How is a Mini Tummy Tuck Different than a Full Tummy Tuck?

Handsome young man's torsoHaving a tummy tuck can be a truly transformative experience. This procedure can restore the appearance of a slender, svelte body after weight loss, having children, or aging. Many people who wonder about a tummy tuck have the specific question of technique. Should they have a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck? The objective of the ethical surgeon is to achieve the best cosmetic outcome using the most conservative technique possible. That means that, when possible, the surgeon will elect to perform a mini tummy tuck. Achieving the most rewarding outcome means, too, that the surgeon takes into account how the body may change with age. Ideally, the results of the procedure will last many years before changes in shape and tone begin to occur. Here, we will discuss the difference between the full tummy tuck and the mini tummy tuck so you can approach your surgical consultation more informed.

What Does a Tummy Tuck Do?

The body can change in significant ways when we gain and lose weight, become pregnant, and simply as we get older. In each of these events, the skin that stretches may not bounce back. Weight and pregnancy have a particular effect on the abdominal muscles, potentially causing weakness or separation. After childbirth or weight loss, it is also possible to continue to see stubborn pockets of fat here and there. The tummy tuck can address all of these concerns. It does so by pulling the muscle and skin tight and removing the excess. If stubborn fat exists, the tummy tuck may coincide with liposuction to achieve even better body contours.

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

As it sounds, the mini tummy tuck focuses on a smaller section of the abdomen than a full tummy tuck. The full tummy tuck tightens the muscle and skin across the entire abdominal space, including the area above the belly button. The full tummy tuck can also repair muscle separation that has affected the mid and upper abdomen. For the full tummy tuck, the incision is made low, from hip to hip across the pubic area. Through this incision, the surgeon pulls tissue downward until it is tight and flat. The excess is trimmed. The full tummy tuck may also include repositioning of the belly button through a second incision. This prevents the belly button from sitting too low on the abdomen. Both the full and the mini tummy tuck can remove stretch marks, but the extent of this is limited in the mini tummy tuck technique. The mini tummy tuck also does not involve the position of the belly button. Its primary area of focus is the belly button down to the bikini line. Being limited in nature, the mini tummy tuck requires a shorter incision. This can be six to 12 inches shorter than the full tummy tuck.

How to Know Which Procedure Is Right for You

Knowing the extent of the area covered by the full tummy tuck and the mini tummy tuck enables you to at least begin to discern which approach may be best for you. If your primary area of concern is below your belly button, you may be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck. However, if the tissue above your belly button is quite loose, even if it is not yet saggy, it may be more advantageous to consider a full tummy tuck. Doing so may prevent disharmony between the upper and lower abdomen, and may also prolong the aesthetic outcome of the procedure.

Learn More

The best way to know which tummy tuck technique is right for you is to consult with a specialist. During your consultation with Dr. Altamira, you will engage in a thoughtful discussion about your goals for your appearance and how these may be achieved.  A thorough physical examination also takes place to fully understand the nature of tissue laxity, muscle involvement, and the best approach to address these.

Dr. Altamira has friendly offices in Houston and Sugar Land. Contact us at 713.271.9000 to schedule your tummy tuck consultation.

Posted in: Abdominoplasty