" data-alt=""> " />

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

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


One of the most frequently performed surgical body contouring procedures here at Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa is the Tummy Tuck, known medically as an abdominoplasty.  Abdominoplasty is an aesthetic surgery that results in a flatter abdomen, a slimmer waistline, and improved skin and muscle tone in the abdominal region. The Tummy Tuck tightens and rejuvenates the midsection, producing a more attractive and youthful physique in both men and women.


Many of our patients, in an attempt to save money, inquire about the mini Tummy Tuck, a procedure that rejuvenates the abdomen only below the bellybutton.


Dr. Bachilo generally discourages her patients from this procedure, for several reasons:

  • The mini Tummy Tuck is not a full correction,
  • The majority of individuals are not good candidates for the procedure, and
  • The results may be subpar, because it only corrects the lower abdomen and not the upper.
  • The mini tummy tuck does not address diastasis recti above the umbilicus, which almost everyone has after pregnancies, therefore it’s not an ideal procedure for most people.
  • Most women need muscle tightening above the belly button, which means they need a full tummy tuck, even if skin removal is minimal.


For patients interested in surgical body contouring, she recommends the full Tummy Tuck.


In order to clear up any confusion for those interested in a Tummy Tuck procedure, here are some fast facts regarding the difference between a full Tummy Tuck and a mini Tummy Tuck.


What is the difference between a Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck?

A full Tummy Tuck rejuvenates the entire abdomen by removing excess fat, and tightening sagging skin and lax muscle tissue, while a mini Tummy Tuck corrects loose skin, lax muscles, and fatty deposits only in the area between the belly button and the pubic bone, targeting the pooch or bulge that often forms in the lower belly.


A mini tummy tuck is less invasive than a full tummy tuck, and is recommended only for individuals who are within their ideal weight range but have had difficulty eliminating stubborn fatty deposits through diet and exercise.


By contrast, the full Tummy Tuck trims the waist and flattens the entire upper and lower abdomen, while also diminishing the appearance of stretch marks, sagging skin, and fatty deposits.  A mini Tummy Tuck does not produce the same comprehensive slimming and contouring results that a full Tummy Tuck produces.


Who is a good candidate for Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck?

The ideal candidate for any Tummy Tuck surgery is a healthy adult in overall good health who wants to eliminate excess sagging skin from the abdominal area as well as tightening and strengthening severely weakened or lax abdominal muscles. Candidates must be a stable weight that they can maintain after surgery, as weight fluctuations may affect the results of the Tummy Tuck procedure.


If your stomach muscles are separated due to diastasis recti, a splitting of the abdominal muscles that often occurs during pregnancy, a mini Tummy Tuck will not correct this condition and you will be advised to instead opt for the full Tummy Tuck.


Though a mini Tummy Tuck may offer benefits for certain candidates, few individuals are ideal candidates for this procedure.  For most individuals who want surgical body contouring and skin tightening, the full abdominoplasty is a better option.


The mini Tummy Tuck may be suitable only for people who are within their ideal weight, size, and shape, but who want to treat small areas of sagging skin and fatty deposits in the lower abdomen only.


Procedure: Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make a thin horizontal incision just above the pubic hairline. Typically, the abdominal muscles will be sewn together in order to tighten and strengthen them. In many cases, liposuction may be used to remove excess fatty deposits. The skin of the abdomen is pulled taut to create a flat and contoured abdomen, trimming away any excess skin. In some cases, the belly button may be repositioned.


The mini abdominoplasty is performed in much the same way, but treats only the area in the lower abdomen, from the navel to the pubic bone.  Typically, in a mini Tummy Tuck, your belly button will not be repositioned.


To flatten your entire abdominal area from the rib cage to your pubic bone, a full tummy tuck is the recommended option.


Recovery: Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck

The recovery period will be about six weeks, and it is very similar for patients who’ve undergone any type of abdominoplasty procedure, though there may be slightly more discomfort following a full Tummy Tuck since the treatment area is larger.  You can expect to wear an abdominal binder for about six weeks to avoid buildup of fluid following surgery and to support your delicate skin and muscle tissue as they heal. While the recovery period may be somewhat shorter if you opt for a mini abdominoplasty, you will still be advised to avoid strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks, including any type of vigorous exercise, bending, or heavy lifting.



Results: Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck

Regardless of which type of surgery you have, you’ll see some results immediately, but the full results will become fully visible once the inflammation goes down, about 6 weeks after the procedure. Results are typically permanent, though future weight fluctuations and pregnancy could have an impact on your results. In many cases, after some time, patients who have undergone a mini Tummy Tuck opt to come back and revise the surgery in order to treat and tighten the upper abdomen.


Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery

No matter what type of surgery you have, you will have to prepare similarly for the procedure. A few days before your scheduled surgery, we may request a blood panel to ensure that you have no underlying problems.


Dr. Bachilo will also request that you prepare for your procedure by making the following adjustments to your lifestyle:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol prior to and for several weeks following the surgery.
  • Suspend the use of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications, as well as certain herbal supplements, which may interfere with the body’s normal blood clotting function.


Cost Comparison: Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck

While a full Tummy Tuck in the United States may cost anywhere between $8,000 and $10,000, a mini Tummy Tuck can cost between $4,000 and $8,000. But many patients who undergo a mini Tummy Tuck later end up spending more to achieve a full correction by undergoing a full abdominoplasty.


How to select the right surgeon for your Tummy Tuck procedure

Any plastic surgery procedure should be performed exclusively by a properly trained, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Olga Bachilo, who has been practicing for decades in the greater Houston area and has transformed the lives and appearance of hundreds of satisfied patients. Contact Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Bachilo and learn whether a Tummy Tuck may be ideal for you.



Share This Post