Does a Mini Tummy Tuck always include muscle repair? Are the love handles, flanks and hips all the same thing in terms of lipo?

I have surgery scheduled for this coming Thursday with a very good doctor in my area, but I'm just now thinking of questions that I should have asked him at my 1st consultation. I am wondering if a mini tummy tuck always includes muscle repair below the belly button? We disscussed a few things. My consent form says it does, but I'm worried that I may remember him saying that it doesn't? I'm worried because I've already paid. Is it to late to make sure I'm getting them repaired?

Doctor Answers 6

Mini tummy tuck details

Hello, a mini tummy tuck does not necessarily include repair of muscles below the belly button.  In some cases if this is done, it just makes the bulge above the belly button look worse.  Similarly, there is no standard area that every surgeon does liposuction.  Some surgeons do none at all, and others will do contouring of the abdomen and flanks. You need to specify exactly what areas you would like treated, then your surgeon can offer their opinion whether it is advisable.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Does a Mini Tummy Tuck always include muscle repair? Are the love handles, flanks and hips all the same thing in terms of lipo?

Mini tummy tucks usually include liposuction of the upper stomach, flanks and hip rolls (if needed).   If there is muscle separation it should also include muscle "thightening."   I have on several occasions also tightened the upper stomach musculature without floating the belly button downward (not a favored procedure in my office).

Make sure it's clear to you before surgery what exactly is planned to avoid being disappointed or feeling misled.

Enjoy the video above for info re mini vs full tucks.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS 

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery 

Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV

Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016 

Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Mini tummy tuck variations depend on individual needs

A mini tummy tuck can include muscle separation repair if needed. It can also include muscle repair to the upper abdomen using a technique called umbilical float, but that would have been specifically explained. The extent of liposuction depends on the individual as well so you should clarify that with your plastic surgeon.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Full Abdominoplasty vs. Mini-tummy tuck

Concerns about the appearance of the abdomen are very common among patients consulting with a plastic surgeon. Just like each patient is different…so too is each abdomen. Different problems require different solutions. Your board certified plastic surgeon is uniquely trained to identify the problems as well as the appropriate solution.

Commonly patient's concerns are centered around issues of excess abdominal skin as well as fat. A third factor, which is often overlooked by most patients is abdominal wall muscle laxity (typically seen in post partum mommies).  Despite the commonly held misconception, neither liposuction nor tummy tuck is intended as a weight loss tool nor is it a solution for stretch marks on the stomach.

The "tummy tuck", also known as abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to eliminate excess skin and fat and tighten the muscles in the abdominal wall to create a smoother and slimmer contour. The tummy tuck targets areas of the abdomen that have not responded to diet and exercise, making it particularly popular among people that have a lot of loose or sagging skin around the abdominal area due to significant weight loss, as well as women with excess skin and stretched abdominal muscles following pregnancy and childbirth. Candidates for tummy tuck should be already at or near their ideal weight for optimal results. It is recommended to women that are planning on becoming pregnant to postpone the procedure until they are finished having children.

During and abdominoplasty, an incision is made between the hip bones at the bikini line (easily camouflaged by most undergarments). There is typically an incision around the navel to elevate it to a higher position depending upon the amount of skin that needs to be excised. In many cases, liposuction may be performed as an adjunct at the same time to refine the results.

A "mini-tummy tuck" is, as it sounds, is a minimalist modification of the traditional abdominoplasty. The low transverse incision is shorter and there is no need for an umbilical incision. Most importantly, there is more limited access to the abdominal musculature (below the belly button). Muscle plication or tightening may or may not be employed during a mini-tummy tuck, but those cases that do involve muscle work are limited to the lower abdomen. As such, the optimal candidate has minimal skin excess localized below the umbilicus and minimal muscle laxity.

Selecting the appropriate operation for the appropriate patient is of the utmost importance. As always, discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Donovan Rosas, MD
Kissimmee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews


Thank you for your question. it is very important to discuss with your surgeon all the details of your procedure. A Mini Tummy tuck is very limited and it happens frequently that clients are better candidates for a full Tummy tuck and therefore not receive the results they were looking for. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. It depends on your individual anatomy.  The easiest way to figure this out for your surgery is to call your surgeon and share your concerns.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.