A mini tummy tuck is very similar, overall, to a full tummy tuck. Both procedures remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. Both procedures help create a more toned and flattened appearance to the abdomen. Both procedures also help improve the appearance of the waistline.
However, there are a few important differences. In general, a full tummy tuck is best for someone who has a large amount of loose skin and fat. A mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, is better for someone with a small amount of loose skin and fat. The main differences between a mini and a full tummy tuck include the following:
1. Amount of loose skin and excess fat that can be removed. A mini-tummy tuck is best for patients who have a minimal amount of loose skin and fat. A mini tummy tuck can only remove skin and fat from the lower part of the abdomen, well below the belly button. A full tummy tuck, in contrast, can remove much more loose skin and fat. This is a procedure that is best for patients who have more loose skin and fat. All of the excess skin and fat between the pubic area and the belly button can be removed.
2. Length of Incision. Since a mini tummy tuck removes less skin, the incision can be shorter. In general, the length of the incision in a mini tummy tuck extends across the pubic area only. A full tummy tuck, on the other hand, removes much more skin. Therefore, the incision must be longer, in order to address all of the loose skin and fat. In general, the incision in a full tumy tuck extends from one side of the waist to the other.
3. Amount of diastasis repair. As mentioned in this website, the abdominal muscles are stretched apart by excess weight gain or pregnancy. When there is stretching of the abdominal muscles, it is called a diastasis of the muscles. This diastasis is repaired during a mini or full tummy tuck. The difference is that in a full tummy tuck, there is usually much more diastasis repair needed. In a mini tummy tuck, there is usually much less diastasis to repair.
4. The belly button. As mentioned above, in a mini tummy tuck, only skin below the level of the belly button is removed. Therefore, the belly button does not have to be separated from the surrounding tissues. It is simply pulled down along with the abdominal skin. In a full tummy tuck, all of the skin and fat at the level of the belly button and below is removed. The belly button must be separated from the surrounding tissue before this can be done. A new opening for the belly button is later made, after the abdominal skin is pulled down over it.
MINI TUMMY TUCK
The length of the incision in a mini tummy tuck (image on the left) is usually shorter. In a full tummy tuck (image on the right) it is longer. Also, in a full tummy tuck, an incision must be made around the umbilicus ("belly button").