Life can be hard on the body. As aging, weight changes, and pregnancy all take their toll, many women are left dissatisfied with their shape. The midsection in particular is a big source of shame and insecurity for many as the flat, toned tummy of your youth changes over time, leaving saggy, stretched out skin behind. Luckily, there is a way to turn back the clock! Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen is proud to offer safe and highly effective surgical solutions to her patients, including the full tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck. This blog post will talk about these two options, what sets them apart from one another, and who may be a better candidate for one versus the other.
First, let’s discuss the full tummy tuck that most patients are more familiar with. In this procedure, Dr. Temmen utilizes a combination of liposuction and traditional tummy tuck techniques to create a sculpted, flat abdomen with beautiful curves. In the past, tummy tucks were performed without liposuction. In other words, excess skin and tissue was removed from front of the abdomen, but the back, sides, and overall shape remained untouched. This flattened the tummy but in leaving the rest of the abdomen alone, resulted in an more artificial appearance that did nothing for the patient’s natural curves. Today, most plastic surgeons including Dr. Temmen perform liposuction first to slim and smooth the midsection, accentuate the waistline, and remove stubborn fat deposits like love handles. This improves the appearance of the abdomen overall, while also allowing the tummy tuck to blend in more naturally with the rest of the patient’s body. Once liposuction is complete, Dr. Temmen moves into the “tummy tuck” part of the procedure. For this part, a horizontal incision is made on the abdomen that is a little longer than a C-section scar, and placed low enough to be easily concealed by standard underwear or bikini bottoms. Using this incision, loose abdominal skin and excess tissue and removed and the remaining tissue is pulled together to create a flatter, more toned tummy. In addition, since it is very common for the abdominal “six pack” muscles to get stretched apart by aging, weight gain, and pregnancy, Dr. Temmen also pulls these muscles back together during a tummy tuck to help further cinch in the waist. Lastly, Dr. Temmen creates a new, pretty “innie” belly button to complete the look.
Now that we’ve covered the full tummy tuck, let’s talk about the mini version. A mini tummy tuck, as the name implies, includes the same components of a full tummy tuck, only on a smaller scale. Liposuction is still performed first to smooth and tone the abdomen. Then, the horizontal incision on the abdomen is made. This incision is shorter than for the full version, usually a little bit shorter than a C-section scar. Due to the shorter incision length, the mini tummy tuck only targets the area below the belly button. This is in contrast to a full tummy tuck, which targets the area both above and below the belly button. Along similar lines, the mini tummy tuck may also include abdominal muscle tightening limited to below the belly button. Lastly, because the mini tummy tuck stays below the navel, the patient keeps their existing bellow button rather than getting a new one.
Now that both options have been laid out, let’s wrap up with a quick summary of the differences between these two procedures, and who may be a good candidate for one over the other. A full tummy tuck utilizes a longer incision to tighten the skin and tissue both above and below the belly button, and creates a new belly button in the process. A mini tummy tuck uses a smaller incision to tighten the skin and tissue below the belly button, and leaves the native belly button in place. Therefore, people with excess hanging skin and loose tissue over the upper and lower abdomen are better suited to a full tummy tuck. People who are overall satisfied with their upper abdomen and just have a little excess skin and tissue below the belly button they would like removed may be happy with a mini tummy tuck. Additionally, those who wish to change the appearance of their belly button may prefer a full tummy tuck over a mini.
Both the full and mini tummy tucks are great options for patients looking to change the appearance of their abdomen and get the flat sculpted midsection they desire! Depending on the patient’s current appearance, desired result, and preferences for scar size and belly button, one option may be a better match than the other. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen is highly skilled at both of these procedures and enjoys working with each individual to design a personalized procedure plan that is the perfect fit for them. If you are interested in learning more about if you may be a good candidate for a full or mini tummy tuck, please call 813-771-6393 to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Traci Temmen, MD, today!