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Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck


Posted November 15, 2022 in Tummy Tuck

Pregnancy is beautiful, but it can bring about changes to the body that new moms don’t welcome. While some women experience significant body changes from pregnancy, others see similar changes from considerable weight loss. Loose skin, stretched-out belly buttons, and even small, stubborn pockets of fat can leave you frustrated and considering a tummy tuck to sculpt and contour your body back to a more desirable shape.

Since plastic surgery is not a one-size-fits-all procedure, it is no surprise that various tummy tucks exist. Depending on your body and goals determine which type is best for you. While the standard tummy tuck compliments a wide range of women’s mid-section concerns, a mini tummy tuck can benefit the right patient.

Here, we break down the similarities and differences and the pros and cons of each to determine which type of tummy tuck you’ll benefit from.


A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that helps redefine the abdomen and waistline. A somewhat invasive and complex procedure, a tummy tuck is often combined with liposuction to streamline the midsection further and remove excess fat. But the primary goal of a tummy tuck is to remove loose, sagging skin and tighten the underlying abdominal muscles on the abdominal wall.

Women make up a large percentage of patients, but the procedure is equally as effective for men who have lost a significant amount of weight.

As an invasive procedure, tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The main difference between a mini and traditional or full tummy tuck is the incision placement and resulting scar due to the degree of laxity. As techniques continue to evolve and improve, the modern-day tummy tuck offers better results and scarring with fewer complications and shorter recovery times.

The ideal patient is unhappy with their stomach area due to significant weight loss or pregnancy. Tummy tuck surgery can be performed on both men and women who suffer from loose excess skin and have fatty deposits in the stomach. In addition, an abdominoplasty can restore the midsection to its pre-pregnancy appearance for women who have experienced pregnancy and are left with abdominal laxity.

Tummy tucks are often combined with liposuction, breast augmentation, or breast lift surgery, known as a Mommy Makeover.


A full tummy tuck is also known as a standard or traditional tummy tuck and is the most commonly performed surgery variation. This version is usually recommended for patients with a moderate to a large amount of loose skin following weight loss or pregnancy yet desire a flatter stomach above and below the belly button.

A horizontal incision is made from hip to hip in one long vertical incision right above the public bone to address loose skin and tighten a separated abdominal wall. Then, an additional incision is made around the belly button to excise loose skin there. It is also moved and recreated to give a more holistic look to the stomach area while mitigating loose skin and stretch marks.

The most commonly performed type of tummy tuck, is best for those who have lost a lot of weight or have had numerous pregnancies. It removes excess fat and flabby skin while tightening the abdominal muscle wall for a tighter, flatter, firmer-looking tummy:

  1. An incision is made from hip to hip, so the resulting scar is longer but easily concealed under bathing suits and clothes.
  2. The skin above the belly button is pulled down, creating a new belly button.
  3. The muscles are tightened, and the incision is closed. 

The pros: Fully addresses loose skin on the stomach and around the belly button and stretched-out abdominal muscles

The cons: The resulting scar is more significant than a mini tummy tuck, although it can be well-hidden under bathing suits and underwear; A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure; Longer recovery period


A mini or modified tummy tuck is an option for those with minimal fat, muscle separation, and skin laxity that exists only below the belly button. The incision is more minor, right above the pubic bone, so less skin is removed. As a result, it only tightens the muscles and tissues below the belly button, which is left intact. However, it cannot address any laxity or muscle separation above the belly button with this variety.

The main focus is to tighten minimally loose skin on the lower abdomen. Anything above the belly button is not addressed, and neither is the belly button itself.  

A mini tummy tuck is performed similarly to a full tummy tuck without correcting the belly button and any loose skin or separated muscles above it.

Patients who qualify for a mini tummy tuck, which is less invasive than a full tuck, also have a smaller horizontal scar. However, instead of it running from hip to hip, the scar resembles more of a C-section scar and sits right above the pubic area. 

The pros: Results in a smaller scar; Ideal for correcting a tummy pooch in patients with little skin looseness; Faster recovery period

The cons: Can only correct loose skin on the lower part of the stomach


The best way to determine which type you’ll benefit from is to schedule a consultation. During your consultation, Dr. Brothers will evaluate the degree of loose skin and muscle separation and your body type to best determine the best kind of tummy


Dr. David B Brothers is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in plastic surgery for the face, breasts, and body and minimally invasive and non-invasive medical spa treatments and procedures in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, and surrounding communities in Georgia. Dr. Brothers is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

At Plastic Surgery Centre of Atlanta, our focus is to consistently deliver a stellar patient experience with unparalleled results. Patient satisfaction is our top priority. Our face and body surgery services help patients obtain their goals. By custom tailoring each procedure to every patient’s body and aging concerns, we allow them to achieve their desires while they age in the most natural way possible.

To schedule your consultation with Dr. Brothers, please call 404-257-9888.

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