Full Tummy Tuck vs Mini Tummy Tuck

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You are not alone in your struggle with stubborn fatty deposits and excess skin in certain areas of the body. Even though you can achieve weight loss with targeted exercises, it is not possible to address the removal of excess skin with exercising alone. You may want to consider the tummy tuck procedure which helps eliminate the excess skin from your abdominal area. It can also help tighten the separated muscles in the abdomen, which no amount of strenuous exercise can change. With a tummy tuck, you can get the desired slim contours and toned appearance to your midsection.

Who is a good candidate for the tummy tuck procedure?

If you are struggling with excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, you are a good candidate for the procedure. It is also helpful in case you have sagging skin and loose abdominal muscles. These are normal changes for women who have undergone pregnancy and childbirth and those who have had massive weight loss or have undergone bariatric surgery. Once you have booked your consultation with one of our top surgeons at Gawley Plastic Surgery, they will evaluate your skin and the abdominal area as well as understand your cosmetic goals before determining whether you make a good candidate for the tummy tuck procedure.

What are the advantages of a tummy tuck?

The tummy tuck is the procedure of choice for women who wish to regain their pre-pregnancy abdominal shape or those who suffer from excessive skin and separated muscles in the abdominal area. Pregnancy has several adverse effects on a woman’s body and it specifically can leave the abdominal area stretched and riddled with stretch marks and lax skin. A panniculectomy removes the extra skin from the abdomen which also removes the stretch marks, while abdominoplasty helps tighten the loose abdominal muscles, restoring your pre-pregnancy contours. 

You must understand, though, that the tummy tuck procedure is not a weight-loss procedure and will only help get rid of the excessive skin. In addition to being advantageous for women post-pregnancy, it is also a great option for those patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and are now left with separated abdominal muscles and loose, excess skin. This does not allow them to enjoy their weight loss, but a tummy tuck can address these concerns effectively. When you consider the tummy tuck procedure, you will find that you can choose from a full tummy tuck procedure and a mini tummy tuck. 

What will work for you – full or mini tummy tuck?

Even though your surgeon at Gawley Plastic Surgery will help you choose the best option for you during the consultation, here are a few distinguishing features you must be aware of when considering a full tummy tuck versus mini tummy tuck. When the excess skin is limited to the area below your belly button, the mini tummy tuck is best suited for you. The procedure also helps tighten the underlying abdominal muscles. This option is less-invasive than the full tummy tuck and your recovery is, hence, faster as well. The mini tummy tuck can be less expensive and save on operating room and recovery time.

The full tummy tuck procedure makes use of panniculectomy which eliminates the loose skin in both the lower and middle abdominal areas. Once the excess skin is removed from these areas, abdominoplasty is used to tighten the loose muscles and the remaining skin is re-draped over the tightened muscles. This restores your toned and slimmer appearance in the abdominal area. At times, your surgeon may combine the liposuction procedure to enhance your results further.

What results can you expect from the tummy tuck?

The full tummy tuck procedure can take up to 5 hours for completion while a mini tummy tuck may only take about 2 hours. 

It is imperative that you take good care of yourself during the recovery period so that your healing goes as planned. When you do this, your results from the tummy tuck will be long lasting. However, if you undergo any massive weight fluctuation in the future or become pregnant, it may alter your tummy tuck results. Once you have been able to achieve the desired abdominal shape, it is important that you follow a good exercise regimen and the right diet to maintain your beautiful results.

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Interested in learning more about which procedure might be right for you? Contact our office today to book a consultation.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at

Dr. Gawley is one of the premiere plastic surgeons in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area. He specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, body, and face. Dr. Gawley combines his extensive training and state-of-the-art technology to provide his patients with personalized care and natural results.