What’s the difference between a full and mini tummy tuck?

  • tummy tuck surgery

You’ve done everything imaginable to try to lose that sagging, bulky and heavy fat around your lower stomach. You’ve done all sorts of exercises and tried all kinds of diets.

But there’s just no budging that stubborn skin surrounding your belly button! 

Just like many other women, you long for a flat and toned tummy that simply can’t be achieved by exercise and diet alone.

Over recent years, tummy tuck surgery has been a popular procedure among women, getting more and more popular by the year – in 2018, it accounted for almost 10% of all plastic surgery procedures done in Australia!

If you’ve done your research – including determining whether you’re the right candidate for tummy tuck surgery, you might have reached one of your final questions in your quest to get all the information:

What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck?

We’d love to invite you to visit Cairns Plastic Surgery and enjoy a complimentary appointment with one of our nurses.

During this no-strings conversation, we discuss your needs and concerns, and explore the most suitable surgeries. Book your no-obligation chat by calling (07) 4031 5755.

Full tummy tuck vs mini tummy tuck

Tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin that is located in the middle and lower abdomen, specifically the region immediately below the belly button.

A tummy tuck is different from liposuction as its goal is to remove excess skin, while the latter concentrates on removing fat.

Am I the right candidate?

Before undergoing either tummy tuck procedure, you will need to know if you are the right candidate. 

Is a tummy tuck right for you? It’s likely a suitable procedure if:

  • You’ve had children
  • You’ve lost a significant amount of weight which has resulted in loose, sagging skin
  • You’re fit, of a healthy weight, and are in generally good health
  • The natural ageing process has left you with stubborn fat and skin specifically around your lower abdomen

Mini tummy tuck

Patients with less loose skin and a smaller amount of excess belly fat are usually the right candidate for a mini tummy tuck.

A mini tummy tuck (also known as a partial tummy tuck) is especially suitable for those who have good upper belly skin but find that their problem area is specifically localised below the belly button.

Full tummy tuck 

Candidates are generally fit and in decent health, yet carry heavy, excess abdominal fat across their entire stomach; that is, both above and below the belly button.

They may have lost a significant amount of weight that’s resulted in loose skin, and have found that exercise and diet alone is not sufficient enough to make a real difference to the appearance of their stomach. 

In such cases, a full tummy tuck is more suitable.

Remember, a tummy tuck is NOT a substitute for weight loss.

Discover if you’re the right candidate for a tummy tuck in this blog post.

How is tummy tuck surgery done?

Mini tummy tuck

A partial tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure that focuses on removing fat and excess skin from the lower abdomen or below the belly button.

The incision made in a partial tummy tuck is usually likened to that of a cesarean.

Only small amounts of excess skin are removed specifically below the belly button. The belly button usually remains in place, and muscles and skin above it are not treated. In some cases the belly button may need to be slightly repositioned.

The incision is smaller than a full tummy tuck.

Full tummy tuck 

Standard or full tummy tuck surgery removes a greater amount of excess fat and skin across a broader part of your stomach. 

A full tummy tuck can dramatically transform your body by repairing your loose abdominal muscles as well as removing a large part of your excess skin. 

The incision is usually done from the hip bones to the lower abdomen, similar to a U-shape. 

tummy tuck surgeon

What’s involved in tummy tuck recovery?

Surgery following both mini and full tummy tuck will result in an incision scar, some bruising, and even keloids.

There is an expected period of swelling and redness while your body begins the healing process, and it’s recommended that you sleep with your knees propped up to avoid strain on the incisions. 

The recovery period for a mini tummy tuck is usually shorter compared to a full tummy tuck. However, you still need to avoid strenuous activities for at least six weeks following surgery. Your plastic surgeon will provide advice unique to your recovery.

You can expect results for both types of surgeries to become visible around 4-6 weeks following surgery.

However, it can take up to 6 months to fully settle and for you to see the final results.

Explore 4 basic recovery tips following tummy tuck surgery here.

Choose the right tummy tuck surgeon

The first step to enjoying a successful tummy tuck experience is choosing the right plastic surgeon.  

It’s up to you to do the right research to find not only a qualified and certified surgeon, but one who also does their best to ensure a pleasant experience, from your very first conversation through to post-surgery appointments weeks and months following the procedure.

Book only a licensed plastic surgeon

It’s paramount that you choose a plastic surgeon that is affiliated with the Australian Medical Council and is a member of the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS).  

So check if “FRACS” is next to their name on their website.

Check for working experience

Before booking a consultation with your plastic surgeon, you need to do a background check of their portfolio and work experience, so you’ll know that they are indeed qualified and experienced with tummy tuck surgery. 

Checking your surgeon’s past work will give you an indication of the types of surgeries they have performed and the results they have been able to achieve.

View our tummy tuck before and after gallery.

Confused between a mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck? Cairns Plastic Surgery can help!

Deciding what kind of tummy tuck procedure is best for your scenario – and end goal – starts with consulting a licensed plastic surgeon.

If you’re confused with where to begin, may we suggest booking an obligation-free conversation with a nurse at Cairns Plastic Surgery?

Our friendly team will help you understand what’s involved in this procedure and ensure you have the information you need to make an informed decision. 

Dr Isolde Hertess of Cairns Plastic Surgery has more than 20 years of experience in all surgical procedures, including tummy tuck surgery.

Our caring team prioritises your health and will ensure all your concerns are addressed and questions are answered. 

Book a FREE, no-obligation chat with one of our nurses at Cairns today: call us on (07) 4031 5755 or fill in this enquiry form and we will get back to you immediately!