Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck: Which Procedure is Right for You?

Feeling confident in your body isn’t always easy. Changes to the appearance of your stomach are a common insecurity in both men and women and can develop due to all sorts of reasons, such as pregnancy, weight gain and weight loss.

These can cause loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles — causing your tummy to hang or feel like an apron. For some people, it can be hard to embrace these changes and they can leave you feeling insecure and self-conscious.

A tummy tuck can restore confidence and offer life-changing results, removing loose skin and stubborn fat pockets. There are different types of tummy tucks available but which one is right for you? Find out with The McIndoe Centre.

Full tummy tuck: what you need to know

A full abdominoplasty, or a full tummy tuck, involves a large incision being made across your lower stomach area. A second incision is made to free your belly button from its surrounding tissue. Next, the skin is separated from your abdominal wall and your abdominal muscles are realigned.

After this, excess skin and fat can be carefully cut away. A full tummy tuck removes excess skin from both above and below your belly button. Finally, a new hole is made to create a belly button and the incisions are pulled back together and stitched closed.

Tummy tuck recovery

A full tummy tuck can take between two and five hours, and you will need to stay in the hospital for a few nights to be monitored. It’s normal to experience some pain afterwards but you will be provided with pain relief medication.

It can take up to six weeks before you are fully recovered and see results from your procedure. Your skin and abdominal area will need to heal and you will need to wear a special support garment to encourage healing and reduce swelling.

After six weeks, you will be able to go without the support garment and return to most of your normal activities. However, it’s always best to check with your surgeon beforehand.

Benefits and results

You may not see the results of your full tummy tuck right away. This is because your body needs to heal and the swelling needs to go down. But, once fully recovered, you will see a very noticeable difference in your appearance.

The benefits of a full tummy tuck include:

  • A strengthened core
  • Prevention of ventral hernias
  • Relief from stress urinary incontinence
  • Reduction of the number of stretch marks
  • A flatter stomach
  • Improved posture
  • Tighter skin and removal of excess skin

Cost considerations

A full tummy tuck can cost slightly more than a mini tummy tuck. This is because the procedure is more invasive and complex — therefore it takes longer and requires further skills from the surgeons.

Tummy Tuck at The McIndoe Centre

At The McIndoe Centre, we offer a range of high-quality, specialist treatments led by the very best clinicians — including tummy tuck surgery (also known as abdominoplasty).

Mini tummy tuck: a closer look

A mini tummy tuck, or a partial abdominoplasty, is similar to a full tummy tuck but there are some differences. One slightly smaller incision is made across your lower tummy and the skin is separated from your abdominal wall just below your belly button.

Any excess fat and skin are removed and the incision is closed back up with stitches. This type of tummy tuck only removes excess skin or fat below your belly button.

Mini tummy tuck recovery

A mini tummy tuck can take as little as one and a half hours, depending on how much skin needs to be removed. This procedure is less invasive than a full tummy tuck, but it can still take up to six weeks for you to recover. Again, you will need to wear a support garment during recovery.

Benefits and results

Aside from being minimally invasive, a mini tummy tuck can provide you with excellent results and give you the boost you need to feel confident in your appearance. A mini tummy tuck can also offer you a slightly faster recovery than a full tummy tuck.

However, you will still need to speak with your surgeon before partaking in your regular activities. Results from a mini tummy tuck can be noticeable sooner than the six-week mark, but it will all depend on your recovery.

Because a mini tummy tuck only removes excess skin and fat from below the belly button, you need to consider what type of results you want. If you only have loose skin in the lower areas, it can provide you with your desired results. However, if you want to tighten up your whole core, a full tummy tuck can be more effective.

Cost considerations

A mini tummy tuck can cost you less than a full tummy tuck. This is because the procedure is less invasive and takes less time to perform. This can make it a more attractive option if you are working with a strict budget.

Spread the cost of your treatment

Are you considering treatment, but unsure about the best way to pay for it? If so, you might be interested in the payment plans we offer to fund your treatment.

Choosing the right tummy tuck for you

Understanding your wants and needs when it comes to a tummy tuck is crucial — you need to consider all the differences between the two types of procedures so you can weigh them up.

Factors to consider when choosing the right tummy tuck include:

  • The hospital location
  • The surgeon’s expertise, qualifications and experience in both procedures
  • How invasive you want the surgery to be
  • Where the excess skin or fat you want removed is located on your abdomen
  • What your budget is
  • If payment plans are offered by your chosen clinic

By considering all these factors, you can be certain you get a personalised approach to a tummy tuck based on your needs.

Risks and considerations

All surgical procedures have risks associated with them, including both full and mini tummy tucks. Risks that can occur in both procedures — though unlikely — include:

  • Infection (around or in your wounds)
  • Allergic reactions to the anaesthetic (these are rare)
  • Thick scarring
  • Haematoma (blood pooling under the skin)
  • Numbness or pain in your abdomen or legs
  • Stomach cramps
  • Blood clots developing in a vein

Sometimes, you might not be entirely happy with your results. But this risk can be avoided if you spend time researching your chosen surgeon and choosing one who can provide you with a personalised procedure.

Other risks, such as infection, can be avoided by following the aftercare guidance given to you and by choosing a clean, reputable hospital. Another thing to keep in mind is tummy tucks are not suitable if you are overweight. They can be used to remove excess skin and fat if you have lost a significant amount of weight — not if you are currently overweight.

Selecting the best surgeon

Choosing a fully qualified surgeon for the job is vital. Not only will it ensure your safety during a tummy tuck, but it will also provide you with the best results.

Make sure your chosen surgeon has a lot of experience in tummy tucks, in particular the type you are after. It’s also a good idea to look at other patients’ testimonials and reviews. Seeing before and after pictures can be useful too. This way, you’ll be able to see real-life results and decide if they are the right surgeon for you.

Another top tip is to have consultations with your chosen surgeon beforehand. Compile a list of questions and spend time going through them with your surgeon. You’ll soon be able to figure out if they are the best surgeon for you. The right surgeon will listen to your worries and provide you with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.

Patient Story: Michelle Ward

After the birth of her two children, Michelle Ward was unhappy with the appearance of her stomach. This prompted Michelle to start saving for a tummy tuck procedure and she began to research where to have the surgery.

“I can’t fault the care I received. Mr Harley did everything he promised and more and I am ecstatic with the results. Yes I have a scar but it will fade."

Book a consultation at The McIndoe Centre

Having a tummy tuck, either full or mini, can transform your confidence. With just one procedure, you can achieve amazing results that help you feel your best.

If you’re considering a tummy tuck, book a consultation at The McIndoe Centre. Our team of highly qualified surgeons understand the importance of providing a fully personalised procedure to ensure you get the result you desire.

Book a consultation today and begin your tummy tuck journey with The McIndoe Centre.


Mayo Clinic

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