Mini Tummy Tuck

Quick Facts About Mini Tummy Tuck

Average Treatment Cost: $4,000-$15,000
Procedure Time: 2-5 hours
In/Outpatient: Either
Anesthesia: General
Recovery Time: 2-6 weeks. Back to work; strenuous activity in 8-12 weeks
Duration of Results: Long-lasting
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What you should know

What Is A Mini-Tummy Tuck

One variation of abdominoplasty is the mini-tummy tuck. This uses a shorter incision just at or above the pubic region, similar to the incision for a cesarean section. A mini tummy tuck is a modified tummy tuck that uses a C-section-like incision to tighten muscle and remove excess lower abdominal skin. The ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck has most of his or her issues below the belly button, and it is usually recommended for patients who have always been in pretty good shape but have plateaued with diet and exercise.This procedure is ideal for people who have less excess tummy area skin or fat that is localized in the mid-abdomen area and want to tighten the abdominal area below the belly button.

Mini-Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck is smaller and less noticeable than incisions used for a full tummy tuck—there is just one at the bikini line. The goal of a full or modified tummy tuck is the same: to create a tighter, flatter stomach. Through a single, short incision at or above the pubic area that stretches a few inches across the lower abdomen, your plastic surgeon will remove excess skin, tighten the underlying slack muscle and perhaps use a fat-removal procedure like liposuction to further contour the area.

“A mini tummy tuck involves more limited tightening of the muscles and removal of fat and skin, therefore smaller incisions can be used, and in many cases does not require an incision around the umbilicus,” says New York plastic surgeon Lloyd Gayle, MD.

Regardless of what type of tummy tuck treatment is needed (go to tummy tuck for more information on all treatment types), the results from abdominoplasty or lipoabdominoplasty are quite impressive. “We can take someone who has a lot of loose skin and a protruding belly and make the skin and stomach completely flat, smoother and free of many of stretchmarks,” says Miami Beach, FL plastic surgeon Leonard Tachmes, MD.

“I typically recommend this procedure to those with no laxity or only laxity in the muscle below the belly button,” says Chicago plastic surgeon Peter Geldner, MD.

Recovery from a mini tummy tuck is shorter than it is for a traditional tummy tuck (as well as a belt lipectomy, for instance) but it is important to stress that this procedure is still considered major surgery. Post-treatment care is also easier as well. 

Who it is for

The ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck is someone with localized excess skin or fat—usually between the belly button and pubic bone—as opposed to greater excess skin or fat found in a broader area. Good candidates for a modified approach to fixing a slack tummy are in good health but find that diet and exercise hasn’t helped the issue.

A mini tummy tuck entails removing skin and tissue from the lower abdomen and repairing the weak muscles on the inside without repositioning the belly button (which is generally required in a full abdominoplasty).

There are different techniques for different body conditions. A person might be trim, but the skin could be loose. These people may only need a mini tummy tuck.


Who it is not for

Anyone who is considering getting pregnant should wait to have any tummy tuck procedure.

What to Expect

One of the most important things to know about a tummy tuck is that there will be a scar left behind. “Even though you can cover it up with clothes and it’s rarely seen in a bathing suit, it’s not a scar that’s in a crease like when a breast augmentation or facelift is performed,” says Dallas, TX, plastic surgeon Jeffrey Kenkel, MD. Whether you have a traditional tummy tuck or a modified version dictates what your scar will look like.

During this procedure—which may be coupled with liposuction—excess fat and skin below the belly button area are removed and, if necessary, the lower abdominal muscles are tightened. This modified version of the tummy tuck is less involved than a full tummy tuck (treating the excess skin in the upper abdomen usually requires additional incisions around the navel) and has a shorter recovery time. This procedure still results in a scar, which varies from a few inches in length to hipbone to hipbone, but with proper healing should fade to a fine line.

Consult with your doctor to learn more about pre- and post-op care, download the NewBeauty Workbook for more >       

Post-Treatment Care

Recovery from a mini tummy tuck is shorter than it is for a traditional tummy tuck (as well as a belt lipectomy, for instance) but it is important to stress that this procedure is still considered major surgery. Post-treatment care is also easier.

Inside Tips

  • If you’re prone to developing keloids (thick scars), make sure to let your plastic surgeon know since your incision may heal with one.
  • “Since less skin is removed, not as many stretch marks are removed,” says New York and Great Neck, NY, plastic surgeon Kevin Tehrani, MD. It does not tighten loose skin above the belly button. 
  • “Anyone considering body contouring surgery to remove stretch marks should wait several months after having their children, get down to their normal weight and get back to their normal exercise routine and healthy lifestyle,” says plastic surgeon Felmont Eaves, MD, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
    “If you become pregnant again, they could end up re-stretching the area and compromising the results.” 

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