“Doctor, will a mini tummy tuck fix my tummy or do I need the full tummy tuck?”
The mini tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is the smaller cousin of both the “regular” or the “extended” abdominoplasty. These latter two operations do have a longer incisional length, but are much more powerful in terms of skin tightening and muscle repair, so they give a bigger degree of improvement.
Like many things in life, it’s a matter of “choosing the right tool for the job”.
A mini-tummy tuck incorporates:
– a small amount of skin removal from the lower abdomen, with a scar similar to a caesarian section incision;
– repair of the lower half of the rectus muscles;
– possibility for some abdominal liposuction, if needed.
Unlike it’s bigger cousins, a mini tummy tuck does not:
– move the umbilicus (navel). This means that tightening of the upper abdominal skin is limited.
– doesn’t repair the upper half of the rectus muscles, so bulging in this area will remain.
– take care of loose skin near the hip bones.
So, if you have a small problem area of loose skin or separated abdominal muscles in just the lower, central zone of the abdomen, then a mini tummy tuck might work for you.
If, however, you have a lot of loose skin that you can pinch when you bend forward, and that loose skin extends towards the sides of your waist line, then you really do need a more involved surgery, because a mini tummy tuck will not correct these problems. It’s just not powerful enough. You would be left with a tightened zone in the middle of the abdomen, but loose zones on each side if you had the mini abdominoplasty – which wouldn’t look good.
About one or two patients out of every ten that I see are good candidates for a mini tummy tuck. The other eight or nine people need more work to get a nice looking result.