Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

Unfortunately, diet and exercise don’t always allow us to reach our desired goal weight. More times than not, stubborn pockets of fat emerge on our bodies, and refuse to go away – no matter how hard we may fight. Luckily, we have tools readily available to help us with this fact: specifically, cosmetic surgery.

While cosmetic surgery is resourceful, it is important to note that any type of weight loss surgery should not be pursued in place of diet and exercise. Specifically, both mini and full tummy tucks should be considered in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

However, if you do decide on weight loss surgery, which route is best for you and your needs: a mini or full tummy tuck?

Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck is a variation of abdominoplasty, or a full tummy tuck. This procedure is known to use a shorter incision, generally at or above the pubic region. Also known as a “modified tummy tuck,” a mini tummy tuck tightens muscles and removes the lower, excess abdominal skin.

Following the mini tummy tuck procedure, patients will have a scar noticeably present. Though the scar can be covered up with clothes, it’s important to understand that this mark will not be hidden in the folds of the skin. The scar will most likely be a few inches long, similar to a C-section scar. With proper healing, the scar may fade over time, but will not completely vanish. This procedure does not require the repositioning of the belly button.

This option is less intricate than a full tummy tuck, meaning the time needed to recover is less, too. However, this is still considered to be a major surgery, and should be treated as such. You will need to take proper precautions post-surgery, and avoid any strenuous activity, such as exercise or heavy lifting.

An ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck is an individual, male or female, who has localized excess skin or fat – generally between the belly button and pubic bone. Again, these patients are, for the most part, in good health, but are having trouble getting rid of pesky pockets of fat, despite diet and regular exercise.

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, successfully removes excess fat and skin, creating a smoother and firmer abdominal profile. Unfortunately, with age, the abdomen can become loose or saggy. Other factors that may cause this include:

  • Genes
  • Pregnancy
  • Fluctuations in Weights

During a full tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The overall shape and length of the incision is generally determined by the amount of excess skin that is to be removed. In some cases, a second incision around the belly button is needed to remove excess skin found in the upper abdomen. Then, the upper abdominal skin is pulled down, the excess skin is trimmed, and the skin that remains is sutured together. Finally, a new opening for the belly button is created and sutured into position.

After the procedure, both dressings and bandagers will be applied to your incisions, and you will also be wrapped in an elastic bandage or compression garment to help with swelling. In order to drain excess blood and other fluids, thin tubes will temporarily be placed under the skin.

To recover timely and properly, it’s imperative to listen to your doctor’s instructions. For example, you will learn how to care for the surgical site and drains, which medications to take for pain and discomfort, and how to avoid potential infections. These orders are necessary to follow. If you have questions or concerns, or are unclear about what to do, don’t hesitate to talk to your surgeon.

Just like with a mini tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck will leave you with a scar. Again, while the scar may fade or become less prominent over time, the scar will always exist.

Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck

Now that you understand a little bit about each type of tummy tuck, you’re most likely wondering which option is best for you and your needs, right? To answer these questions, you must decide what your ultimate goal is post-surgery.

Particularly, a mini tummy tuck does not remove as much skin as a full tummy tuck, and does not have as much impact on stretch marks. Further, the mini tummy tuck, while less expensive, only tightens below the belly button; the full tummy tuck tightens above and below, but requires the replacement of your belly button.

Still unsure? Take a look at your body, its size and shape. What do you see? What do you want to see post-surgery? Remember, you can also meet with your doctor to discuss the pros and cons of each surgery, and which would be most accommodating for your body and your goals.

To learn more, schedule a consultation today at Dreyfuss Plastic Surgery by calling 815-806-9400.