Tummy Tuck: Full or Mini?

Muscular man measuring his body with tape measure in studioTummy tuck surgery is undoubtedly one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures available today. More than 130,000 people undergo this surgery every year in the United States. Though popular, many of the people who undergo tummy tuck surgery come into their journey with more questions than they thought they might have. One of the primary questions that needs to be answered is which tummy tuck is right for which type of situation? Here, we discuss the differences between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

What we often call a tummy tuck is abdominoplasty, a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that tightens and reshapes the abdominal area so it appears slimmer, tighter, and more aesthetically pleasing. The outcome of abdominoplasty surgery is an enhanced ability to wear just about any type of clothing without feeling self-conscious about sagging or protrusion. During the procedure, the surgeon tightens the abdominal muscles and skin and trims away the excess. This technique is excellent for correcting loose, sagging tissue.

Mini Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck is a great surgical solution for people whose primary concern is lower abdominal sagging and softness. This procedure focuses on the tissue from the belly button down to the pubic line. No dissection or tightening occurs above the belly button, so the mini tummy tuck can often be performed using a shorter incision. Stretch marks that are located beneath the belly button can be eliminated via this more conservative approach. Any stretch marks that are located above the belly button would remain visible.

Full Tummy Tuck

During a full abdominoplasty procedure, the surgeon addresses muscle, fat, and skin in the same way they do during a mini tummy tuck. The difference is that the muscle tightening that occurs also includes tissue above the belly button. To achieve the best results, the surgeon may make one incision from hip to hip and a second incision around the belly button. This is necessary because tissue is tightened by gently pulling it down toward the horizontal incision at the hip area. Without repositioning, the belly button may appear too low on the abdomen. In some situations, a full tummy tuck may be enhance with the use of liposuction to achieve a more sculpted appearance.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

The primary factor involved in choosing the right tummy tuck technique is the degree of tissue laxity that needs to be corrected. One of the benefits of a mini tummy tuck is that recovery takes place over a two-week period. A full tummy tuck tends to take a full month for complete healing. Generally, though, after 7 to 10 days, the patient is able to stand completely upright with much less tightness and soreness. The remaining weeks are necessary for additional settling, incision healing, and swelling reduction.

Learn More

Tummy tuck surgery can be immensely gratifying. To explore the options that are available, contact our Austin, TX office at  (512) 450-1077.

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