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Michael B Wolfeld, MD  
Male, 36
New York, NY

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What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini-tummy tuck?

Mar 30, 2011 - 12 comments
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tummy tuck

,

abdominoplasty

,

Weight Loss

,

skin removal



The abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a commonly performed surgical procedure to get rid of excess skin and fat in the tummy area (tummy tuck), and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. In patients who have had one or more pregnancies, or who have lost large amounts of weight, the skin and fat in the abdomen can become loose and flaccid. No amount of exercise will get rid of this hanging, loose skin. At the same time, because the muscles of the abdomen have been stretched, your belly can push forward from the inside, creating an unsightly bulge of the abdomen.  A tummy tuck can tighten these muscles to help create a flat, firm abdominal wall. At the same time, any excess loose, hanging skin and fat is removed.

The abdominoplasty procedure begins with an incision that is made in your pubic region below the bikini line.  The navel is separated from the skin, and the skin and fat of your abdomen is elevated thus allowing the underlying muscles to be tightened.  Excess fat is removed, the navel is repositioned, and the skin is pulled taut around the stomach.  The entire procedure typically takes about two to four hours to complete and is usually performed under general anesthesia.

A mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) is a quicker, less invasive procedure than the full tummy tuck. Patients who have just a small amount of excess abdominal skin and those who are experiencing minor skin sagginess due to aging are often good candidates for a mini abdominoplasty.  The procedure requires a shorter incision that is made across the lower abdomen, below the bikini line. The navel does not need to be separated from the skin. After the incision is made, underlying abdominal muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed. The skin is then pulled tight around the midsection and trimmed to create a fit, toned appearance. Mini abdominoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis, typically taking about two hours to complete. Scarring from a mini abdominoplasty is minimal.  Patients are usually able to resume normal daily activities within a few days after a mini abdominoplasty, compared to 1-2 weeks with a full abdominoplasty.

www.drwolfeld.com


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by spattervision, Apr 20, 2011
Please let me know if a mini tummy tuck would help me at 70.  I have some bulging both of the abdomen and the area above what used to be a good waistline.  I guess I am an  Apple body type. I have been slowly losing height (5'8" now 5"6").  My bone density is fine.  


Spattervision

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by Michael B Wolfeld, MDBlank, Apr 20, 2011
Hi

It sounds like you may be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck; but the only way to know this would be for you to see a plastic surgeon for a consultation and for him/her to evaluate you.

Thanks

Avatar_f_tn
by Pam195408, Apr 21, 2011
Hi Dr Wolfeld:
Can a mini tummy tuck be done after having had a full tummy tuck about 7 years ago?  I have some bulging on both sides after the tummy tuck but I did not return to the Dr to have that corrected and now it bothers me when I wear close fitting dresses. Should I consider lipo suction instead? The rest of my  stomach is fairly flat and my navel looks fine as is. I am 56 years old and in good health and fitness.

Thanks

Avatar_f_tn
by queenk52, Apr 22, 2011
Hi Dr Wolfeld,
I have had 2 C-Sections and have what I feel is an unsightly "kangaroo pouch" over my scar. I am not overweight , about 120 lbs 5'4" and 52 years old. My abdomen  pooches out and will not get flat no matter how many crunches I do. I have succeeded in getting it flatter, but the minute I slack off or eat too many carbs it seems to go back right out . Am I a candidate for a full Tummy Tuck and would this be able to remove the scar tissue that seems to be causing my pouch?
Thanks

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by Michael B Wolfeld, MDBlank, Apr 22, 2011
Hi Pam

A mini tummy tuck can be performed after having had a full tummy tuck.  If the main area of concern is the lower abdomen (below the belly button) then a mini may be what you need.  However, some bulging on the sides would probably benefit more from liposuction rather than a mini-tummy tuck.  A full exam with a plastic surgeon would be the best way to evaluate what you would benefit most from.

Thanks for the question.

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by Michael B Wolfeld, MDBlank, Apr 22, 2011
Hi queenk52

You do sound like you would be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck.  The reason your abdomen pooches out is likely due to your abdominal muscles stretching during pregnancy and now they are lax, thus causing the abdominal pooch.  A full tummy tuck would remove the excess skin and fat from your lower abdomen and tighten those abdominal muscles.

Thanks for the question


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by MethaDown, May 12, 2011
hey Dr.
im 27 years old...and due to a methamphetamine addiction about 7 years ago (which lasted about 4 years), enabled me to shed a lot of the weight at almost drastic rate, the change in body type was so fast, that my body had no time to reshape itself.  i am all cleaned up and and have my life running smoothly again., i feel like i am at a good wieght for my frame. i went from 262 lbs to 176 over a 2 year window. i have since gained wieght back, and im a solid guy, and wieght roughly 190-195lbs. i have flabby, saggy skin all around my abdominal front side, and have some also in my chest area...where my pecks are, so they look like man boobs kind of. im sure youve had something of that nature at some point, and what would you suggest? thanks.
~John

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by Michael B Wolfeld, MDBlank, May 17, 2011
Hi John

For the excess skin in your abdominal area, a tummy tuck may be a good option for you to remove that saggy skin and tighten your abdomen.  As weight loss procedures have been on the rise, the number of patients that request contouring following weight loss have also risen.  Plastic surgeons would also be able to remove the excess skin from your chest area as well.

You should make an appointment to see a plastic surgeon in your area to discuss these issues.

Thanks for the question.

Avatar_f_tn
by velmawlyons, Aug 20, 2011
Hi Dr Wolfield


I'm 29 years old and I been concerned have a full tummy tuck done, I have a kanagroo pouch, and bulged belly that I can't lose no matter how much exercises I do. I want to know if this would be a good option for me and what are the prices for a full tummy tuck?
Thank you


Velma

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by Michael B Wolfeld, MDBlank, Aug 23, 2011
Hi Velma

It sounds like you may benefit from a full tummy tuck.  You should see a plastic surgeon for a full evaluation as to whether this is the right choice for you.  You may have a weakened abdominal wall which can be tightened with a tummy tuck.  The cost varies by region and operative setting (office based OR or hospital).  

Thanks

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by Jodyannh, Apr 09, 2014
Hi Dr Wolfield

I recently did a Tummy Tuck about  3 months ago.  I had a lot of loose skin inmy mid section after 3 pregnancies .  However, I still find that I have loose skin and I am not very happy with the results as I still can see wrinkles when I bend over and a bludge over my pant still.   Also he said because off all the loose skin in my midsection that it was quite a difficult task to reconstruct my belly button and I ended up with a large crease at the top of my navel and my actual belly button has an "outtie" look.  

My Dr said I still have swelling and it should all go down flat and the crease should go away but something tells me it won't. I have been looking at many photos of tummy tucks and at this stage they all seem very flat and firm.   I don't know what went on!

This disappoints me so much because I feel that this is not what it is supposed to look like.   What is the average time to see proper results?  Should I wait Or did I just get am unfair job done?   Can anything be done about the loose skin now

Much Thanks
Jo

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by samsperonseo, Apr 15, 2014
Wow..good hope you are a good candidate for a Tummy tuck.Now many of them ame to understood about fully tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck

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