What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini?

Doctor Answers 5

Full vs. mini

With the full tummy tuck  your muscle is repaired from the level of your breast bone down to your pubic bone. With a mini Tummy tuck your muscle repair begins from your belly button down to your  pubic bone.  The terminology has nothing to do with the length of the scar.
Hope this helps. 


Westfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Mini VS Full Tummy Tuck

Hello,

Thank you for your question.

A mini tummy tuck or partial abdominoplasty is best suited for those who cannot reduce the bulging beneath their navels or who have stretched, lax skin. Stubborn bulging in the lower abdomen is usually the result of weakened and stretched muscles from fluctuating weight, pregnancy and aging.

The ideal candidate is a male or female who has a slim midsection and only desires to change the shape of their tummy by reducing a limited amount of bulging or saggy skin. Understanding the patient’s goals is very important to achieving a customized procedure, which is why our board certified Plastic Surgeons will take the time during your consultation to find out what your expectations are and answer all your questions and concerns about a mini tummy tuck.

Abdominal wall deformities consist of three components:

1) The presence of wrinkly or loose skin with stretch marks. Most patients suffer from these issues as they age, following pregnancy or after rapid weight loss.

2) Excess fatty tissue. This accumulated tissue is usually most prominent in the lower abdomen and the “love handles”.

3) Rectus muscle diastasis. This condition results from the separation of the anterior abdominal muscles. Patients affected by rectus muscle diastasis cannot improve the condition with exercise because once the abdominal muscles have relaxed and separated, the stomach will continue to noticeably bulge.

A full tummy tuck works to address all three components, treating conditions related to the skin, fat and stomach muscles. The procedure repairs weakened abdominal muscles while also removing excessive skin/fat through tightening, surgical removal and, often, liposuction. Patients frequently lose a number of inches from their waist size as well.

I'd recommend booking a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to determine what your options would be.

Take care.

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

Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

Thanks for your question. The mini tummy tuck removes a smaller portion of the skin. This procedure is best for individuals with a small amount of belly fat that won’t be reduced by diet and exercise.The standard tummy tuck is ideal for both men and women who are in good physical health but have a mediocre amount of loose skin in the abdominal area. This form of a tummy tuck is suitable for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, or are women who have excess fat and/or weak muscles after pregnancy.

Henry Mentz, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tummy Tuck Options

Mini Tummy tuckA mini tummy tuck is an ideal option for those who have excess fat and skin on the lower abdomen only. A mini tummy tuck involves a smaller incision in the same location as a full tummy tuck. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and has a quicker recovery time than a full tummy tuck.
Full Tummy TuckA full tummy tuck will address excess skin in both the upper and lower abdomen. Stretched abdominal muscles from pregnancy or weight gain are tightened, and excess skin is removed. The incision spans the hips just above the pubic region, and the resulting scar can easily be hidden beneath clothing and swimsuits.
Extended Tummy TuckAn extended tummy tuck contours the entire midsection including the back. The incision is longer than a full tummy tuck incision and can extend completely around the lower torso if significant correction is necessary. This option smoothes the abdomen and eliminates love handles and deep folds of fat on the back to provide an overall more slender core.

Leonard Hochstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 206 reviews

Difference between mini and full tummy tuck


In a mini tummy tuck, the amount of skin separation and muscle repair is only between the bellybutton and the location of the incision above the hairline. Only liposuction is done to the abdominal wall above the bellybutton and in the flanks. In a full tummy tuck, the separation of the skin extends not only to the bellybutton but around the belly button and all the way up to the rib cage. Not only is that area lipo-sucked, but the muscle from the bellybutton to the breastbone is likewise repaired in addition to the muscle below. If the patient has no skin laxity above the bellybutton and no necessity of fixing a wide muscle separation there as well, then she, in my opinion, would be a candidate for mini tummy tuck. Find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your region to discuss this with. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 55 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.