Difference Between Mini and Full Tummy Tuck Surgery

A tummy tuck is a process of altering or transforming the abdomen region of a person, removing unwanted, loose skin. It helps to tone the body, especially after childbirth or massive weight loss. In this procedure, the surgeon performs tightening of muscles to rebuild the flatness of the abdomen.

Mini or full tummy tuck?

A lot of people find it confusing to choose between a full or a mini tummy tuck surgery. People are often attracted towards a little or non-invasive procedure. Here are a few differences between the two types that might help in making a fair choice.

People assume a mini tummy tuck surgery to be a minimally invasive procedure and thus attracting a huge crowd. But only around 20% of the patients are suitable for the procedure. It is a great abdominal toning procedure only when done on selected patients.


Mini tummy tuck surgery is often considered as a process with lesser scar burden but, the scar, as well as the muscle tightening, is just as thorough as in a full tummy tuck surgery.

The big difference

The fundamental difference between a mini and a full tummy tuck surgery is the portion of skin tightening above the navel and the need for an incision around the navel.

A mini tummy tuck patient is difficult to convert into a full tummy tuck patient after the execution of a mini procedure and therefore the patient needs to know the difference between the two types of surgery.

Who needs Mini or full tummy tuck surgery?

A patient with limited skin relaxation is suitable for a mini tummy tuck surgery.

In a mini tummy tuck surgery, the incision can extend up to the hip and it is made sufficiently long so that it can remove excess skin. A little amount of excess skin above the navel can be removed with the help of an umbilical float procedure.

In a mini tummy tuck surgery, a small portion of the skin is removed from the lower abdomen without an incision around the navel or tightening the muscles above the navel. Mini tummy tuck when done in patients not suitable for it, often results in some unsatisfactory results including an odd-looking belly button and bulging in the upper abdomen.

Whereas a full tummy tuck surgery removes excess fat from the pubic bone to the navel. It also tightens the abdominal muscles both above and below the navel to obtain a toned look.

Drains used

In mini tummy tuck surgery, only one drain is commonly used. Whereas, full tummy tuck surgery uses two drains.

The application of liposuction to the abdomen to lessen the thickness of the abdomen, tone the abdomen and release the skin before removal of the skin is safe in both procedures. It even helps in improving the blood supply in the abdomen tissues and improves the healing potential. Both mini and full tummy tuck surgeries are similar procedures, with similar recovery patterns except that the selection of patients varies in both. The selection of patients is not dependent on their choices but their abdomen anatomy and skin distribution.

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