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What is the Difference: Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck?

Deciding Between A Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck

Mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck are two different surgical procedures used to improve the appearance of the abdominal area. A significant deciding factor behind your decision between a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck comes down to the reason you need the abdominoplasty procedure.  Because of the differences in the procedure and results of the surgery, each one has different reasons for why you would choose to have it done.

While both mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck are popular amongst an aging population who naturally develop loose skin over time, or amongst people who have lost a significant amount of weight and now have loose, stretched skin, there are still some individual characteristics of each which define their purpose and why you would choose one over the other. The decision between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck should be made in consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon, who can assess your specific needs and provide personalized recommendations based on your individual anatomy and aesthetic goals.

Do I Need a Mini Tummy Tuck or a Full?

A full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a more invasive surgery. This procedure is suited for individuals who are struggling to get rid of large fat deposits or excess skin around their abdominals due to weight loss.  It is particularly useful for women who have suffered significant stretching and separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. Older patients too can see excellent results in fixing saggy skin that has lost its elasticity.

In contrast, a mini tummy tuck is more suitable for patients who are after more of a skin “tune-up,” with minor sagging of skin or slight stretching. There is also the option to have a mini tummy tuck done in the name of body sculpting, to tighten the skin around the muscle and allow for improved aesthetics.

How Do The Two Abdominoplasty Procedures Vary?

In many ways, a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck are two different procedures.  The mini tummy tuck is a shorter surgery, which is less invasive; and depending on the extent of work being completed, can be performed under local anesthesia.  Because of its lower degree of invasiveness, it also has a shorter recovery time (about one to three weeks). Mini tummy tuck involves a smaller incision site and presents with fewer associated risks than that of a full tummy tuck.

In contrast, a full tummy tuck can be an invasive surgery, that can last up to five hours, with a recovery period of up to six weeks. During this time, the patient may have restricted physical activity and the scar and incision can be much larger.  Because a full tummy tuck requires general anesthesia, it has more associated risks than a mini tummy tuck, but it does have the advantage of being able to treat muscle separation and tighten the abdominal muscles, which can’t be achieved using a mini tummy tuck.

What Is The Difference In Cost Between A Mini Tummy Tuck And A Full Tummy Tuck?

One of the main considerations in choosing between a mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck, is the cost of the procedure.  For many people, having cosmetic surgeries can be cost prohibitive, and is not regularly covered by insurance. As such, because the mini tummy tuck is a less-expensive option. It is a good alternative for individuals who are still interested in having the procedure done, but who are unable to commit to the full cost that would be required for a full tummy tuck.

Generally speaking, a full tummy tuck is 35% to 50% more expensive than a mini tummy tuck.

With that in mind however, consider whether you will be happy with the results if you choose your procedure based on cost alone.  For example, if you know you want the full tuck, but are simply settling for the mini tuck because it is less expensive, will you regret your decision and wish that you had waited a little longer to build up more savings before undergoing the procedure.  

How The Royal Centre of Plastic Surgery Can Help?

We do have financing assistance available, so If you are unsure of which one is right for you, you need some guidance in your decision, or would like to learn more about financial assistance, please feel free to reach out to any of our knowledgeable staff to help you in making your choice.  It is indeed an investment and something that will affect you for a long time, so we are here to help if you need assistance.

Click to learn more or to make an appointment with our plastic surgery clinic in Barrie.

Summary: Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck

  • Scope of Surgery: A mini tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen below the navel, while a full tummy tuck addresses both the lower and upper abdomen, including the area above the navel.
  • Incision Length: A mini tummy tuck typically requires a shorter incision compared to a full tummy tuck. 
  • Muscle Repair: A full tummy tuck typically involves more extensive muscle repair.
  • Skin Tightening: Both procedures involve removal of excess skin. A mini tummy tuck may be suitable for patients with mild to moderate skin laxity, while a full tummy tuck is often recommended for patients with significant skin sagging.
  • Recovery Time: Recovery time can vary depending on the individual patient and the extent of the surgery. However, in general, a mini tummy tuck may have a shorter recovery period compared to a full tummy tuck.