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4 differences between Mini Tummy Tuck and Full Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck procedure is a surgical procedure that removes excess abdominal skin and tighten muscles to flatten and smooth the stomach, while also eliminating stretch marks.  However, there are two types of Abdominoplasty procedures — a full tummy tuck and a mini-tummy tuck. While both surgeries share similar goals, Premier Surgical Plastic Surgery in Knoxville wants you to be aware of several nuances that set the two apart. Determining your best treatment options begins with learning about the distinctions between both abdominoplasty procedures.

1. Length of the incision

One of the most noticeable differences between a full and mini tummy tuck is the length of the initial incision. A full tummy tuck incision typically runs all the way from hip to hip, while a mini tummy tuck uses a shorter incision, even though the placement is about the same.

Although the idea of a smaller scar is understandably appealing to many patients, remember that a shorter incision also means more limited access during surgery, which could affect the level of correction your tummy tuck surgeon is able to achieve.

2. Length of surgery and recovery

Due to the more complex nature of the full tummy tuck, both the surgery and recovery time will be longer than that required for a mini tummy tuck. In many cases, patients are able to return to work within a week of a partial abdominoplasty, while a full abdominoplasty requires at least ten days to recover. In addition, individuals who undergo a mini tummy tuck are often able to reintroduce moderate exercise earlier than after a full abdominoplasty.

3. Correction Level 

A full tummy tuck pulls the skin firm again and repairs the abdominal muscles from the ribs all the way down to the pubis. For this reason, patients who have skin or muscle laxity through the upper part of the abdomen will in almost all cases see better results with traditional tummy tuck surgery. A mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, tightens only the skin and muscle of the lower belly. Corrections begin just below the existing belly button. For any appearance concerns above the navel, the mini tuck simply isn’t comprehensive enough. However, patients whose skin and muscle laxity is limited to just the lower abdomen may be very happy with a mini tummy tuck, especially if their upper abdominal muscles are already in reasonably good shape.

4. The Belly Button

During a full tummy tuck, the existing belly button is removed and relocated. This is because the navel placement is pulled down much lower on the abdomen during surgery, and the resulting position wouldn’t look right if left as-is. Since a mini tummy tuck removes less skin overall, the placement of the natural belly button isn’t noticeably changed, and doesn’t need to be repositioned, removed or recreated. This also means there’s no risk of a scar around the belly button, as is sometimes seen in a traditional tummy tuck surgery.

To learn more about mini and full tummy tuck procedures and determine which one is best for you, we recommend that you SCHEDULE a CONSULTATION with Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Lo, of Premier Surgical Plastic Surgery in Knoxville. To request an appointment please call (865) 306-5680 or book online at: https://www.premiersurgicalplasticsurgery.com/request-a-consultation/