What is a mini tummy tuck?

Officially called a partial abdominoplasty or lipoabdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck simply removes unwanted skin and fat from the area below the umbilicus. A mini tummy is becoming much more popular in the UK. A full tummy tuck, by contrast, removes skin and fat from the entire abdominal area. A mini tummy tuck is a good option if there is not a lot of excess skin to remove, and the patient is interested in minimising a bulging lower abdomen.

After pregnancy, the lower abs, or rectus abdominus muscles are stretched and the laxity may remain, emphasizing a lower abdominal bulge. The mini tummy tuck is a popular option for women seeking to return to pre-pregnancy abdominal firmness. A mini tummy tuck is also a good option for men looking to reduce excess tissue after weight loss or even weight loss surgery.

The mini tummy tuck generally has a smaller incision than the full tummy tuck, and the patient recovery time is quicker. The procedure for a mini tummy tuck involves a small incision above the pubis, and liposuction or body contouring is usually performed to remove excess fat. The lower abdominal muscles are tightened, and the belly button must be unattached and reattached. Once the contouring is complete and the muscles tightened, a small flap of skin is lowered to meet the incision point, and the resulting scar can be as small as two inches.

On average a mini tummy tuck procedure lasts about two hours and the recovery time is also much faster than the full tummy tuck. After a consultation with the surgeon, he or she will be able to determine if a mini tummy tuck is right for you. If there is a substantial amount of loose skin to remove, a full tummy tuck might need to be performed.

All tummy tucks will leave a scar, but the mini tummy tuck generally leaves only a small scar above the pubic region, whereas the full tummy tuck can leave much larger scars as well as scarring above the belly button.  You might consider a mini tummy tuck if liposuction is not enough and a full tummy tuck is more surgery than you need.


Suitable candidates for a mini tummy tuck include people who have excess tissue, fat and skin below the belly button that they want to be removed.  Good candidates for the mini tummy tuck include those that:

  • Have excess skin and weight as a result of pregnancy or a C-section
  • Want to sculpt their abdomen
  • Do not have an unreasonable amount of skin to be removed
  • Are physically healthy

Those who have too much skin may wish to consider another procedure, such as a full tummy tuck. Patients who are not in good health may not heal or recover as well; therefore it is important to be physically healthy prior to the procedure.

A mini tummy tuck is suitable for both women and men.


The consultation allows you to discuss your wants, needs and desired outcomes one on one with the surgeon. This is your opportunity to state if you would like to combine any procedures, and your suitability will be assessed. The surgeon will also be able to answer any questions you have regarding the procedure and recovery. The consultation will also involve a review of your medical history and current physical health to ensure you are a suitable candidate for this procedure.


Before the mini tummy tuck, you will be given a general anaesthetic.

A mini tummy tuck involves the surgeon making an incision across the lower abdomen. This incision is considerably smaller than that of a full tummy tuck and will go from the middle of each of your thighs.

Next, a section of skin between your pubic area and belly button is removed. The abdominal muscles are then tightened and pulled into place. Any excess fat will also be removed. Absorbable stitches will be used to close the incision.


After the mini tummy tuck, you will need to wear surgical bandages or even a compression garment. This will help to promote healing and minimise symptoms such as swelling and bruising. You will be required to wear the compression garment for three weeks day and night. After this, you will need to wear the compression garment for a following three weeks, but only during the day.

As this surgery isn’t as invasive as a full tummy tuck, you will not experience as many symptoms afterwards. Any pain will be managed with necessary medication which can be recommended by the surgeon.

Over the week following your mini tummy tuck, you will attend follow up appointments with your surgeon, which will allow for progress to be monitored.

You will experience some pain and discomfort for the first three to five days following the procedure. You should avoid strenuous physical activity for six weeks. This includes lifting children, so having the appropriate childcare is an important factor to consider.

You will experience swelling for about three to four weeks, however, the swelling may not completely go down for the first three months. After this point, you will be able to see the results of the mini tummy tuck.


As with many of Centre for Surgery’s procedures, patients are able to combine one procedure with another. In this instance, liposuction is an appropriate procedure to be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. This allows patients to remove weight from both the upper and lower abdomen. Combining the two procedures will ensure a patient can achieve the best results possible.

Make sure to discuss your interest in combining procedures with your surgeon during the consultation to ensure your suitability and so the desired outcome can be achieved.

Are you interested in a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck? Contact Centre for Surgery today to find out which option is best for you or to book a consultation.

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