A tummy tuck can have amazing results, restoring your body to a more toned, firm appearance. Many women have a tummy tuck after childbirth, and both women and men can benefit from a tummy tuck after losing weight. But does a tummy tuck have to be surgical? Are there minimally invasive tummy tuck options and tummy tuck alternatives? Yes. Medical innovations have allowed us to offer tummy tuck alternatives for people who want a wider range of treatment options. Let’s cover exactly what we mean by a minimally invasive tummy tuck, and look at your tummy tuck alternatives.
Understanding a traditional tummy tuck
Before we cover minimally invasive tummy tuck options, we’ll talk briefly about the traditional tummy tuck operation. Generally when someone says they’re having a tummy tuck, they’re referring to a fairly intensive procedure that involves an incision all the way across the tummy area. This large incision allows us to remove a notable amount of excess skin. When we then close the incision, we pull the skin tight which creates a more smooth, toned-looking tummy. In addition to removing skin, we often remove some fat during a tummy tuck, and can even restructure the muscles. This is especially important for women who have a condition called diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles) after pregnancy. The reason it’s important to understand a traditional tummy tuck, is that minimally invasive tummy tuck options have some similarities, but other differences.
Mini tummy tuck
If you’ve heard the phrase ‘mini tummy tuck’ you’re likely wondering what that involves. Is a mini tummy tuck the same as a full tummy tuck, but for people who only have a small amount of skin to remove? Does a mini tummy tuck have smaller scars? Does a mini tummy tuck have a shorter recovery?
A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive surgery that can be a great option for some people. During a mini tummy tuck, the surgeon makes a small incision - usually a few inches long - in your lower abdominal area. Through this incision we are able to tighten muscles if necessary, as well as remove select areas of fat if you’ve chosen to have liposuction as part of your mini tummy tuck. The incision is important in that it also allows us to remove excess skin, sometimes including stretch marks, which lets us to create a more tight, firm tummy area. The placement of the incision means it can usually be hidden by a bathing suit bottom.
Benefits of a mini tummy tuck
A mini tummy tuck has the advantages of being able to remove skin and fat from your midsection. In this way, the results are often more pronounced than with a non-surgical procedure. The benefits of a mini tummy tuck, when compared to a traditional tummy tuck, often include:
- Shorter surgery time
- Shorter & easier recovery time
- Less invasive procedure
- Smaller scar
Candidates for a mini tummy tuck
People who are candidates for a mini tummy tuck are usually those with a small ‘pooch’ on their lower tummy, that they would like removed. Candidates are generally at or near their goal weight, and in good overall health.
Disadvantages of a mini tummy tuck
While a mini tummy tuck is a good choice for some people, it is important to understand that a mini tummy tuck does not address excess fat, skin, or stretch marks above the belly button. A mini tummy tuck may also not remove as significant an amount of fat or skin as a full tummy tuck.
Vaser Liposuction is a strong option for some people who want minimally invasive tummy tuck results that focus on fat reduction. This treatment is a minimally invasive tummy tuck alternative that allows for a decrease in fat, while smoothing and slimming the tummy area. Vaser Lipo is more gentle than traditional liposuction, because we begin by carefully dislodging the fat using ultrasound. This allows the surgeon to more gently and easily remove targeted areas of fat.
Benefits of Vaser Liposuction
The benefits of Vaser Lipo include:
- More gentle than traditional liposuction
- Minimally invasive
- Almost no scarring
- Shorter recovery time
- Removal of fat combined with the ability to tighten skin
- Option for using the removed fat in a fat transfer procedure
Candidates for Vaser Liposuction
While the best way to understand if you are a candidate for Vaser Liposuction is by scheduling a consultation with one of our surgeons, there are some characteristics we look for:
- A non smoker in good health
- Someone who is at or near their goal weight
- A patient who does not need muscle-tightening as part of their procedure
- Those without the need for extensive skin removal
Disadvantages of Vaser Liposuction
It is important to keep in mind that if you have separated abdominal muscles, which can happen after pregnancy, Vaser Liposuction will not be able to address that concern. Vaser Lipo is more often a good choice when someone wants to remove targeted areas of fat from their tummy. If your concern is excess skin, but you do not want fat removal, Vaser may not be the best option in your case.
Tummy Tuck Alternatives: shrinking fat
If you are interested in an alternative to a tummy tuck that focuses on a reduction of fat and smoothing of skin tone, there are two non-invasive treatments that may be right for you.
- VelaShape Cellulite Treatment: VelaShape is a non-invasive treatment that may work well for people who want to reduce targeted areas of fat like a pooch on their abdomen. VelaShape targets both the skin and the deeper layers of fat. Because of this combination, VelaShape can be used on areas where you want to slim down, as well as see a tightened skin tone. This virtually painless treatment uses a combination of infrared light, bi-polar radio frequency energy and vacuum to heat fat and connective tissue. This treatment stimulates collagen growth which can result in tighter skin, smoother skin, and a reduction of fat.
- Venus Legacy: Our Venus Legacy treatment is another tummy tuck alternative that is a great option for some people. If you want to tighten sagging skin and smooth the appearance of cellulite, this may be a good treatment for you. Venus Legacy uses Multi-Polar Radio Frequency and Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields that heat the skin and fat tissue in a comfortable, non-invasive treatment. This technology naturally increases collagen and elastin which improve the appearance of saggy or loose skin. Venus Legacy also shrinks fat cells, allowing for a more toned and slim silhouette, which can be a viable alternative to a traditional tummy tuck.
Whether you’re interested in a less invasive procedure like a mini-tummy tuck, or non surgical tummy tuck alternatives, please reach out to us. Our experts can educate you on your options for obtaining a slimmer, tighter, more toned midsection.