Extended vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

Patients who are considering a tummy tuck generally have loose abdominal skin (either with or without excess fat). Depending on how much loose skin has accumulated, there are three options for a tummy tuck: A mini tummy tuck, traditional tummy tuck, or extended tummy tuck. The surgeons at Jefferson Plastic Surgery can determine which tummy tuck technique will best suit the patient’s needs.

Extended Tummy Tuck

In an extended tummy tuck, an incision is made that extends from the backside of one hip to the other; the incision is made just above the pubic hair line. A second horizontal incision is made around the area of the belly button. Weakened abdominal muscles can be repaired, and excess fat, tissue, and skin are removed. The remaining skin is then pulled tight over the abdomen, the belly button repositioned if needed, and the skin is sutured in place. Surgical drains are inserted to remove excess blood and other fluids from the body. The procedure generally takes from three to five hours, depending upon the extent of work needed.

Patients are generally advised to stay in bed for the first few days following surgery. They may find it difficult to stand upright during this time. Surgical drains are generally removed seven to 10 days following surgery. They can expect to return to work within two weeks following surgery.

The advantage of an extended tummy tuck is that it is capable of removing excess skin from the stomach and flanks. In addition, weakened abdominal muscles are tightened and belly button is reshaped.

The Traditional Tummy Tuck

The traditional tummy tuck is similar to the extended tummy tuck, but requires a shorter incision. In this approach, loose skin on the stomach is addressed. Ideal candidates for traditional tummy tuck surgery have a moderate amount of loose skin on the stomach, but little excess skin on the flanks and back. This technique allows surgeons to tighten skin and abdominal muscles, and an additional incision can be made to reshape the belly button.

Mini Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck is recommended for patients who have a small amount of excess skin, fat, and tissue in the abdominal area.

In this procedure, a small incision is made just above the pubic hair line. Excess skin is removed. If there is excess fat, it can be removed using liposuction. Surgical drains are inserted, and the skin is sutured close.

Recovery time from a mini tummy tuck is generally much shorter than with an extended or traditional tummy tuck. Additionally, because the incision is smaller, scars will be much less noticeable. Patients can generally resume light activities within two to three days, and can return to work within one to two weeks following surgery.

By careful consultation and collaboration between the patient and surgeon, the best tummy tuck option can be chosen to give the patient the best possible results. Contact Jefferson Plastic Surgery in Philadelphia to schedule your consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.


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Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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