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Full or Mini Tummy Tuck: Which Is Best for You?

Posted January 19, 2024 in Tummy Tuck

4 Min Read:

If you are dealing with excess skin and fat around the midsection, you can understand how difficult it can be to combat these issues with diet and exercise alone. Genetics, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, and weight fluctuations are all common factors contributing to carrying excess weight around the midsection.

woman with beautiful body with hand over her head

A tummy tuck is a fantastically effective cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat and skin and provides a slimmer contour when diet and exercise aren’t enough. On top of this, a tummy tuck is entirely customizable based on your physical needs and goals, as patients can choose between a full or traditional tummy tuck or the less invasive method of the mini tummy tuck. But which is best for you? Keep reading to find out.

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

At its most basic level, a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that generally does three things: removes excess pockets of fat, sagging and loose skin and tightens the abdominal muscles for a flatter, slimmer contour. 

The specific treatment location is a significant difference between a mini tummy tuck and a full one. We’ll break down what each of these procedures does below.

The Full Tummy Tuck Procedure

When a patient undergoes a traditional tummy tuck, the surgeon will slim a large portion of the midsection, usually the entire abdomen. This procedure also has two incision locations: around the belly button and across the lower abdomen. 

The use of two incisions allows the surgeon the ability to remove sagging skin from both the lower and upper abdomen, as well as tighten the abdominal muscles as necessary. 

Who Is a Candidate for a Full Tummy Tuck?

A full tummy tuck is ideal for patients with extensive skin laxity throughout the abdomen. Many patients who undergo this option have lost a large amount of weight and have extensive sagging skin throughout their midsections. Additionally, some candidates are postpartum women who experienced extreme weight fluctuations due to hormonal changes or who have severe diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles) after pregnancy. 

Candidates generally seek a more dramatic result from their body contouring procedure and have a large amount of sagging skin throughout the midsection.

The Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure

The mini tummy tuck is a less invasive procedure, as it only requires one incision and is focused solely on the lower abdomen. The incision is located on the bikini line, which allows the surgeon to pull sagging skin downward and create a more pleasing contour. Muscle tightening is also possible, just less extensively than with the full tummy tuck.  

Who Is a Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is ideal for patients with localized concerns in the lower abdomen, sometimes called a “pooch.” Many postpartum women benefit from this procedure, as after pregnancy, the body tends to carry more weight and excess skin in the lower abdomen. 

Additionally, candidates for the mini tummy tuck are interested in this less invasive procedure, as it requires minimal incisions, which reduces the risk of visible scarring and offers a shorter recovery period than the full tummy tuck. 

Is the Mini Tummy Tuck Cheaper than the Full?

The cost of a mini tummy tuck in Birmingham will depend on the extent of the procedure, associated fees, and if you have combined procedures. But as it is generally less extensive than a full tummy tuck, the cost can be lower. 

How to Choose Between a Mini and a Full Tummy Tuck

When you consider which option is best for you, keep in mind what your goals are for the procedure and what concerns you are dealing with. If most of your excess skin and fat is centralized on the lower abdomen, you may be a candidate for the less invasive mini tummy tuck. 

But if you have sagging skin throughout the midsection, including above your belly button, you may get the best results from the full tummy tuck. 

If you are unsure what is best for you, discuss your options with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Al Cohn is an expert in body contouring and multiple tummy tuck techniques. He is committed to providing his patients with the best results that safely and reliably reflect their goals. Dr. Cohn will be happy to discuss all of your options at length during your comprehensive tummy tuck consultation. 

Interested in Full and Mini Tummy Tucks in Birmingham, AL?

If you want to learn more about your tummy tuck options, call Cohn Plastic Surgery today at (205) 590-9900 or fill out our online contact form. We will be happy to answer any questions you have about the mini tummy tuck, the full tummy tuck, and any of our other body contouring procedures.