TAMPA - Mia Santiago is a belly dancer, but after two kids and weight gain of up to 200 pounds, she's not as comfortable with how she looks in her costumes. "Obviously, you need to show your stomach, but I stopped doing it for ten years because of the situation."
Lisa Shaker Knopp had three daughters by three c-sections, and despite losing weight and working out, she couldn't get rid of the extra hanging skin. "The skin, I would bend over, and it would hang."
They could try a conventional tummy tuck. Plastic Surgeon Dr. Rigo Mendoza explains, "The conventional tummy tuck is going to a surgery center, going to sleep. It's a big three hour surgery, and we're making a much bigger cut and cut around the belly button. This is for people who have a lot of loose skin."
But for women like Mia and Lisa, Doctor Mendoza says his less invasive teeny tummy tuck will work. He can even use their existing C section scars and local anesthetic. "This is totally out patient. No drains, quicker recovery and my patients are back to work in a couple of days. There are no stitches that need to come out."
Lisa says, "I went in on a Friday, drove myself, went in there and watched the entire procedure. The nurses were laughing at me but I watched the skin being removed and put on a tray and it was like a 100 pound weight being lifted off of me."
As for Mia, she knows the stretch marks won't all disappear, but she'll be satisfied she says with a flatter, tighter stomach and minimal down time. "I want to see how it's going to look. Maybe in the future I'll go for the whole tummy tuck. I just want to take one step at a time."
Insurance doesn't cover this procedure since it is cosmetic but at four grand, it's half the price of a traditional tummy tuck Doctor Mendoza says. If you don't have an existing C section scar, Dr. Mendoza says the scar won't be much bigger. It will be low on the abdomen, so a bikini will cover it.