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Full or Mini Tummy Tuck – Which One Do I Need?

Significant weight loss, changes in the body after pregnancy, and general ageing can leave the skin and muscles of the belly looking loose and stretched out. Unlike extra weight, these problems can’t be corrected with diet or exercise, so a Mini Tummy Tuck or Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) may be an option to help flatten and re-contour your abdomen and recover your summer body.

Although the procedures sound similar, they’re quite different in practice, so we’ve done a comparison to help determine which one might be best for you.

Mini Tummy Tuck

The Mini Tummy Tuck treats the minor pouching out of the lower belly – the area underneath the belly button – caused by stretching of the lower abdominal muscles. It is primarily a muscle tightening procedure for people who are already at a stable weight but who have loose abdominal muscles and a minimal amount of excess skin confined to the lower abdomen.

Compared to a traditional Tummy Tuck, the treatment area is smaller and therefore a smaller incision is required just above the pubic area. The procedure only takes one to two hours, and, unlike the Tummy Tuck, does not require repositioning of the belly button.

Depending on the patient, liposuction may be used to help better contour the treated area, but this fat reduction technique is more commonly used when undergoing a traditional Tummy Tuck.

The Mini Tummy Tuck procedure requires an overnight stay in hospital and recovery takes approximately one to three weeks with a full return to physical activities in about six weeks.

Although it sounds like a faster and perhaps more cost-effective way to achieve a flat stomach compared to a Tummy Tuck, the reality is that very few patients are “true” candidates for this approach.

Tummy Tuck 

This procedure involves the areas both above and below the belly button and can remove a greater amount of excess skin and fat than the Mini Tummy Tuck. For this reason it’s more suited for those who have previously suffered obesity or women who have had multiple pregnancies where there is stretched skin and separated abdominal muscles.

Compared to the Mini Tummy Tuck, the traditional Tummy Tuck requires a larger horizontal incision across the abdomen between the belly button and the pubic bone. The length of the incision is largely determined by the amount of skin that needs to be removed, but it typically runs from hip to hip, just below the bikini line. An additional incision around the belly button is required for repositioning the belly button after the excess skin has been removed. Liposuction is also commonly combined with the procedure to remove stubborn build ups of fat from the treatment area.

The surgery takes approximately three to four hours and requires a two to three day hospital stay, with a recovery time similar to the Mini Tummy Tuck.

Which one is right for you?

Ultimately, the right procedure for you will be determined during a consultation with your plastic surgeon, based on your unique needs and specific cosmetic goals.

It’s important to note that neither the Mini Tummy Tuck nor Tummy Tuck are designed as weight loss treatments. If you are planning to continue losing weight after the surgery you should consider postponing the treatment. Women who are considering future pregnancies are also advised to hold off undergoing the procedure in order to avoid further body changes after surgery.

Tummy Tuck vs Mini Tummy Tuck

Image credit: Build My Bod

If you think you might be a candidate for a Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck, contact us today on (02) 8814 5800 or fill out an enquiry form to arrange a consultation with Dr Mark Edinburg (MBBCH FRACS).

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