What’s the Difference Between a Full and Mini Tummy Tuck?

posted on:
July 9th, 2020
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

There are many reasons to consider undergoing a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty). If you have excess loose skin and fat that are resistant to exercise–whether due to pregnancy or significant weight loss–a tummy tuck may be the best way to achieve tighter, firmer abdominal muscles. 

But before you opt for this procedure, it’s important to grasp the differences between a full and mini tummy tuck. Although it can be a tad confusing, knowing which procedure best suits you is essential to achieving the results you desire.

What Is a Full Abdominoplasty?

A full tummy tuck involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the area between the pubic bone and the navel, while also tightening the abdominal muscles both above and below the navel for an overall flatter, firmer appearance. Tummy tuck patients frequently undergo simultaneous liposuction for best results.

What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck involves removing excess skin and tightening underlying muscles on the lower abdomen only, and does not include the areas around or above the navel. If you have loose skin that is limited to your lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck may be for you, but patients who require a full tummy tuck will be unsatisfied with this approach, which is why it’s important to book a consultation before plotting the specifics of your treatment.

What Are the Differences?

1) Incision Size

Tummy tucks typically require a low-lying incision which can be easily hidden by underwear and bathing suits. However, while the incision for a full tummy tuck runs hip to hip, the mini tummy tuck incision tends to be shorter. The exact length of the incision is dependent on the specific goals of each patient. 

2) Correction Goals

While a full tummy tuck pulls the skin between the ribs and pubic bone taut again and repairs the abdominal muscles along the way, a mini tummy tuck tightens only the skin and muscle of the lower belly. 

3) Navel Placement

Throughout the course of a full tummy tuck, the belly button is repositioned in order to maintain a natural appearance after the lax skin has been pulled taut. But with a mini tummy tuck, less skin is removed and the placement of the belly button isn’t typically affected.

4) Faster Recovery

Due to the smaller incision and surgical area, recovery from a mini tummy tuck usually takes less time than a full tummy tuck. Mini tummy tuck patients often feel ready to return to work and a moderate activity level about a week post-op, while full tummy tuck patients need closer to 10 days.

If you believe tummy tuck surgery may be right for you, contact Toronto Plastic Surgeons today to schedule a consultation. Our passion is ensuring you receive the safest, most effective treatment for your unique needs and goals!

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

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