A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that firms up the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive procedure that focuses on skin between the belly button and the pubic bone.

Comparison chart

Mini Tummy Tuck versus Tummy Tuck comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartMini Tummy TuckTummy Tuck
Aims Tighten the muscles in the lower abdomen Treats muscle separation above and below the belly button and excessive or loose skin in the belly.
Suitable for Those with an abdominal wall that does not protrude significantly. Women whose skin has been stretched by multiple pregnancies or formerly obese individuals.
Procedure Incision above pubic bone. Excess fat remove, muscles and skin tightened. Separates the navel from the rest of the tissue and abdominal wall and pulls the muscles underneath into a tighter position. The flap is stretched down, and excess tissue is removed
Length of procedure Less than two hours Between one and five hours
Anesthetic Usually local, can be general General
Inpatient procedure No Yes
Includes liposuction Yes Yes
Recovery time 1-3 weeks 4-6 weeks
Scarring Thin scar From hipbone to hipbone
Cost Between $4,000 and $5,000 On an average, ~$5500
After effects Swelling, discomfort, numbness Pain and swelling, numbness, bruising, overall tiredness
Risks Numbness, bleeding, infection Infection, bleeding under skin flap, blood clot

Procedure

This photo shows a doctor suturing the incision after completing a tummy tuck.
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This photo shows a doctor suturing the incision after completing a tummy tuck.

A mini-tummy tuck is mainly a muscle tightening procedure. It can be performed using an endoscope under either local or general anesthetic. The surgeon makes a small incision above the pubic bone to remove excess fat. He may use liposuction to help shape the area. The abdominal muscles are tightened and then loose skin is stretched down over the incision, with the excess cut away. The procedure takes between one and two hours.

A tummy tuck treats muscle separation above and below the belly button and excessive or loose skin in the belly. It can also remove stretch marks. The surgeon separates the navel from the rest of the tissue and abdominal wall and pulls the muscles underneath into a tighter position. The flap is stretched down, and excess tissue is removed. The procedure can also include liposuction. The procedure takes between one and five hours, and patients often spend a night or two in hospital afterwards.

Video explaining the differences

Suitability

Mini tummy tucks are suitable for people with minor sagging between their navel and their pubic bone.

Tummy tucks are suitable for individuals whose skin and muscles have been stretched, such as by multiple pregnancies or previous obesity.

Neither procedure is suitable for individuals who intend to get pregnant again or are still losing weight.

Risks

Common side effects of the mini tummy tuck procedure are swelling, discomfort and numbness. The procedure also carries risks of long lasting numbness, bleeding and infection.

Common side effects of a tummy tuck include pain and swelling, with soreness that can last for several weeks. Patients also experience numbness, bruising and overall tiredness. Potential complications include infection, bleeding under the skin flap and blood clots. Those with poor circulation, diabetes or heart, lung or liver disease are at increased risk for complications.

Recovery

A mini tummy tuck comes with a recovery time of 1-3 weeks, and patients should expect to decrease their activity in that time.

Those who undergo a tummy tuck should expect to take 4 weeks off work and limit their physical exercise for at least 6 weeks.

Cost

A mini tummy tuck costs between $4000 and $5000.

The cost of a tummy tuck varies, but is usually between $4000 and $20,000.

References

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