Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Tummy Tuck

Are you struggling with stubborn belly fat?
Have you massively gained weight after pregnancy?
Have your strict diet plan and strenuous exercises are unresponsive?
If your answer is yes to all the above questions, you are at the right spot! In this article, we will learn the most effective solution for the stretched-out muscles of the abdomen.

There are mainly two types of tummy tuck procedures to tighten the abdominal muscles,

  • Full tummy tuck
  • Mini tummy tuck

The main difference between a tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck is the part of the abdomen treated. The procedure of tummy tuck or full tummy tuck involves the tightening of abdominal muscles both above and below the belly button. On the other hand, mini tummy tuck surgery involves the tightening of the abdominal muscles of the lower abdomen only.

A tummy tuck pulls the saggy skin firm again and repairs the abdominal muscles from the ribs till the pubis. Due to this reason, patients who have skin or muscle slackness throughout the upper part of the abdomen will in virtually all cases see better results with traditional tummy tuck surgery.

The mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, helps in tightening only the skin and muscle of the lower belly. Corrections begin just below the existing belly button. For any appearance concerns above the navel, the mini tuck is not comprehensive enough. On the other hand, patients whose skin and muscle laxity is limited to just the lower abdomen may be pleased with a mini tummy tuck, especially if their upper abdominal muscles are already in reasonably good shape.

Comparison Chart

Basis Mini Tummy Tuck Tummy Tuck
Purpose Removes excess loose skin below the belly button and tightens muscles and skin of the lower abdomen Removal of excess skin (fat) from approximately the pubic bone to the navel and repairs lose muscles from all areas of the abdomen
Procedure The procedure involves the small incision above the pubic bone similar to the incision for a cesarean section A full tummy tuck involves two large incisions. The first incision is from the hip bone toward the pubic area and the second incision is made around the navel to remove the attachment of the navel to the belly skin
Procedure time One to three hours One to five hours
Recovery time 1-3 weeks 4-6weeks
Cost Between $8000 – $12000 Between $12000 – $16000
Inpatient/Outpatient Can be both Only inpatient
Anesthesia Mini tummy tuck surgery can be performed under general, epidural, or local anesthesia with sedation, according to the preference of the surgeon/patient The tummy tuck is usually performed under general anesthesia
Scar Thin scar The thick and extended scar running from hipbone to hipbone along the bikini line
Liposuction involved Yes Yes
Possible side effects Infection, bruising, delayed healing of the wound, and numbness of abdominal skin Swelling, pain, numbness, bruising, and overall tiredness
Suitable for Suitable for someone with localized excess skin or fat usually between the belly button and pubic bone Women whose skin has been stretched by multiple pregnancies or formerly obese individuals

What is Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck is also called a mini-abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess lower abdominal skin. It is a modified version of a tummy tuck that uses a C-section-like incision to tighten the muscle and the removal of mild to moderate amount of excess skin located below the belly button.

A mini tummy tuck can also be combined with liposuction to remove fat if desired. Unlike a tummy tuck, this procedure is limited to the removal of skin from the lower abdominal area. For this reason, it achieves less drastic results and also has a negligible effect on stretch marks.

However, one of the most noticeable advantages of the mini tummy tuck is that it leaves behind a much less visible scar, making it a good choice for patients who want a flatter stomach but do not have too much excess fat or skin.

Recovery from a mini tummy tuck is also faster than a tummy tuck.

What is Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck is also known as abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that helps in the removal of excess skin and body fat and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall.

It is not at all the same as liposuction. However, you may choose to get liposuction along with a tummy tuck. The tummy tuck is mainly resolving two issues,

  • Excess saggy skin
  • The separation between the abdominal muscles

It is quite interesting to know that we all are born with some little separation between both sides of the rectus muscle (about half an inch). However, due to certain lifestyle factors such as age, disease conditions, pregnancies can separate it further. Unfortunately, when muscles separate, the only way to bring them back is the surgery. A tummy tuck brings the muscle edges together by tightening them and stitching them into place for a more narrowed waist and firmer abdomen.

Key Differences

  1. One of the most noticeable differences between the mini tummy tuck and the tummy tuck is the length of the incision. In a mini tummy tuck, there is a short incision (around four to eight inches) that runs from inner thigh to inner thigh while in tummy tuck two incisions will be done, one from the hip bone on one side to the hip bone on the other side of the body that is close to the pubic area and the second incision is made around the navel.
  2. The procedure of mini tummy tuck is less invasive and is typically confined to the tightening of muscles of the lower abdomen while the procedure of full tummy tuck is generally performed to rejuvenate the entire abdomen by tightening the abdominal muscles of both below and above the belly button as well as it involves the removal of excess skin.
  3. In a mini tummy tuck there is no removal or repositioning of the natural belly button while during a full tummy tuck, the belly button is removed and relocated.
  4. A mini tummy tuck is usually completed in one to three hours under general or local anesthesia while the procedure of tummy tuck is completed in one to five hours and always under general anesthesia.
  5. The recovery time of mini tummy tuck is rapid and is usually about two to four weeks while the recovery time of tummy tuck is slow and can vary from two weeks to two months.
  6. Mini tummy tuck causes a thin scar about few inches in length while in tummy tuck you will likely have a thick scar running from one hip bone to the other hip bone located in the bikini area.
  7. The results of the mini tummy tuck are less modified because it only removes excess skin and repairs loose muscle below the navel while the tummy tuck results in the dramatic transformation to your body.
  8. A mini tummy tuck is comparatively cheaper and can cost between $6,000 – $12,000 while a tummy tuck may cost you between $9,000 – $15,000.


Mini tummy tuck or tummy tuck? The decision is solely dependent on your personal goals and whether you are a better candidate for one option or the other. Before you decide for any tuck, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure you receive the safest and desired body transformation goals.

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