One of the most common questions I receive during initial abdominoplasty consultations is whether or not a mini tummy tuck is a realistic alternative to a full tummy tuck. The answer, of course, depends on the condition of the patient’s abdominal area, what they want from a tummy tuck, and what factors of a tummy tuck are most important to them. Below, we will review the major differences between the two surgeries – and what kind of patient most benefits from each.

  • The area of the abdomen affected. While a traditional tummy tuck involves the area of the stomach both above and below the navel, a mini tummy tuck only affects the area below the belly button. Therefore, if you would only like to improve the lower half of your abdomen, a mini tummy tuck may be ideal. If you’d like to improve your entire abdominal area, a full tuck may be the better choice.
  • The extent of muscle repair. During a mini tummy tuck procedure, the musculature below the belly button as well as the external oblique muscles are tightened during the surgery. During a traditional tummy tuck, the musculature both below and above the navel is tightened.
  • The area of skin removal. Often in a full tummy tuck, a large portion of skin between the navel and the pubic bone is removed and the skin from above is pulled taut. This is ideal for patients who would like stretch marks removed from below their belly button area. In a mini tummy tuck, only a small portion of skin is removed. Also, during a traditional tummy tuck, the navel is cut away from the skin and brought out through a new incision to retain its previous location.
  • The scar. Because a full tummy tuck involves more skin tightening and more extensive skin tightening, patients will often be left with a longer scar that usually goes from hip to hip. A mini tummy tuck will most often result in a shorter, smaller scar below the underwear line.

The best way to learn whether a tummy tuck is right for you – and which type of tummy tuck is appropriate – is to consult with an experienced Southampton plastic surgeon during a private appointment. To schedule with Dr. Edward Kole, contact our office today by calling 215-315-7655.