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When a Mini Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck is Suitable

A mini tummy tuck is usually a small excision of excess loose skin, while a tummy tuck is typically performed to tighten a weak muscle wall, reshape the abdominal region, and remove excess skin and fat.

Men and women alike can develop loose bulging skin and excess deposits of fat in the abdominal region for various reasons. Most commonly, this is a result of pregnancy or excessive weight loss. It can be hard to accept the unwanted changes that happen to the body during this time, in which case, you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck procedure. 

An abdominoplasty can help restore a smoother, flatter abdomen and dramatically increase a patient’s self-confidence. However, not every patient is a candidate for a full tummy tuck. At Dr Anh’s practice, we also offer mini tummy tuck’s, which are ideal for patients who only require minimal correction. If you are unsure what the difference is or which procedure is right for you, you’ve come to the right place.

You can learn more about the tummy tuck procedure here

What is a tummy tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical body contouring procedure designed to remove excess sagging skin and deposits of fat and repair any separated muscles of the abdominal region. The result? A flatter, firmer, more toned abdomen. 

Candidates for a tummy tuck include patients who have loose, sagging abdominal skin and excess deposits of fat that won’t shift, despite diet and exercise efforts. As an invasive procedure, an abdominoplasty usually requires a two-night stay in the hospital and a recovery time of six to eight weeks.

Reasons to consider an abdominoplasty

Patients from all walks of life come to Dr Anh seeking an abdominoplasty for numerous reasons, including to:

  • Increase confidence to wear tight-fitting clothing and swimwear
  • Restore the shape of the stomach following pregnancy and childbirth
  • Correct shape abnormalities after drastic weight loss
  • Decrease back pain and improve posture
  • Correct a ventral hernia
  • Reduce stress urinary incontinence 

If you think that a tummy tuck may be the right procedure for you, get in touch to book your consultation with Dr Anh today.

Tummy Tuck model 03, mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck
Dr Anh’s tummy tuck model, Perth Plastic Surgery

What is the difference between a mini and full tummy tuck

Every patient is different, and some patients require the removal of more skin and fat from their abdomen than others. Depending on this, Dr Anh may perform either a full or mini abdominoplasty. 

A full tummy tuck aims to address the entire abdominal region, while a mini tummy tuck focuses only on the lower abdomen. 

A full tummy tuck:

  • Designed for patients with large amounts of loose skin and excess fat
  • Repairs separated abdominal muscles
  • Requires two incisions along the pubic bone and around the navel
  • Provides dramatic results for complete abdominal restoration

A mini tummy tuck:

  • A less invasive procedure designed for patients with minimal skin looseness, mainly in the lower abdomen
  • Ideal for addressing the ‘muffin top’ area or bulging skin above a C-section scar
  • Does not tighten separated muscles 
  • Requires a much smaller incision across the pubic bone

Which is right for me

The right procedure for you will depend on your areas of concern and desired surgical outcomes. Dr Anh can recommend a treatment plan after reviewing your medical history and examining your abdomen during an individualised consultation. 

However, generally, a mini tummy tuck is ideal for patients whose abdominal concerns lie entirely below the belly button and are only looking for a little bit of tummy refinement. If you have separated abdominal muscles or large amounts of excess skin and fat to remove, you are likely a candidate for a full tummy tuck. 

Scarring: mini vs full tummy tuck

Scarring is an inevitable part of any invasive procedure, and both full and mini tummy tucks come with scars. However, the scarring associated with a full tummy tuck is much more distinct.

A full tummy tuck requires a long scar from hip to hip and, in many cases, a second scar around the belly button. While these incision lines can be hidden by clothing and fade in time, it is something to be aware of when considering a full abdominoplasty.

On the other hand, a mini tummy tuck requires a much smaller incision, which can be hidden entirely within the bikini line. If you are deeply concerned by the prospect of scarring, a mini abdominoplasty may be the ideal choice, provided that you are a suitable candidate.

