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Close Up of Female Flat Torso and Tight Abdominal MusclesIf you have scoured the internet and scrolled through social media looking at images of women with flat, toned tummies and have dreamed about having one yourself, a full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck might help you achieve your goal.

While going through pregnancy and bringing a child into this world is a miraculous experience, it often wreaks havoc on the midsection. From sagging skin and stretch marks to lax abdominal muscles and unwanted fat, you might not be completely in love with your post-pregnancy body.

With a tummy tuck procedure, you can restore your pre-baby figure and get back to living a more enjoyable life in a body you adore showing off. But with a few different tummy tuck procedures available today, how do you choose which is right for you? Will a mini tummy tuck get you the results you desire, or is a full tummy tuck the way to go?

In the sections below, we are covering the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck, the benefits of each, and which is right for you based on your aesthetic goals.

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck, or full abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin, eliminates unwanted fat, and tightens the abdominal muscles, which improves the contour and shape of the abdominal area.

During a full tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Vu will also repair any separated or weakened abdominal muscles in the mid and upper abdomen.

Additionally, sagging skin is removed from above and below the belly button, and the remaining skin and muscles are pulled tight to create a flat tummy. Excess fat is also removed through liposuction of the abdomen and flanks. A new opening and position for the belly button is also created for a natural appearance.


There are several benefits of a full abdominoplasty. These include:

Addresses excess skin, fat, and damaged abdominal muscles throughout the whole stomach for a tighter, trimmer appearance
Precisely slims the waistline and abdominal area from top to bottom for a more contoured silhouette
Incision is from hip to hip and positioned low on the abdomen, which means it can easily be hidden beneath underwear or bikini bottoms
With excess skin and tissue removed and tightened abdominal muscles, you will experience better posture and less back strain.
Removes that unwanted “pooch” of sagging skin below the belly button for a flatter, toner tummy
Helps with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) by removing excess pressure on the bladder and urethra
Boosts confidence and self-esteem by helping you feel more comfortable in fitted clothing and swimsuits


While a full tummy tuck is an exceptional procedure for many women who want to restore their youthful curves and slim contours by removing excess fat and sagging skin, there are a few disadvantages to be aware of.

There are additional risks and complications associated with a full abdominoplasty, such as blood clots and fluid collection that can form under the skin.

Furthermore, considering a full tummy tuck addresses the entire abdominal area – upper, middle, and lower parts – this means a larger incision is required for the procedure, as well as a longer recovery time.

Also, during a full tummy tuck procedure, the belly button is often repositioned, which can pose a higher risk for damage to nerves and create additional scarring. And as with many other surgical procedures, there is usually temporary bruising and swelling experienced during the recovery period.

Lastly, a full tummy tuck typically has a higher cost compared to other plastic surgery procedures. The cost ranges anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000 depending on the extent of the surgery, the experience of the plastic surgeon, geographical location of the clinic, and other factors.


If you are ready to address excess skin and unwanted fat along the entire abdominal area, as well as repair damaged abdominal muscles that may not be as tight and toned as you would like, a full tummy tuck might be the right procedure for you!

A flatter, slimmer, and more contoured tummy has never been easier with a full abdominoplasty and an experienced plastic surgeon by your side. If you are interested in seeing how you may benefit from a full tummy tuck, view our before and after tummy tuck photos.


Compared to a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck is a smaller abdominoplasty procedure that only addresses the excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen, which is the area below the belly button.

Put more simply, a mini abdominoplasty only addresses the unsightly “pooch” or sagging skin many women have in the area right underneath their belly button, whereas a full abdominoplasty addresses excess skin and fat on the upper, middle, and lower abdomen.

Furthermore, unlike a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck does not tighten and repair separated abdominal muscles in the middle or upper abdomen. Additionally, since a mini tummy tuck is addressing a smaller area of the abdomen, the incision is typically 6 to 12 inches shorter than the incision made for a full tummy tuck.


While a mini abdominoplasty does not treat and address as much as a full abdominoplasty, there are still several benefits to this smaller procedure.

  • Precisely targets and tightens the unwanted “pooch” of sagging, lax skin many women have beneath their belly button
  • Since a mini tummy tuck only focuses on the naval area, there is a small incision that fades with time and is easy to hide under clothing
  • Less invasive compared to a full abdominoplasty, which means a shorter and easier recovery time
  • A mini abdominoplasty requires a much shorter surgery time, as the plastic surgeon is only addressing the naval area
  • No reconstruction of the belly button, which means no scarring in that area and a much lower risk for nerve damage
  • Fewer restrictions on body movement after the surgery – you can resume moderate exercise in just two to three weeks after a mini tummy tuck
  • With the excess fat and skin gone, you will feel more confident and self-assured in your tighter, toner, and trimmer body!
  • Compared to the full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck is more cost-effective and does not have nearly as high of a price


Similar to a full abdominoplasty, there are some disadvantages to a mini tummy tuck. In some cases, patients are not completely satisfied with the results of a mini tummy tuck, as this procedure does not address the entire abdominal area, and the results may be underwhelming.

Additionally, since a mini tummy tuck is an invasive procedure, there is a small risk of blood clots and fluid collection under the skin, as well as nerve damage and unexpected scarring. During recovery, many patients also experience slight swelling and bruising in the abdominal area.


A mini tummy tuck may be right for you if your main goal is to address lax skin and unwanted fat underneath the belly button for a tighter, toner lower tummy. Furthermore, this procedure is great for those who are on a small budget and cannot afford a full tummy tuck.

Learn more about this procedure or get in touch with Dr. Vu for a mini tummy tuck consultation in the Orange County area.


Determining whether a full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck is better for you depends on a few factors. Dr. Vu recommends a full tummy tuck for those who want to slim down their entire abdominal area, as well as tighten and repair their abdominal muscles for a toner, more contoured appearance.

For those who simply want to address the “pooch” area underneath the belly button by removing excess skin and fat in the naval area, a mini tummy tuck may be the better option. Furthermore, a mini tummy tuck is great for those who have a tight abdominal muscle but still want to look and feel their best with the removal of excess skin!

If you are interested in an all-in-one surgery that comprehensively combines addressing lax skin, removing excess fat, repairing and tightening damaged abdominal muscles, and improving the breasts with a breast augmentation, a mommy makeover procedure can restore your youthful, pre-baby body.


While a tummy tuck does not affect your ability to have a healthy, full-term pregnancy and will not result in any pregnancy complications, getting pregnant after undergoing a tummy tuck will likely undo all of the exceptional results of this procedure.

Due to the weight fluctuations and abdominal stretching that often occurs during pregnancy, you may find that you once again have sagging skin or damaged abdominal muscles after you give birth.

For optimal tummy tuck results, Dr. Vu recommends that patients wait to get their tummy tuck until they are done having children. However, if you do have a tummy tuck and get pregnant afterward, it is possible to undergo surgical correction to touch up the area.


If you are ready to restore your pre-baby body and achieve a flatter, toner tummy, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon today. We understand that deciding between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck can be tricky, which is why it is best to visit an experienced plastic surgeon for a professional opinion and a custom treatment plan.

Dr. Vu and his exceptional team at the California Aesthetic Center have been helping women throughout the Orange County area achieve their dream bodies with tummy tucks and other plastic surgery procedures. Schedule a consultation today for a customized treatment plan.

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