Mini Tummy Tuck Vs Full Tummy Tuck: What Is The Difference?

by Dr. Nazarian@DoctorNazarian

With more than 130,000 tummy tucks done annually within the USA, there is no question that this procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic enhancements available. However, you may be wondering what the difference is between a mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck?

In this guide we will discuss the difference between a mini and full tummy tuck, so you know which option is best for you! 

What Is A Tummy Tuck?

tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that will tighten and reshape the abdominal area making it more aesthetically pleasing and slimmer. With a slimmer midsection clothing can fit and look better while making you feel more confident about yourself.

The abdominal muscles will be tightened and excess skin will be trimmed away. This will correct a poochy belly allowing your midsection to be toned and flat. Tummy tucks are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for both men and women. It provides amazing results that can positively change the way you look and feel. 

There are options when it comes to this cosmetic enhancement. Not everyone is aware that there is a mini version of a tummy tuck, which is a perfect alternative for those who do not require a large adjustment.

Mini Tummy Tuck

mini-abdominoplasty is the perfect solution for the individual who has a lower stomach pooch they want to eliminate but do not need a complete abdominal overhaul. A mini tuck removes excess skin below the belly button. It is ideal for the lower belly pooch or stretch marks lower on the abdomen that can oftentimes be removed with the skin that is removed. Muscle tightening below the belly button can be performed, but no surgery or dissection is performed above the belly button. 

With a mini, you may have a shorter scar, which is a better choice for those patients who have flat stomachs. On average, recovery for a mini tummy tuck will be between 10 to 14 days with limitations on physical activity.

Mini Tummy Tuck Pros

  • Smaller scar possible
  • Quicker recovery time, if no muscle tightening is performed
  • Can be combined with other procedures (both mini and full can)

Mini Tummy Tuck Cons

  • Only focuses on the lower abdomen
  • Does not repair or tighten muscles above the belly button

Mini Tummy Tuck Before and After Photo

Click here to see more mini tummy tuck before and after photos. To see more before and after photos you can also check out our tummy tuck gallery.

Full Tummy Tuck

During a full tummy tuck, the plastic surgeon will address fat, muscle, and skin. Our stomach is the most commonplace for fat to accumulate. A full tummy tuck can help improve a patient’s appearance. During this procedure, the abdominal muscles will be repaired and tightened as needed. Umbilical hernias can also be addressed at the same time. 

Again, liposuction on the sides can be combined with a full tummy tuck to help remove additional fat. A lot of people undergo abdominoplasty after extreme weight loss because of excess skin. Saggy skin can become a huge issue once you have lost a lot of weight and a full tummy tuck is a surgery that can take care of this excess skin. 

The surgeon will remove the skin between the belly button and the incision. Once the surgery is complete, the skin is stretched down from the belly button and stitched back together low down on the abdomen near the pubic area. This will help create a smooth look that is tighter. Plus, it will help eliminate any existing stretch marks that were in the skin that was removed. 

One of the things that most tummy tuck patients are left with is long scars. These scars typically will go from hip to hip and are located below the underwear line. You will be required to walk the same day as surgery to help with blood circulation. Be prepared to listen to your physician and follow through with all your recovery instructions. 

Full Tummy Tuck Pros

  • Full makeover
  • Concentrates on fat, muscle, and skin
  • Removes excess skin
  • Tightens muscles above and below the belly button
  • Remove stretch marks

Full Tummy Tuck Cons

  • Hip to hip scarring
  • Longer recovery than mini

Full Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos

Mini Tummy Tuck Vs Full Tummy Tuck

We have already discussed several differences and similarities when it comes to mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck. However, in this section, we are going to break it all down for you and make it easy for you to decide which would be best for you. Keep in mind that if you gain more than 15 pounds it may cause loose skin, which could result in a tummy tuck revision. If you looking for a minimally invasive way to tighten up loose skin, check out BodyTite

Incision Length

The mini is going to have a possibly shorter incision length leaving you with minimal scarring. However, with a full tummy tuck, you will typically have hip to hip scarring. 

Skin Removal

A full tuck will take care of the removal of more excess skin above and below the belly button and a mini tuck will remove less just below the belly button. Therefore, if your issues are excess skin above and below the belly button, you will want to opt for a full tummy tuck. 

Muscle Tightening

A mini will only work on the abdominal muscles below the belly button. A full tuck, on the other hand, will tighten and repair abdominal muscles above and below the belly button. 

Removal of Fat

Both a mini and full tummy tuck can be combined with liposuction to remove additional fat. 


Both procedures will have a recovery period. The recovery will depend on how well you heal. The average recovery time for a mini is 14 days and a full tummy tuck requires about 4 weeks. You are not an invalid during recovery and certainly not uncomfortable the whole time.  Typically, the first few days require pain medication. 


Cost is going to depend on your physician, facility, location, and a multitude of other factors. However, on average a mini tummy tuck cost $6,000-$15,000 and a full tummy tuck may cost $15,000-$25,000. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get an estimate for your tummy tuck. 

Stretch Marks

A full tummy tuck will eliminate more stretch marks whereas a mini will take care of stretch marks very low on the abdomen. 

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