Plastic Surgery Partners
Michael Law, M.D
Alexandra Schmidt, M.D.

What Is the Difference Between a Full Tummy Tuck and a Mini Tummy Tuck?

What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck? In a general sense a full tummy tuck treats the entire abdomen while the mini tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen below the belly button. A full tummy tuck is a surgery for a patient with significant abdominal skin laxity, in this procedure an incision is made just above the pubic area and all of or almost all of the skin is removed between the belly button and the super pubic incision. The entire abdominal wall is tightened from sternum to pubis and a new belly button is created at the side of the umbilical stock. A mini tummy tuck on the other hand is a surgery for a patient with less abdominal skin laxity and abdominal wall weakness just below the belly button, the incision is made in roughly the same location above the pubic area but a smaller ellipse abdominal skin is removed and a new belly button is not created. This affords the surgeon access only to the lower abdomen for placement of sutures that tighten abdominal wall. Some important things about the two procedures for the following: Number one- the super pubic scars are about the same length for these two procedures in most cases the scar needs to run from the iliac crest or hip bone or the other iliac crest so if you have a many tummy tuck are not necessarily going to have a shorter super pubic scar. Another thing to know is that a mini tummy tuck may pull your belly button into a lower position that is ok if you have a high belly button position to start with but if you already have a low belly button position preoperatively then the appearance following a mini tummy tuck may be odd and even quite unfavorable. The last thing to know is this, in my opinion there are very few patients who are actually very good candidates for what is truly a mini tummy tuck. Most patients that have had one or two or more pregnancies have weakness not just the lower abdomen but weakness of the entire abdominal wall although it may not be completely apparent preoperatively. If you tighten only the lower abdomen you may end up with some bulging in the upper abdomen because the upper abdomen has not been tightened. For most patients who need sort of a mini tummy tuck skin excision, I prefer to float the umbilicus with the skin flap, the umbilicus actually floats away from the abdominal wall with the abdominal skin flap and the affords the surgeon access to the entire abdominal wall so the muscle wall of the abdomen could be tightened from the sternum pubis. I refer to this surgery as an extended mini abdominoplasty this leaves the patient with their original belly button and it leaves them with the same scar as the mini tummy tuck but it allows me to tighten the entire abdominal wall so postoperatively in profile they have that beautifully flat and aesthetically ideal abdominal wall that they had in mind. Make sure that your surgeon can discuss all these concepts with you and help determine which is the best procedure for you in particular.

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Bluewater
Plastic Surgery Partners

10941 Raven Ridge Road
Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27614

(919) 870-1052

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