Recovery: mini vs full tummy tuck

One of the biggest factors to consider when thinking of surgery is the recovery time. As an invasive procedure, you will need to take some time off work following a tummy tuck. During the beginning of your recovery, you may also be unable to complete day-to-day activities, such as driving, exercising, and lifting your children. 

If you can’t afford to take much time away from your busy schedule, a mini tummy tuck offers a much shorter recovery time, meaning that you can expect to return to your normal activities sooner. In contrast, a full tummy tuck requires a multiple night hospital stay and a total recovery time of six to eight weeks. This means more time off from work, more time caring for incision sites, slower scar healing and prolonged swelling. Of course, the results are completely worth it if you are willing to stick out the recovery period.

Costs: mini vs full tummy tuck

Cost is another factor that plays a huge role in one’s decision to proceed with surgery. The costs associated with both mini and full tummy tucks can be broken down into numerous cost components, including surgeon’s, anaesthetist’s, and hospital fees.

To perform your abdominoplasty, Dr Anh will charge a surgeon’s fee. As this fee is dependent on the extent and difficulty of your procedure, you can usually expect a mini tummy tuck to cost less, as it is a less complex surgery.

While your anaesthetist’s fees will obviously depend on the qualifications and experience of your anaesthetist, they can also change depending on the length of your procedure. As a full abdominoplasty takes longer to complete, you will be under anaesthesia for longer and thus will pay a higher price.

Most hospitals charge by the hour. As such, you will pay significantly more for a full tummy tuck, as you will spend longer in the operating theatre. In addition, a full abdominoplasty requires a one-to-two-night hospital stay, which can also increase costs dramatically. 

If you would like to learn more about how much your mini or full tummy tuck may cost, please get in touch to organise a consultation with Dr Anh.

Beautiful Dr Anh's models, group image
Beautiful Dr Anh’s models, group image for tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty)

Other considerations

Tummy tuck after weight loss

tummy tuck can be performed after you have lost a lot of weight to remove excess skin and make the most of your new appearance. Excess loose skin is a common occurrence with significant weight loss. It is even more common if you are over 40, as the skin’s ability to ‘snap back’ is not as prevalent. This is known as skin elasticity, which is much higher in younger individuals. If you have a flap of skin that seems to extend and droop – this is called a pannus and can most likely be treated with a tummy tuck procedure if you are close to your goal weight.

Typically, massive weight loss patients are better suited to a full tummy tuck, or even a panniculectomy, due to the large amounts of excess skin and fat that usually need to be removed. 

Tummy tuck after pregnancy: The Mummy Tuck

Many mums are interested in having a tummy tuck after pregnancy as the abdomen area is stretched significantly – and this procedure is often known as a ‘Mummy Tuck’. In some cases, this stretched skin does not restore to its full elasticity, and in most cases, this will take months and even years to restore completely. If this is a concern for you, then a tummy tuck may help. 

Many mothers are suitable candidates for a mini tummy tuck, provided that they don’t have any muscle separation that needs correcting. A mini abdominoplasty can remove the overhang of loose skin over a caesarean section scar and reduce the loose, stretched skin or ‘muffin top’ that often develops after giving birth.

Summary: mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck

In need of a recap? Here is our summary of the differences between a full and mini tummy tuck.

Full tummy tuck

  • Removes loose skin and fat and tightens weakened abdominal muscles of the entire abdominal region
  • Requires a large incision from hip to hip, as well as a second incision around the belly button
  • Takes up to five hours to complete and requires a two-night hospital stay
  • Recovery takes around six to eight weeks
  • Suitable candidates are people with excessive sagging, usually following massive weight loss or pregnancy

Mini tummy tuck

  • Removes loose skin and fat from the lower abdomen
  • Requires a small incision above the pubic bone
  • Takes less than two hours to complete and requires only a day stay in hospital
  • Recovery takes around two to four weeks
  • Suitable candidates are people with slight sagging and bulging, usually as a result of pregnancy 

Learn which procedure is right for you

Considering tummy tuck surgery? You can learn more about this procedure and whether you’d benefit best from a full or mini abdominoplasty by organising a consultation with Dr Anh in Perth.