Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck: Which is Right for You?


Most of us wish we could have a smooth tummy and a contoured physique. Unfortunately, maintaining a slim figure can be difficult, and it becomes all the more difficult as we age. Many of us find that we have stubborn deposits of fat, unresponsive even to diet and exercise. And if we do lose weight, it can result in loose, saggy skin that we just can’t seem to get rid of.

The tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that allows patients to ditch the saggy skin and to gain the taut, toned abs they have always dreamed of. And for those who are interested in this procedure, there are actually two different varieties. Take a moment to consider the benefits of a mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck.

Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck: What are the Differences?

Both the mini tummy tuck and the full tummy tuck involve your surgeon removing excess fat and loose skin, often with the help of liposuction. And, both the mini tummy tuck and the full tummy tuck can involve repairs being made to the abdominal wall, strengthening it, and making it firmer, smoother.

And yet, there are also a few key distinctions between the mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck. The primary areas of distinction include the length of the incision, the amount of area repaired, and the recovery time.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these variables individually.

The Length of Incision

Getting a full tummy tuck usually means getting a fairly long incision. In fact, the typical incision will run from hip to hip, usually along your bikini line. A second, smaller incision may be required near the belly button, allowing your surgeon to tighten the skin in both the upper and lower parts of the abdomen.

By contrast, a mini tummy tuck usually involves just a single small incision, made right above the groin.

The upshot is that, when you get a mini tummy tuck, you’ll end up with a much smaller, easier-to-conceal scar. However, we should also note that, when you select a skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, even the larger scar left by a full tummy tuck can be concealed, strategically placed where it falls beneath your underwear line.

In other words, incision size and scarring are definitely factors to consider but don’t let fear of massive scarring prevent you from learning more about the full tummy tuck.

The Size of the Area Repaired

Another important distinction between the mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck? The size of the area repaired.

Mini tummy tucks involve smaller incisions, which is all well and good as far as scarring is concerned. Keep in mind, however, that this also leaves your surgeon with a bit less room to work. Specifically, mini tummy tucks only allow your surgeon to remove fat and skin laxity below the belly button. Nothing above the belly button will be affected.

As you consider the benefits of a mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck, then, it’s crucial to think about your needs and goals. If you’re looking for a mommy makeover, seeking to regain a pre-pregnancy figure, then a mini tummy tuck may be sufficient. But if you have a long history of obesity, and are looking for more substantial improvements to your physique, then you may be better off opting for a full tummy tuck.

One final note: No matter which type of tummy tuck you choose, you can ask your surgeon to combine it with liposuction. This can enhance your cosmetic results considerably, so it’s worth discussing.

Recovery Time

Finally, the type of tummy tuck you choose can have an impact on your overall recovery time.

Here’s what you should know:

  • Recovery from a full tummy tuck will typically require you to rest in bed for a couple of weeks, and it may be two months before you feel back to normal.
  • With a mini tummy tuck, most patients are prepared to head back to work or to school within a week or so. Complete recovery may take three to four weeks in total.
  • The full tummy tuck may also bring a bit more pain during your recovery, though with both procedures, there are some excellent pain management options to mediate your discomfort.

With specific questions about the recovery time for a mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck, don’t hesitate to contact Charlotte Plastic Surgery at any time.

Are You an Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

No matter which type of tummy tuck you choose, it’s important to first meet with a plastic surgeon to ensure that you are a good candidate for a safe, healthy procedure.

The best tummy tuck candidates:

  • Have loose skin or flab that they would like to get rid of.
  • Satisfied with their current body weight, and believe they can maintain it.
  • Are not smokers.
  • In good physical health overall.
  • Do not have any underlying conditions that could prevent proper healing.
  • Have spoken with a plastic surgeon and have realistic expectations, both about the outcome of their procedure and about the recovery time.

During your consultation, your provider will verify that you meet all the criteria for getting a tummy tuck.

Deciding Which Type of Tummy Tuck is Right for You

As you consider the different options for getting a tummy tuck, we invite you to meet with one of our plastic surgeons in a one-on-one consultation. We’d be glad to explain the ins and outs of these procedures in greater detail, answer your questions, and help you determine which type of tummy tuck is best suited for achieving your aesthetic goals.

Charlotte Plastic Surgery has decades of experience helping patients achieve their goals, all while promoting safety, comfort, and overall well being. We’d love to tell you more about full tummy tucks, mini tummy tucks, and other body contouring options. Schedule your appointment with Charlotte Plastic Surgery today.