Mini. I love that word. Mini connotes cute. Mini skirts, the mini car, mini M&Ms. Adorable.

So who doesn’t want mini facelifts and mini tummy tucks?

A mini tummy tuck is not a tummy tuck. There is a place for it, but the application is limited. A mini tummy tuck involves removing skin and fat below the belly button only. If you have no issue with loose skin above the belly button and have tight muscles, then the mini is a good way to get rid of the extra little pooch of skin from the lower belly.

I find most of my mini patients come from two categories:
1. skinny women who get the muffin top when they wear tight lowrider jeans.
2. more overweight women who have thicker fat who need aggressive liposuction, but will end up with some loose skin in the lower belly if we don’t tighten it up a bit.

A benefit is you can position the scar as low as you want, and there is no scar at the belly button. But there is a scar, and the more skin you remove, the longer the scar will be. Sometimes the “mini” scar is not much smaller than a true tummy tuck scar.

Recovery from a mini tummy tuck is as expected- It is mini too. It is not very painful (woo hoo! Those real tummy tucks can hurt. So you Bay Area girls can get back to working out faster), because mini tummy tucks do not tighten the muscles.

So, are you a candidate for the mini? If your skin is only loose below the belly button, you don’t have much diastasis (separation of the muscles), and you scar well, it may be a good option for you.

But sometimes mini isn’t better to get what you want.