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A mini tummy tuck (mini abdominoplasty) is a popular body sculpting option for individuals seeking to enhance the appearance of their abdominal midsection because it typically involves less surgery and a quicker recovery than a full tummy tuck. These advantages can be credited to a key difference between the two surgical techniques: the size of the targeted treatment area.

A full tummy tuck – also called a full abdominoplasty – is performed to rejuvenate the entire abdominal region, extending from the upper pubic area to just below the ribcage. This approach involves removing excess skin and fat, minimizing stretch marks, and tightening abdominal muscles located both above and below the belly button. In contrast, a mini abdominoplasty is a less extensive procedure with shorter incisions designed to address concerns mainly below the belly button level. While this technique also involves the removal of excess skin as well as the tightening of abdominal muscles, the amount skin removal is more limited, and muscle tightening is concentrated on the lower abdomen. Fat removal via liposuction, however, is performed throughout the entire abdomen during a mini tummy tuck.

Based on what each procedure can accomplish, a mini tummy tuck is typically better suited for patients whose aesthetic concerns are: excess fat of the abdomen, minor skin excess in the lower abdomen, and muscle laxity below the belly button. A full tummy tuck is generally a more appropriate option for those who desire and/or need a more comprehensive rejuvenation of the entire abdominal region. The recommendation as to which surgery is most appropriate for a particular patient is made at the time of consultation.

Dr. Lawrence Tong, Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon