What is best for you, a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck? What are the differences and why would I choose one or the other?
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for both women and men. Choosing which procedure is best for you–a mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck–is an important consideration for every patient. Several factors need to be taken into account before deciding on what type of tummy tuck to choose and these include:
- the state of the skin
- muscle tone
- amount of time for recovery availability
- if children are desired (for women)
How is a Mini Tummy Tuck Different?
Mini tummy tucks allow for liposuction of the abdominal fat and removal of excess skin lying below the belly button. Ideal abdominal contour is achieved by complete liposuction of the abdominal fat followed by release and trimming of redundant abdominal skin limited to below the belly button. What this means is, if you have stretch marks or extra skin limited to below the belly button, you are a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck.
What Are the Limitations of Mini Tummy Tucks?
An important limitation of mini tummy tucks is that it does not allow for muscle tightening. Patients who have good muscle tone, or mothers who have had only one child with moderate weight gains during pregnancy, are ideal candidates. Since mini tummy tucks forego wide undermining ad muscle tightening, there is less discomfort and subsequently appreciate a quicker recovery time of around 10-14 days .
What is a Full Tummy Tuck?
In contrast, a full tummy tuck addresses skin redundancy above and below the belly button and can correct muscle laxity as well. So if patients have stretch marks or extra skin throughout the belly or if they notice their abdomen is bulging when they are relaxed, a full tummy tuck will provide much better results. The muscle plication, or muscle “repair”, fixes the bulging abdomen by bringing the muscles of the abdomen together like a corset, tightening the abdomen and creating a narrower waistline.
When to Go for the Full Tummy Tuck
This procedure is recommended to patients who have more extensive skin redundancy, more severe abdominal bulging (resulting in loss of muscle tone), and moms who have had 2 or more children. The only disadvantage of muscle plication or repair is higher levels of post procedure pain for patients which prompts longer recovery time of 3 to 4 weeks. For patients desiring more children in the future, the advantages of skin removal can be appreciated, while the muscle repair only omitted. One of the major concerns of patients who have tummy tucks are unattractive, crooked, and misaligned belly buttons. Full tummy tucks require a new belly button to be made, termed neoumbilicus. Dr. Mowlavi utilizes a unique self-created tool which allows for the accurate placement of a new belly button and optimizing its aesthetics.
Are you ready for your tummy tuck surgery? Contact Dr. Mowlavi for a free consultation to determine which procedure is best for you. He is one of Orange County’s premiere tummy tuck surgeons, with offices in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.