Thank you for your question. The answer, I think, depends on how much extra skin you have in the lower portion of your abdomen that needs to be removed. If it's limited, and you really just need the muscle repair, then a mini-TT may be a possibility. If the belly button is not "floated" (that is, not cut free from its underlying attachment to your muscle layer and remaining attached to the abdominal skin), then the amount of skin that can be removed is minimal. Just keep that in mind when making your choice. Best wishes.
Without posing any photos very hard to advise! I doubt you can have mini TT with upper recti repair.
It depends on exactly what your PS means. In order to repair the upper abdomen (ie, place sutures to tighten the fascia over the abdominal muscles), there has to be access to that region (above the BB). That is accomplished with a full TT because the entire abdominal wall, up to about the ribs, is elevated and exposed. You can do that during a Mini if the BB is "floated" (which means separated from its base, then the tissue is elevated, then the BB is replaced at the same or a lower position). You could also have an incision around the BB to access the upper abdomen, and then replace the tissue - although at that point you might as well have the full if you are otherwise a candidate for that.
So instead of using terms, which can be interpreted differently by different people (ie, your idea of what a term means may not be the same as your PS's idea), have him or her show you exactly where all the incisions will be. PS often use purple marking pens to demonstrate that, and if you have a question, have him or her draw right on you, and show what will be done via each of them. At that point there should be very few surprises with the surgery.
You should of course have an in person consultation with one or more board-certified PS for a full and complete assessment and discussion of the options.
I hope that this helps and good luck,
Dr. Alan EnglerMember of #RealSelf500
The only way to access the upper abdomen for muscle repair with a mini tummy tuck is to use the umbilical float technique. The belly button does not have to be lowered however, it can be reattached in the same place.