Mini Tummy Tuck vs Tummy Tuck: What’s the Difference?

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Posted on December 30, 2019 under Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure where loose skin is removed from the tummy. An incision is made in the lower abdomen beneath the swimsuit line and just above the pubic hairline. The skin that overlaps the incision is removed. Depending on where the problem area is, a patient can opt for a full or mini tummy tuck.

Full Vs. Mini

If the skin is loose below the belly button, the skin would be pulled down and removed. In this case, the only scar the patient would have would be on the lower belly underneath the swimsuit line. This is referred to as a lower or mini tummy tuck. In this procedure, the skin above the belly button is not tightened. If the patient has a lot of loose skin above the belly button, a mini tummy tuck will not address it.

If the skin is loose above the belly button, a full tummy tuck will likely be recommended. The decision whether to get a full or mini tummy tuck is determined by whether the belly button or the upper belly skin is stretched. Only a full tummy tuck procedure will correct the full stomach area. If the concern is just in the lower area of the tummy, a mini should be fine.

The Appearance of Scarring

In a full tummy tuck procedure, there is typically a scar in the lower tummy as well as a scar around the belly button. This will help give a large or stretched-out belly button an improved appearance. The incisions for the tummy tuck are made at the bikini line and are easily covered up by clothing. So, you should not have any noticeable scarring.

Tummy Tucks and Muscle Tightening

Sometimes after pregnancy, the abdominal wall that supports the abdominal muscles are stretched and the muscles are separated, this is called diastasis recti. This is why one of the goals of a full tummy tuck is to tighten the muscles and fascia before tightening the skin. There are some cases where this step is not required.

Tummy Tucks and Fat Reduction

Removing fat at the time of the tummy tuck is controversial. The fat that is deep to the Scarpa’s layer (strength layer) of the abdomen will be sharply removed and can be safely defatted.  Some cosmetic surgeons will perform a liposuction procedure at the same time as a full tummy tuck if needed.

Somewhere In Between A Mini and A Full Tummy Tuck

There is one variation of the tummy tuck procedure that uses a modified tummy tuck with an umbilical float. Patients with mild abdominal laxity above the belly button are good candidates for this procedure. The process will only provide mild tightening of the skin. To determine which procedure would best fit your desired result, schedule a consultation with Cosmetic Surgery Associates. We will be happy to go over the process and your expected results.

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Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers