When it comes to plastic surgery, most patients want to minimize scarring and maximize results. As such, the “mini tummy tuck,” which involves a considerably smaller incision than its traditional counterpart, can seem like a tempting option–but it isn’t right for everyone. 

Below, we’ve outlined the similarities, differences, and benefits of full tummy tucks and their “mini” sibling procedure. While this information can help you get started with your decision-making process, it’s important to note that meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the only way to truly determine which procedure is right for you. At Dr. Alderman’s North Atlanta office, we work closely with every patient to create a one-of-a-kind treatment plan that best suits individual goals and needs. 

Read on to learn more about these transformative procedures and what to keep in mind while weighing your options. 

Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

Both types of tummy tuck procedures involve making an incision to remove and tighten skin, resulting in a refined, slimmer body contour. However, there are a few significant differences. 

Full tummy tucks require the removal of a considerable amount of skin, fat, and tissue from the lower abdomen. Dr. Alderman will also repair any separated abdominal muscles and carefully pull down the upper abdominal skin to cover the area. Patients will then have a new belly button created and will also experience tightening of the pubic area.

Patients will see a massive improvement in their abdomen’s appearance, with a slimmer contour and tighter skin. To complete this surgery, Dr. Alderman will need to create a hip-to-hip incision, placed very low on the abdomen. In most cases, patients will be able to completely conceal their scar with underwear or even a bikini bottom. 

Mini tummy tucks use an incision placed in the same location, but generally between six and 12 inches shorter in length. This surgery will flatten the area below the belly button and tighten skin. However, mini tummy tucks cannot address the upper abdominal area or separated ab muscles (a.k.a. diastasis recti).

Which is Right for Me?

If you’re considering either surgery, it’s critical that candidates are in overall good health and do not smoke. This ensures the lowest possible risk of complications during recovery. 

The ideal candidate for a full tummy tuck has excess skin and fat in the lower abdominal area that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise alone. They may also need to have muscle laxity or separation corrected. 

Mini tummy tuck candidates are typically slim individuals close to or at their ideal body weight, with a small flap of excess skin in the lower or mid-abdomen. 

Choosing Your North Atlanta Tummy Tuck

Full and mini tummy tucks both offer unique benefits and limitations. Though a full tummy tuck can beautifully repair muscles and provide significant skin tightening of the upper and lower abdomen, they also require a longer incision. Mini tummy tucks offer a shorter incision, but are more appropriate for patients who need less correction.

While it might seem daunting to make this decision, you aren’t alone. Dr. Alderman will work with you one-on-one to determine your aesthetic goals and existing conditions. Once we have a clear picture of what you’re hoping to achieve, Dr. Alderman will help guide you towards the best solution. During your consultation, we’ll go in-depth about your available options and how they can help you get the body you want. 

To gain a better understanding of what to expect from either procedure, please visit our before-and-after galleries to see examples of Dr. Alderman’s work. If you’re ready to take the next step and schedule your tummy tuck consultation, please give our North Atlanta, GA office a call at (470) 381-3610 or contact us online today.