Getting a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is something many people consider after a significant change in weight, like pregnancy or weight loss. Abdominoplasties are one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. but many people are not aware that there are two different tummy tuck options.
Mini Tummy Tuck
As the name suggests a mini tummy tuck is a “smaller” version of the traditional full tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck is ideal for patients that have a small amount of loose or sagging skin in the abdomen area below the belly button. Often times, this can be an excellent way to achieve scar or stretch mark removal on the lower abdomen as well. A mini tummy tuck doesn’t always provide muscular repair, but muscle repair is still an option, when the repair is needed in the lower abdominal wall. The incision for a mini tummy tuck is shorter than the incision used for a full abdominoplasty and located in the same area as a c-section scar. The recovery time with a mini tummy tuck is also shorter than the recovery for a full abdominoplasty.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck is a surgical procedure in which the excess skin is removed and the underlying muscles are repaired by making an incision from hip to hip along the bikini line. In addition to the skin repair, the abdominal wall is also repaired in most cases. Many women will experience a gap in their abdominal muscles after having one or more children. This occurs when the pressure on your belly from pregnancy causes the left and right abdomen muscles to widen, pulling apart from one another and is very common. This ab separation is called “diastasis recti”. During a full abdominoplasty, the surgeon will remove the excess fat and skin and fold and sew together the muscle separation, creating a nice flat tummy.
A full tummy tuck is one of the more extensive surgical procedures performed in plastic surgery and the recovery time is several weeks, but can vary from patient to patient. If you are a woman that intends to have more children, you may want to postpone having a tummy tuck until you’re done having kids. Also, anyone that intends to lose a large amount of weight, should wait until after completing their weight loss goals to have the surgery.
To find out which tummy tuck is best for you, schedule a consultation with one of our award winning plastic surgeons.