The difference between a tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck comes down to how much of the abdomen needs to be corrected:
- A regular tummy tuck addresses the entire abdominal area, removing any loose skin both above and below the navel, and will repair abdominal muscles that may have become separated or weakened.
- A mini tummy tuck focuses on the portion of the stomach from the belly button downward, tightening loose skin of the lower abdomen. Men and women with loose skin only on their low abdomen may be candidates for a mini tummy tuck.
Get the Skinny on Tummy Tucks
The reality is that the majority of people benefit from a full abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, instead of a mini tummy tuck. This is because most people have loose skin both above and below the navel. Additionally, it’s common for abdominal muscles to weaken or separate as a result of pregnancy, weight gain or other factors. Only a full abdominoplasty can tighten and repair these muscles, as they extend above the navel.
Alternatives to a Mini Tummy Tuck
Liposuction or CoolSculpting® may be possible alternatives to a mini tummy tuck. CoolSculpting® is a nonsurgical procedure that freezes and destroys fat cells in problem areas such as the flanks (commonly known as the “muffin top”) without surgery. Liposuction removes diet and exercise resistant pockets of fat with the help of suction. Both result in sleeker, leaner contours, and either can make a big difference even in small areas.
However, none of these procedures should substitute for weight loss. People with skin elasticity, who are at or near a healthy weight but have pinchable areas of fat may be candidates for CoolSculpting® or lipo, but those with excess skin should consider a full or mini tummy tuck instead.