Is a Recti Repair and a Panniculectomy Considered a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Hello, My insurance is going to pay for me to have a Panniculectomy and Recti Repair surgery. Is this the same thing as a mini tummy tuck or is it a full tummy tuck? Thank You

Doctor Answers 3

Mini tummy tuck

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A mini tummy tuck is where the belly button is not moved and only the skin and muscle below the belly button is corrected. The repair of the muscle will not extend above the belly button. A panniculectomy is just a wedge of skin that is excised where it is hanging over, there is minimal to no undermining and no muscle repair.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Differences in Abdominal Wall Contouring Operations?

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Thank you for the question.

No, a panniculectomy is very different operation than the mini tummy tuck operation.

A panniculectomy involves removal of a usually very large abdominal wall “apron” consisting of excess skin and adipose tissue.  Usually this operation involves  excision of the extra “folds” the lower abdominal wall ( that may be present after weight loss etc.).  This operation does not  necessarily involve muscle plication.  This operation is usually indicated for patients who have spent significant weight gain/loss  and are left with significant excess skin and subcutaneous tissue “folds”.

Mini tummy tuck surgery on the other hand,  involves excision of a small amount of “excess” skin and subcutaneous tissues above the pubic area,  usually plication  of the rectus muscles up to the umbilicus. It does not involve the movement of the umbilicus and/or application up to the xiphoid process of the sternum. This operation does not  necessarily address the appearance of the umbilicus and/or the appearance of the skin/subcutaneous tissues above the umbilicus.  This operation tends to have very limited indications and very limited results.

A full tummy tuck procedure usually involves removal of the excess skin and adipose tissue from slightly above the belly button down to the pubic bone.  This operation addresses the appearance of the entire abdominal wall skin/ subcutaneous layer as well as the appearance of the umbilicus. Muscle plication (repair) is usually  performed from the xiphoid process of the sternum down to the pubic bone.  This operation is the most commonly performed of the three  operations and is usually indicated for patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight gain/loss.

I hope this helps.

Panniculectomy VS Mini Tummy Tuck VS Full Tummy Tuck

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PANNICULECTOMY = removal of lower tummy skin overhang

MINI TUMMY TUCK = removal of excess lower tummy tuck skin with or without muscle repair below belly button

FULL TUMMY TUCK = removal of excess skin of WHOLE abdomen, repair of muscle along the whole length of the abdomen enable by keeping the belly button but relocating it. 

A panniculectomy is done to help people improve their hygiene. It is NOT meant and will not flatten the tummy. It MAY be covered by some insurance plans. Mini Tummy Tucks and Full Tummy Tucks have only one purpose: improve your tummy's appearance. They are COSMETIC procedures which are never knowingly covered by insurance companies. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.