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Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgery that removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area, and in some cases, tightens the muscles in the area to restore a flatter and toned stomach.

There are four types of tummy tuck surgeries that surgeons perform: mini, full, extended, and fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty. The most common of which is the mini tummy tuck and the full tummy tuck. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two procedures. However, during your consultation, our surgeons will advise on the best option for you.

Mini Tummy Tuck 

Patients who are relatively thin and have mild to moderate skin laxity and fat deposits in their lower abdomen can benefit from a mini tummy tuck. Many patients undergo the procedure after a pregnancy to get rid of the hanging belly, also called a ‘pooch’ in the abdomen. 

Incisions

A mini tummy tuck requires a small incision (4-8 inches) at the base of the lower abdomen. Through this incision, the surgeon removes the excess skin in the lower belly.

Target Area

A mini tummy tuck targets the lower abdomen, which is the area between the belly button and where the abdomen meets the pubic area. As a result, the surgeon can correct the most affected areas following a pregnancy by removing the excess skin or pooch.

Cost

In general, prices for a mini tummy tuck surgery at the CREO clinic start from £8,900. After you consult with Dr Omar Tillo, where you will discuss a bespoke surgery that meets your needs, you will receive the exact cost of your procedure.

Recovery Time

As the less invasive of the two procedures, the recovery time from a mini tummy tuck is shorter. In general, most patients resume light daily activities one to two weeks after the procedure and resume more strenuous activities three to four weeks after the procedure. In addition, you will need to wear a compression garment for four to six weeks to minimise post-surgical swelling.

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck is a more invasive procedure that treats the entire abdomen. This procedure is ideal for patients with moderate to severe skin laxity and muscle diastasis. This procedure is commonly done after pregnancy or extreme weight loss to eliminate excess skin and fat, strengthen the core, and repair diastasis recti. 

Incisions

A full tummy tuck requires a larger incision along the base of the lower abdomen. The exact length of the incision will depend on the amount of excess skin the surgeon needs to remove. The surgeon will make a second incision around the belly button to reposition it after removing excess skin from the upper abdomen.

Target Area

A full tummy tuck targets the entire abdomen from the sternum down to the pubis. As a result, the surgeon can remove excess skin and fatty deposits and repair the muscles in both the upper and lower abdomen. Furthermore, the cosmetic surgeon reconstructs and repositions the belly button for a seamless result.

Cost

In general, the price of a full tummy tuck surgery at the CREO clinic starts from £9,900. You will receive the exact cost of your procedure after consulting with Dr Tillo, who will design a bespoke surgery according to your needs. 

Recovery Time

As the more invasive procedure, a full tummy tuck entails a longer recovery time. In general, most patients resume light daily activities two weeks after the procedure. However, it can take up to eight weeks for patients to resume more strenuous activities, during which time they should also wear a compression garment.

Mini Tummy Tuck Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A mini tummy tuck requires a smaller incision and therefore leaves behind a smaller scar. 
  • You can conceal the position of the scarring with undergarments. 
  • A mini tummy tuck is a relatively short procedure that takes between one to two hours 
  • A mini tummy tuck does not alter the position of your belly button 
  • A mini tummy tuck has a shorter downtime  
  • A mini tummy tuck costs less than a full tummy tuck, with prices starting from £8,900.

Cons

  • A mini tummy tuck is less comprehensive than a full tummy tuck, as it does not address skin and muscle laxity in the upper abdomen. 
  • A mini tummy tuck doesn’t repair muscle diastasis. 

Full Tummy Tuck Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A full tummy tuck provides the most comprehensive transformation of the abdomen, from the sternum to the pubis. 
  • A full tummy tuck is suitable for patients with moderate to severe skin laxity. 
  • A full tummy corrects the abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti)
  • In most cases, you can conceal the position of the scarring with undergarments.

Cons

  • A full tummy tuck requires a longer incision and therefore leaves behind a longer scar. 
  • A full tummy tuck requires an incision around the navel, thus leaving behind a visible scar. 
  • As a result, in some cases, the cosmetic surgeon will reposition the patient’s belly button. 
  • A full tummy tuck is a more intensive surgery that takes between 3-5 hours to perform. 
  • A full tummy tuck costs more than a mini tummy tuck, with prices starting from £9,900.

Which Procedure is Best?

Your desired results and the condition of the skin and muscles in your abdomen will determine what procedure is best for you. A mini tummy tuck will likely be the best option for patients with mild to moderate skin laxity in their lower abdomen or women who want to get rid of the post-pregnancy pooch. On the other hand, patients who have moderate to severe skin laxity in their entire abdomen and muscle diastasis will benefit the most from a full tummy tuck.

However, in addition to determining the type of tummy tuck, our surgeon considers a host of other details and individual factors such as the local distribution of skin and fat tissue, the level and direction of muscle weakness, the shape of the umbilicus, and the presence of hernias.

Dr Omar Tillo specialises in all types of tummy tuck surgeries. Therefore, he has the expertise to modify each individual tummy tuck in terms of the position of the incisions, direction of sutures, type of muscle plication, umbilicus, muscle definition, and many other techniques to produce an optimal result that is artfully contoured to each patient’s body.

If you’re interested in an abdominoplasty procedure, book a consultation with Dr Tillo at the CREO clinic, where you can discuss which surgical option is most suitable for you. 

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