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When Is a Mini Tummy Tuck Worth It?

June 27th, 2019 Share

Many prospective tummy tuck patients at my plastic surgery practice in Toronto are intrigued by the idea of a mini tummy tuck—a more limited surgery that leaves a smaller scar. While the appeal of a mini tummy tuck is understandable, it’s not the right option for everyone. Your anatomy, goals, and concerns will ultimately dictate whether you’re an ideal candidate for the approach.

I will only perform a mini tummy tuck when I know the person will be 100% satisfied with the outcome. What does a mini tummy tuck entail, and how can you tell if it will meet your goals? This post should help answer those questions, but the best way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation.

Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck tightens the skin on the upper, mid and lower abdomen and repairs separated abdominal muscles commonly seen with obesity or after child-bearing. It includes reshaping of the bellybutton to create a more attractive, vertically elongated appearance. Many patients choose to incorporate liposuction of the love handles, flanks, and lower back rolls—often called 360° liposuction.

In contrast, a mini tummy tuck addresses only the area below the bellybutton and does not tighten underlying muscles. The procedure primarily involves removing the stubborn flap of skin on the lower abdomen to create a flatter appearance. A common indication for choosing a mini tummy tuck is to correct the hooded skin excess above a C-section scar, for example.


Both procedures feature scars that are designed to be easily hidden. A full tummy tuck scar runs hip to hip very low on the abdomen. A mini tummy tuck scar is located in the same area but is slightly shorter. As fashion trends move toward lower waistlines, we continue to strategically place these scars so that they’re hidden even under small bikini bottoms.

Additionally, both variations can be combined with other procedures as part of a mommy makeover. This may also include procedures such as breast enhancement, liposuction, labiaplasty, and monsplasty.

Mini Tummy Tuck Candidates

Wondering if a mini tummy tuck is right for you? This procedure may be a worthwhile option if you:

  • Are at or very near your target weight
  • Have a small flap of loose skin on your lower abdomen
  • Do not have excess fat in need of liposuction
  • Do not have loose abdominal muscles in need of repair
  • Are happy with the way your bellybutton looks

Your Treatment Plan

Ultimately, both full tummy tucks and mini tummy tucks offer benefits and drawbacks. A full tummy tuck offers more comprehensive correction, but it leaves a longer scar. A mini tummy tuck offers reduced scarring, but it doesn’t provide abdominal muscle repair or tightening along the mid-abdomen.

It’s ultimately up to you, your anatomy, and your plastic surgeon’s recommendations which option will be most “worth it” to you. I encourage you to meet with me during a personal consultation to discuss your goals, concerns, and desires in-depth.

To see examples of the results you can expect, please visit my before-and-after photo gallery.

If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck options at my plastic surgery practice here in Toronto, please contact us online or call (416) 929-9800 to request a consultation.