amount of skin removed are candidates for an "umbilical float" technique where the belly button is divided at the base and left attached to the skin. It is reattached to the underlying muscle once the muscles are tightened and the loose skin has been removed. With an umbilical float, the belly button will be slightly lower but without a telltale scar.

Before and After Dallas Mini Tummy Tuck with Lipo 360 by Dr. John Burns


 Tiny tummy tuck patients need PRECISE and careful liposuction. I use an ultrasound technique with a device called VASER®. In traditional or standard lipo techniques, the fat removal is done in 2 steps:

(1). Infiltration of fluid called tumescent fluid which contains saline, epinephrine, and lidocaine to numb the area and decrease bruising.

(2). Removal of fat with cannulas through tiny entry points in the skin. VASER® adds an additional step where the VASER® treats the fat using an ultrasound probe.

The VASER® liquefies unwanted fat, allowing smoother extraction. The VASER® also generates heat which helps tighten or smooth the skin. Because the fat is gently extracted, there is less bruising and swelling with VASER® and a faster recovery than traditional liposuction.

Get A Tiny Tummy Tuck With Dr. Burns

Using these special techniques and modifications, the tiny tummy tuck is a powerful and effective way to give our patients exceptional and natural results. I believe for many patients who really don’t need the traditional tummy tuck, a tiny tuck is the next evolution in body contouring, giving better results to those patients who want to achieve a more perfect figure.

 To learn more, take a look at our tummy tuck galleries or contact our team to schedule your complimentary consult with top plastic surgeon, Dr. John Burns.

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