Can I Get a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Probably not. Disappointing, I know. But let me explain. Let’s start with who typically gets a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) and why.

Tummy tucks are done to tighten bellies that have been stretched out. Most tummy tuck patients are women who have had one or more pregnancies. Both men and women might also get tummy tucks after weight loss.

The tummy tuck tightens muscles that have been stretched and removes loose, hanging skin. And it’s that loose, hanging skin that’s the issue here. You can always tighten the muscles without a big scar. But cutting out extra skin requires a long incision. The more loose skin there is, the longer that incision needs to be. A hip-to-hip scar is typical but it can be even longer if there’s a lot of skin to remove. On the other hand, if there’s little to no extra skin, the scar can be short – about as long as a C-section scar. It just needs to be big enough for us to tighten the muscles since we have very little skin to remove.

Now, what I just described is, in fact, a mini tummy tuck. That is:

• We tighten the loose abdominal muscles

• There’s little or no skin removal

• We use a short scar

If you are a woman who has some lower abdominal roundness (like a little pot belly) but very little loose skin, you are the perfect candidate for a mini tummy tuck. Unfortunately, very few women fit this description. After pregnancy or weight loss, most have some degree of excess skin. I probably see one mini tummy tuck candidate out of thirty abdominoplasty consults.

So if you are one of the lucky ones without much skin to remove, by all means, let’s do your mini tummy tuck. But if you aren’t – if you have skin that needs to be tightened – don’t let someone sell you a mini tummy tuck. You’ll be disappointed by the results. A full abdominoplasty is what you really need.