Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck: What is the difference?

Tummy Tucks / Post Pregnancy Surgery / Surgical Tips

19 Aug 2021

mini tummy tuck vs full

For many patients considering abdominoplasty, a common question I hear is “Do I need a full tummy tuck, or can I get away with a mini tummy tuck?”

Although the major appeal of a mini tummy tuck is often the less obvious scarring and minimal down time, in my experience, the vast majority of my tummy tuck patients benefit more from a traditional abdominoplasty with a hip-to-hip incision to achieve the #DrMoncrieff results they are looking for. So, what is the difference between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck?

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty involves a tradition “hip to hip” incision along the bikini line in order to remove excess skin and perform internal muscle repair across the entire abdominal area, both above and below the belly button.

Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck involves a much smaller incision along the bikini line, usually up to about 20cm in length. While a mini abdominoplasty tightens and flattens the skin below the belly button, the smaller incision does not allow me to address loose skin or separated muscles in the middle or upper abdomen.

As demonstrated in the diagram below, much more of the stomach can be addressed with the full tummy tuck incision as opposed to the mini.

Who is an ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck may be a good option if your excess skin is located below the navel only, the navel does not require reshaping or repositioning, and there is little to no muscle separation requiring repair. Mini tummy tuck patients are often hoping to address a very small tummy “pooch” or revise a previous caesarean scar. The ideal mini tummy tuck patient has good upper abdominal skin and muscle tone, is slender, fit and at their ideal body weight.

What does a “mini” tummy tuck look like?

What are the benefits of a full tummy tuck?

Following mass weight loss or multiple pregnancies, a full tummy tuck is generally the most suitable option. A full tummy tuck allows access to the entire abdomen to remove excess skin, repair muscle separation and perform extensive liposuction to sculpt the waist, hips, flanks and mons area. For this reason, a full tummy tuck produces a much more dramatic result my patients are looking for.

What does a “full” or traditional tummy tuck look like?

Visit our full tummy tuck before and after gallery for more real patients and their real surgical results.

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck Cost?

A full tummy tuck for a privately insured patient who meets the required Medicare criteria is from $18,800. For an uninsured patient, or for “cosmetic” reasons the cost is from $26,200. This is inclusive of your surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist fee, hospital stay, garments, follow-up care and LED therapy for scar minimisation.

As candidates for a mini tummy tuck generally haven’t experienced a significant weight loss of 5 BMI points, they are usually ineligible for any rebate. This means your health fund is unable to “kick in” and cover the cost of your hospital stay and theatre fees. A quote for a mini tummy tuck is provided on a case-to-case basis, depending on your goals and the length of hospital stay required.

How do I know which procedure is right for me?

To determine whether a mini or a full tummy tuck would be the best procedure to meet your aesthetic goals, it is best to book a consultation. During your consultation we will be able to determine your degree of muscle separation and excess that needs to be addressed through your abdominoplasty surgery.

Ready to book a consultation?

Please call our lovely team on 4920 7700 or send us a message below. We also have two team members who had tummy tucks with me before they applied for roles with us who are happy to talk you through the surgical journey!

More blogs you may be interested in:

Dr Nicholas Moncrieff

Blog Author:

Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Specialist Plastic Surgeon 

About Dr Moncrieff

Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) and body lifts.

He is one of only a handful of Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.

Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than three decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.

More information about Dr Moncrieff is available here.

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