skin removal during mini-tummy tuck vs. standard tummy tuck?

What differences would I find between a mini tummy tuck versus a total tummy tuck? Would a Mini Tummy Tuck Remove That Skin Completely?

Doctor Answers 19

Skin removal during mini tummy tuck vs standard tummy tuck?

Hello! Thank you for your question! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. Given your desires, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle prior to the procedure and afterwards is recommended in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

Once you are ready for the procedure, I would likely recommend a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening. This would remove the excess skin/soft tissue and stretch marks while contouring your belly. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. It will not address your abdominal wall and the tightening of such, frequently needed to achieve a shapely abdominal wall. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result. You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon well-versed in body contouring procedures at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Full vs mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck can be performed after liposuction, however the procedure is best suited for those who cannot reduce the bulging beneath their navels or who have stretched, lax skin. Please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon to confirm suitability.

A full tummy tuck works to address the presence of wrinkly or loose skin with stretch marks, excess fatty tissue and rectus muscle diastasis (separation of the anterior abdominal muscles) below and above the navel. 

Therefore, to determine the most suitable option for you, please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon for an assessment. Best of luck!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Tummy Tuck Options

Thank you for you question.    It is difficult to give accurate recommendation without an in office exam.  When I evaluate the abdomen, I assess:
1.  The amount of loose skin

2.  The volume of fatty tissue
3.  The degree of muscle laxity.

I evaluate this in each of 3 areas:
1.  Upper Abdomen

2.  Area around the Belly Button
3.  Lower Abdomen

MINI TUMMY TUCK: If a patient has loose skin, fatty tissue, and muscle laxity limited to the Lower Abdomen, then I recommend the mini tummy tuck.  In order to qualify for this, the patient must have good skin and muscle tone in their upper abdomen and area around the belly button.   I will frequently perform liposuction of these areas with my Mini Tummy Tuck to enhance the overall contour.

FULL TUMMY TUCK:  this is for patients who have loose skin and muscle laxity of the upper abdomen, belly button area, and lower abdomen.   This procedure tightens all 3 areas with a bikini line incision.   I often encorporate liposuction with my full tummy tuck as I feel it offers a superb end result.
EXTENDED TUMMY TUCK:  This works well for patients who have loose skin that extends over the hip bone into the flank area.   I will perform extensive liposuction and skin excision to the hip and flank area combined with full tummy tuck.

BODY LIFT/BELT LIPECTOMY:  this is essentially a 360 degree tummy tuck which involves removal of loose skin and fatty tissue of the lower back and buttocks, in addition to the extended tummy tuck.
I wish you a safe recovery and amazing result!!

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

Usually a mini tummy tuck involves some form of liposuction, tightening muscles in the lower abdomen and some skin excision. I prefer a full tummy tuck because the mini does not treat the upper abdomen.  The mini tummy tuck does not remvoe as much skin as a full tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Full vs mini tummy tuck

Deciding which tummy tuck would be appropriate for you will be determined at your detailed, individualized consultation by your surgeon. While a mini tummy tuck seems ideal, it may not accomplish your aesthetic goals.  In general, a mini tummy tuck removes a small amount of skin from the lower abdomen. This will tighten the lower abdominal skin only. Mini tummy tucks are typically reserved for patients with excellent muscle tone, no diastasis and minimal to no redundant skin above the belly button. Modified tummy tuck tighten (plicate) the abdominal muscle from the belly button down to the pubic bone and remove a portion of the redundant lower abdominal skin.

Liposuction may also be combined to further contour the abdomen and flanks/love handles. Modified tummy tuck procedures will not typically address the excess skin above the belly button, nor will the muscle bulge above the belly button be addressed. Full tummy tucks typically repair /plicate the muscle from the rib cage down to the pubic bone. The excess skin from the belly button down to the pubic bone is removed (to varying degrees). Full tummy tucks are typical for many women after pregnancy and men/women after extreme weight loss. good luck with your decision. Dr Renucci

John Renucci, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

Mini tummy tucks are performed on individuals who have fairly tight muscle with smooth upper abdominal skin but have loose skin below the naval.  A shorter incision is made just above the pubis and a horizontal ellipse of skin is removed below the naval.  All tissues above and including the naval are left in place.  Patients with stretched muscle and loose skin above the naval will require a full tummy tuck.

Marc Malek, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini versus Full tummy tuck


The biggest difference between mini TT and full TT is how the belly button is managed.  In a full tummy tuck the beklly button is usually circumscribed (cut around) and brough back through the new skin that has been pulled down.  A mini tummy tuck usually leaves the belly button alone or cuts the stalk and lets the belly button "float" downward with the skin that is pulled down during closure.  How much skin is removed with either is variable as is the final incision length.

All  the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Mini Tummy Skin Removal

Which procedure is right for would require and consultation and photos. A mini tummy tuck only removes a portion of excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and the belly button is not moved. Excess skin and poor muscle tone above the belly button are not improved. The scar is shorter but it is a smaller procedure. A full tummy tuck involves muscle repair for the entire abdomen with tightening of the skin above the belly button, relocation of the belly button and more skin removal. The scar is longer. In both procedures liposuction may be employed to multiple areas. Visit my web site for a more though discussion.

Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

The “mini  tummy tuck” is a very limited operation that I very rarely perform  (very few patients are good candidates for this procedure). Most patients seeking abdominal wall surgery have significant amount of excess skin along with spreading of the rectus muscles (diastasis). These issues are not treated successfully without a full  abdominoplasty.

In my practice, it is more common that we treat patients who have had misguided mini  tummy tuck surgery (with full tummy tuck revision surgery).

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck

For a mini-tummy tuck, a small ellipse of tissue is removed from the lower abdomen below the umbilicus. The incision is usually a little bit longer that a C-section scar but can be extended to get more skin. This is a procedure that is limited to women with excess skin only below the umbilicus. A full tummy tuck removes all the skin from the lower abdomen all the way up to the level of the umbilicus. The umbilicus is cut out and the upper abdominal skin is contoured and re-draped. Thus, this surgery effectively treats both the upper and lower abdomen. This scar usually runs  from hip to hip.

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 66 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.