Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks, also called abdominoplasties, are becoming increasingly popular, quickly taking the crown as a patient favorite. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, around 130,000 Americans got a Tummy Tuck in 2017 alone.

Why? This is a procedure that can do what diets and endless hours of crunches can’t: get rid of unwanted and stubborn jiggly bits in your abdomen area, fix your abdominal walls, remove excess skin, reposition your belly button and give you a more sculpted and toned shape.

And while this procedure does offer some amazing benefits, before you call a plastic surgeon and schedule a pre-op consultation, there are a couple of things you need to consider. Let’s go over a list of key differences you should know in order to make a better tummy tuck choice.

You might have come across the term mini tummy tuck. What is a mini tummy tuck? While the word ‘mini’ does give you a clue of how it differs from a full tummy tuck, there’s more you need to take into consideration. The principle of both procedures is the same, results are guaranteed to be fantastic…yet, you might be asking yourself ‘Do I need a full or a mini tummy tuck? How are they different?’ Let’s clear those doubts.

Consider a mini tummy tuck if…

Your problem area is below your belly button. During the mini tummy tuck procedure, your plastic surgeon focuses exclusively on your lower abdominal area. For patients who only have loose skin below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck is just right. When getting an abdominoplasty, regardless of the ‘variation’, a certified plastic surgeon will make an incision in your swimsuit line, usually just above the pubic hairline. After that, the surgeon proceeds to release different skin attachments and re-drape them towards the incision and remove any excess. This is what allows the doctor to restore a flat shape. During a mini, your doctor will only do this with the skin below the belly button. The doctor is able to correct saggy areas, folds of skin and even wrinkly or stretchmark bits! However, if there are stubborn areas above the belly button, a mini tummy tuck will not do the job.

Consider a full tummy tuck if…

You also have loose skin at your belly button level or above it. During a full tummy tuck, your surgeon also releases the attachment of the skin to the belly button. By doing this, the doctor is able to re-tighten both upper and lower tummy skin, repair damage to the abdominal walls entirely and give you an overall flat abdomen while repositioning the belly button in case it was droopy. When the problem in your abdomen does not end at the belly button line, only a full tummy tuck will get you the best results.

Mini Tummy Tuck Incisions and Scar vs Full Tummy Tuck Incisions and Scar

Any experienced surgeon will tell you that when debating mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck, the most important factor is your problem area and the results each of these procedures can give you. However, the term mini might deter patients from getting a full tummy tuck because they believe a “mini” also means a mini-recovery and a mini scar. Our surgeons want you to know it doesn’t work that way. Both mini tummy tucks and full tummy tucks can have a simple and comfortable recovery time, and a discreet scar that will make you feel confident and beautiful again. There are some differences, but your decision should not be solely based on the scar or recovery time.

Don’t worry about the length of the incision, it can always be covered up” – Dr. Carlos Castañeda

To begin this procedure, the surgeon will make a lengthwise incision in your lower abdomen. If you are getting a mini tummy tuck, the incision and scar will definitely be smaller than with a traditional abdominoplasty. However, in both cases, your surgeon will place the incision strategically in an area of your body easily concealed by a bikini, such as right above the pubic hairline.

Depending on the patient, the incision can be a couple of inches long or go from hip bone to hip bone. In some cases, patients that get a full or extended tummy tuck might require additional incisions around the navel, but keep in mind that if you follow post-op care instructions, any incision will fade to a very fine line. Furthermore, when planning the procedure, your surgeon will discuss with you the specific placement of the incision or incisions, always with the goal of making the most out of the procedure and leaving the smallest scar possible for your body. No two tummy tucks are the same!

Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery vs Full Tummy Tuck Recovery

Recovering from any surgery requires time off from work and strenuous activities. Be prepared to rest, whether you’re getting a mini or a full tummy tuck because recovery time is vital.

Patients recovering from an abdominoplasty can expect to feel sore, swollen and see some bruising in the area. Plan to take off 2 weeks off from work, depending on your profession. If you are having a mini tummy tuck, the answer is yes, recovery time is shorter, but the amount of care and self-love you need is the same. Avoid strenuous activities for about 4 to 6 weeks post surgery, wear a compression garment that will help your body decrease swelling and get ready to eat healthily and take constant short walks.

The best person to help in your recovery is your doctor. Mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck both require you to follow your surgeon’s recovery instructions.! Our doctors like to point out that when you follow their instructions, you can make any recovery easy and painless, so, when choosing between a mini or a full tummy tuck, go for the surgery that will give you the most benefits.! Trust that your doctor will plan the procedure specifically for you.

We’re thrilled to help you choose whether a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck will be the best option for you! Call us now at (619)610-1667

to schedule a one on one consultation with one of our expert body contouring plastic surgeons to decide which option is the one for you.

Dr. Carlos Castaneda

Dr. Carlos Castañeda is our board-certified body contouring specialist at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Body Contouring, Body Reshaping, Liposculpture, Breast Surgery, Gynecomastia & more. He is certified by the Mexican Council of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, an active member of the Mexican Association of Reconstructive Plastic & Aesthetic Surgery and a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.