What’s the Difference Between a Mini and a Full Tummy Tuck?

tummy tuckPeople have trouble with some pairs of words. Take emigrate versus immigrate. Or how about flaunt versus flout. Eminent versus imminent.

In the aesthetic world, there can also be confusion when it comes to tummy tucks. As with all procedures, every patient’s situation is unique, as are the surgical solutions. Here’s the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck, along with which can be right for different cases.

Full tummy tuck

A full tummy tuck involves an incision at the bikini line and another around the belly button. These incisions, and their corresponding scars, vary in length. The longer the scar, the more skin that can be removed. In some cases, Dr. Lavey will make an incision that proceeds completely around the lower abdomen and back. In these cases, Dr. Lavey tightens not only the abdominal area, but also the flank, the lower back, and the buttocks skin.

Most tummy tucks also include removal of excess fat. Dr. Lavey prefers to remove the excess fat of the center of the abdomen surgically. He then removes the excess fat of the sides with liposuction. He believes this creates the smoothest, most accurate and effective contouring and reduction of fat.

The procedure also involves bringing the muscles in the center of the abdomen closer together. These muscles have been over-stretched due to excess weight gain or pregnancy.

Mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck is good for patients who have just a small amount of excess abdominal skin and have some minor skin sagging due to aging. In a mini tuck, Dr. Lavey makes a shorter incision, again just below the bikini line. Underlying abdominal muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed. Excess skin is also trimmed, but the navel isn’t relocated in a mini tuck.


With a full tummy tuck, patients need to lay low for at least one to two weeks following the procedure, especially avoiding any lifting. Mini tucks require less recovery time.

Want to get rid of your “pooch?” Call Dr. Lavey at 925-820-3633 and schedule a consultation for a tummy tuck.

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