Do You Need a Mini or a Full Tummy Tuck?

Outdoor shot of smiling young female model in bikini standing against blue sky. Woman having fun out on a summer day. People have trouble with some pairs of words. Take emigrate versus immigrate. Or how about flaunt versus flout? Eminent versus imminent. Grammar Girl has made a living through her popular podcast helping people resolve their confusion with this kind of stuff. 

In the aesthetic world, there can also be confusion when it comes to tummy tucks. Dr. Turk wants to be a sort of Grammar Girl for the aesthetic world, without the popular podcast. Here’s the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck, along with which can be right for different patients. 

Full tummy tuck 

A full tummy tuck involves an incision at the bikini line and another around the belly button. These incisions, and their corresponding scars, vary in length. The longer the scar, the more skin that can be removed. In some cases, Dr. Turk will make an incision that proceeds completely around the lower abdomen and back. In these cases, Dr. Turk tightens not only the abdominal area, but also the flanks, the lower back, and the buttocks skin. The incision at the belly button can usually be made adjacent to the belly button, and this incision allows tightening above the navel, if needed. 

Most tummy tucks also include removal of excess fat. Dr. Turk prefers to remove the excess fat of the center of the abdomen surgically. He then removes the excess fat of the sides with liposuction. He believes this creates the smoothest, most accurate and effective contouring and reduction of fat. 

The procedure also involves bringing the muscles in the center of the abdomen closer together. These muscles have often been over-stretched due to excess weight gain or pregnancy. 

Mini tummy tuck 

A mini tummy tuck is good for patients who have just a small amount of excess abdominal skin and have some minor skin sagging due to aging. In a mini tuck, Dr. Turk makes a shorter incision, again just below the bikini line. Underlying abdominal muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed. Excess skin is also trimmed, but the navel isn’t relocated in a mini tuck. Mini tucks also don’t have a second incision at the belly button. 


With a full tummy tuck, patients need to lay low for at least one to two weeks following the procedure, especially avoiding any lifting. Mini tucks require less recovery time. 

Want to get rid of your “pooch?” Call Dr. Turk at Naples Cosmetic Surgery, (239) 348-4357, to set up a consultation.


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