Tummy Tuck vs. Mini-Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck, or what is more formally known as an abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin from the belly wall and tightens up the abdominal wall muscles to restore a smoother and firmer abdomen.
Despite many of my patient’s best efforts, removing excess tummy skin and fat can be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, with diet and exercise alone. Women who have had children, or men or women who have had significant weight gain, often experience stretching of their abdominal wall.
The skin and muscle tone frequently fail to return to their “pre-pregnancy” state or “pre-weight gain” state despite diet and exercise. One of my favorite operations to perform is a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty because of the drastic changes that can be obtained in the appearance of the tummy and ability to accomplish something that diet and exercise alone cannot.
My patient’s often ask about the difference between a standard “tummy tuck” vs. a “mini-tummy tuck” and so I wanted to discuss the two operations.
The Standard Tummy Tuck
In a standard tummy tuck, excess skin and tissue along with muscle separation above and below the belly button are addressed. It is really two operations with the first part being repair of the abdominal wall muscle separation both above and below the belly button and the second part being excision of the excess skin and tissue from just above the belly button down to the pubic mound.
Stretch marks that are located from the pubic region to just above the belly button are removed. The scar with a regular tummy tuck typically goes from hip-bone to hip-bone.
The Mini-Tummy Tuck
With a mini-tummy tuck, only a small amount of tissue is removed from underneath the belly button and pubic region and the belly button is left in place. In certain cases you can tighten the abdominal wall muscle separation below the belly button only. The scar is typically located from one side of the pubic mound to the other and can often be very well disguised.
Overall, a mini-tummy tuck is not a good operation for tightening the entire abdominal wall skin and it removes a very limited amount of skin. It can be a great procedure as long as the patient realizes the limitations. At the time of consultation I will perform an exam and discuss with you what type of procedure will best achieve your goals and desired outcome.
For before and after pictures of tummy tuck surgeries, see our photo gallery.