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In our practices, we see patients with a variety of different situations. Some come in to have their abdominal area examined because they lost a lot of weight and now have excess skin leftover. Others have had children and never regained their flat tummies.

What is common among these patients is that they all have some degree of damage to their abdominal area that needs attention. The decision about whether a mini or full tummy tuck is appropriate is a recommendation best left to a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon with expertise in this area.

Here’s what you need to know about what each of these two procedures achieves and which one might meet your particular needs.

What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck, or mini abdominoplasty, is a procedure that works best for women with loose skin or sagging muscles located below the belly button.

In some cases, patients need only to have their loose skin removed while in other cases, the rectus abdominus muscles also need to be stitched together and tightened.

The mini tummy tuck does not require repositioning of the belly button and has the benefit of a smaller incision (hidden under the panty line just above the pubic area). Recovery time is usually 7-10 days with this procedure. The patient will be required to wear a compression garment for several weeks.

What Is a Full Tummy Tuck?

An abdominoplasty surgery that extends above the belly button area is called a “full tummy tuck”. This procedure involves a half moon-shaped incision from hip bone to hip bone, just under the panty line above the pubic area.

In a full abdominoplasty, the patient will usually have severe abdominal muscle separation combined with moderate to severe loose skin (or extra skin).

The plastic surgeon tightens the patient’s rectus abdominus muscles from just below the sternum to the pubic bone. Skin is cut away from the bottom of the tummy in a crescent shape and the remaining abdominal skin is pulled down to meet up with the incision location.

Just before closing the patient, the plastic surgeon will create a new hole in the skin of the abdominal wall where the belly button’s new position will be. The surgeon closes the skin around the belly button and then pulls the tummy skin down so it meets up with the incision. It is then stitched up using dissolvable stitches. Most often, a Jackson-Pratt drain is inserted into the ends of the incision so that fluid can drain.

Drains are left in the incision for about a week. A compression garment will be required for the patient to wear for about four to six weeks, and recovery is about two to three weeks.

Looking for a Tummy Tuck Surgeon in NYC or Long Island?

Our highly-qualified plastic and cosmetic surgeons have years of experience in mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck surgery. We boast hundreds of happy patients whose lives have been transformed by their abdominoplasty results.

Call us today in Commack (631-499-1831) or Manhattan (212-206-0023) for your free consultation to see which procedure is right for you.

This page does not communicate the full list of complete risks and potential complications from this surgery. To receive a list of post-op risks & complications, please contact our office.