Center for Plastic Surgery
1945 Old Gallows Road, Suite 400
Tysons Corner, VA 22182
Phone: (703) 560-2850
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Center for Plastic Surgery
5550 Friendship Blvd, Suite 130
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: (301) 652-7700
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

What Is an Extended Tummy Tuck? Mini Tummy Tuck? Which Is Right for You?

Woman with hands on stomach (model)

You might be surprised to learn that you have several tummy tuck options to help you achieve a firmer, flatter midsection. Generally, tummy tuck surgery (also known as abdominoplasty) tightens sagging abdominal skin, removes excess skin and fat, and may repair weakened or separated abdominal muscles. Your plastic surgeon may recommend an extended tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, or a standard tummy tuck, depending on how much excess skin and fat you have and its location.

How do you know which option will achieve your goals? In this post, we explain the different types of tummy tucks so you can compare their benefits.

Standard Tummy Tuck

A traditional tummy tuck is the most common type of abdominoplasty, focusing on both the upper and lower abdomen. During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will make a horizontal incision just above the pubic bone, from hip to hip. They will then remove excess skin and fat from your midsection and repair separated or weakened abdominal muscles.

A standard tummy tuck is best for men and women who want to firm and tighten the area above and below the bellybutton. It can also help people who have separated abdominal muscles—a condition called diastasis recti. Although most tummy tuck patients return to nonstrenuous work after a couple of weeks, it takes around 3 months to recover fully.

To learn more about tummy tuck recovery, check out this previous blog.

Mini Tummy Tuck

What is a mini tummy tuck, and why would you choose this option? A mini tummy tuck is less invasive than standard and extended tummy tucks. It improves only the area below the bellybutton, removing lax skin and strengthening muscles in the lower stomach.

An advantage of having a mini tummy tuck is that it uses a smaller incision and requires less recovery time than a full tummy tuck. Most people can return to work 1 to 2 weeks after surgery and resume more vigorous activities about 5 to 6 weeks post-op. The trade-off is that its results are limited to the lower abdomen.

Extended Tummy Tuck

Many people ask what is the benefit of an extended tummy tuck. This procedure is best if you have a lot of excess and sagging skin on your abdomen and flanks. It uses a longer incision that stretches up and around the flanks to contour the tummy, waist, and hips. Your plastic surgeon also repositions and reshapes your bellybutton during this procedure.

If you have stubborn fat deposits in your upper and lower abdomen and flanks, it’s a good idea to pair liposuction with your extended tummy tuck. An extended tummy tuck usually requires a longer recovery. You’ll typically need about 4 to 6 weeks of downtime before returning to work and about 12 weeks for more strenuous activities.

Which Tummy Tuck Option Is Best for Me?

Your plastic surgeon will help you determine the best tummy tuck option after assessing your degree of skin laxity, health, body type, scarring from previous procedures, and other concerns. Your plastic surgeon can also advise if you should include a body contouring procedure such as liposuction with your tummy tuck.

Choosing between a standard, mini, or extended tummy tuck can be confusing, but an experienced plastic surgeon will help you get the best results. These before and after photos show how well tummy tuck surgery contours and flattens the midsection. To learn more about your tummy tuck options, request a consultation or call us at (703) 560-2850 to schedule an appointment.

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