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Mini Tummy Tuck - Overview

Excess skin around the midsection can be a real problem area for patients. A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical method to remove excess fat and skin from the tummy area and works to help redefine the lower abdomen. The procedure is sometimes necessary for patients that cannot achieve a flat, well-toned stomach with diet and exercise alone.

Triple-board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Leo Lapuerta offers several variations of abdominoplasty surgery in Houston, Katy, and Pearland, TX, including the mini tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck is an altered version of a full tummy tuck and is used on patients who do not necessarily need to undergo the full procedure.

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  • Feb 17, 2019
Friendly, professional staff. Punctual. Dr. La Puerta does great work. Taking his time to understand what you want and executing accordingly. Highly recommend him.

Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure

The technique used for a mini tummy tuck in Houston is similar to that of a full abdominoplasty. However, with a mini version, the incision is smaller and the area addressed will only be the area under the belly button. Liposuction is usually used during this procedure to remove excess fat and contour the waistline. The excess skin that remains will be pulled tight so that the tummy has a new toned, flat appearance. Unlike a full tummy tuck, the belly button is unaffected. Scarring, while it does exist, is minimal and is easily concealed under a bathing suit or undergarments.

A mini tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility and typically takes around 2 hours to complete. Dr. Lapuerta’s office features its own on-site accredited operating room and surgical facility, giving his patients access to the highest quality accommodations.

No longer forced to “suck it in,” patients love their results and feel that their abdomen looks and feels more toned and fit. The results following a mini tummy tuck can be visible for years unless a pregnancy or significant weight gain occurs, both of which could compromise the results of the surgery.

Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck

The differences between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck are important to understand. Both a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck will reduce excess skin, fat, and tissue in the lower abdomen. Both will produce a flatter, more toned stomach, as well as a more feminine waistline. The important thing to understand when considering a mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck is not necessarily the final outcome that is desired, but rather the amount of excess skin, fat, and tissue present that will need to be removed to achieve the desired final outcome.

With a Mini Tummy Tuck vs a Full Tummy Tuck:

  • Only a small amount of skin, fat, and tissue is removed
  • The belly button remains in its original position and is not moved
  • Only the abdominal wall muscles located below the belly button will be pulled together with sutures
  • The incision is shorter 
  • The area above the belly button will not show any improvement or change

Candidates for a Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck is perfect for both men and women who are in good shape but still battle an unwanted pooch in their midsection. Any loose or excess skin and fat should primarily be concentrated between the belly button and pubic bone for the best results. A mini tummy tuck candidate should also have relatively good skin tone to help aid a healthy healing process, and should not be planning a future pregnancy or drastic weight loss.

Patients with moderate to larger amounts of excess skin, fat, and tissue will better be served by a full tummy tuck and are not considered a suitable mini tummy tuck candidate. Similarly, patients with excess tissue or stretch marks above the belly button and patients who experience stomach distention or “pooching” after eating are also better suited for a full tummy tuck.

A potential mini tummy tuck candidate should also be in good overall health and have a good understanding of what to expect both during and after the procedure. Dr. Lapuerta will sit down with the patient during a consultation and clearly communicate the treatment plan and expected results, making sure the patient is fully aware of what is to come.

Mini Tummy Tuck After C-Section

Combining a mini tummy tuck with a C-section is not advised. Besides the possibility of complications and the difficulty of recovering from pregnancy and plastic surgery simultaneously, the best results are seen in patients who are back to their desired weight and physical condition prior to a mini tummy or a full tummy tuck. Therefore, patients should wait until after their body has fully recovered from pregnancy and have no plans to get pregnant again before undergoing the procedure.

Additionally, many women experience a separation of the abdominal wall fascia, which is a piece of tissue that holds the abdominal wall muscles close together. Pregnancy puts stress on this fascia tissue, and in many women, this tissue is permanently damaged after giving birth. Patients are left with a separation of their abdominal muscles that cannot be repaired or improved with any diet or amount of exercise. Patients will notice that their stomach looks “ok” most of the time but will protrude, distend, or “pooch” after meals. This is because their abdominal wall muscles are separated, and only a tummy tuck can repair this problem.

Mini Tummy Tuck Recovery

Immediately following surgery, there will be some swelling, bruising, and soreness of the abdomen. It is also natural to have a temporary change in the way the area feels during their mini tummy tuck recovery. Patients can expect to be back on their feet the day after the surgery and can return to work in two weeks. While shorter than the recovery from a full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck recovery will still generally take somewhere between four and six weeks. After four to six weeks, patients are usually given clearance to resume exercise and other strenuous activities.

Following the procedure, there will be a mini tummy tuck scar. However, an experienced and skilled surgeon will strategically make their incision so that the scar will not be visible to the average individual. The mini tummy tuck scar will not be visible if the patient is wearing underwear, a bathing suit, or any other kind of clothing. Additionally, over time the scar will fade and become less visible.

Expected Mini Tummy Tuck Cost

Abdominoplasty continues to be a popular choice for men and women seeking a flatter and tighter stomach following weight loss and pregnancy. Since a mini tummy tuck is a less extensive surgery than a full abdominoplasty, the cost will be a little less. Most patients can expect a mini tummy tuck to cost between $5,000 and $7,500.

However, each individual case will vary, and the only way to get an accurate quote for the expected mini tummy tuck cost is to request a consultation with Dr. Lapuerta. Dr. Lapuerta will meet with the patient and partner with them to determine the best way to meet their goals. Once a treatment plan is determined, Dr. Lapuerta can provide the patient with the expected mini tummy tuck cost. Contact Dr. Lapuerta today to schedule a consultation.


  • Recovery Time
  • 1-2 Weeks
  • Average Procedure Time
  • 2-3 Hours
  • Post-op Follow-up
  • 1 Week
  • Procedure Recovery Location
  • Outpatient


What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A mini tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that can help patients get rid of excess fat, skin, and tissue in their midsection and stomach. A mini tummy tuck is an altered version of a full tummy tuck surgery, making it a perfect procedure for individuals with mild to moderate hanging skin and fat in their abdominal region.
How Much Does a Mini Tummy Tuck Cost?
The cost of a mini tummy tuck can vary based on the unique needs of each patient, but in general, the procedure costs between $5,000 and $7,500.
What Does a Mini Tummy Tuck Scar Look Like?
A mini tummy tuck scar is typically located on the lower area of the belly and is somewhere between four and eight inches long. The scar will extend horizontally across the abdomen and will be strategically placed so that the scar is hidden when wearing underwear or a bathing suit. The scar should visibly fade over time, as an experienced plastic surgeon will carefully make all incisions in such a way as to reduce future scarring.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Mini Tummy Tuck?
Mini tummy tuck recovery typically takes around four to six weeks. After four to six weeks, patients can resume vigorous physical activities and return to their normal, everyday life with no restrictions. Patients can expect to return to work and most activities after only two weeks of mini tummy tuck recovery time.
How Painful Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
During the procedure, patients will be under anesthesia, so they should feel no pain. A mini tummy tuck is a less extensive procedure than a full tummy tuck, and as a result, there should be less discomfort following the surgery. Any pain or discomfort will be managed with prescription pain medication in order to make sure the patient is as comfortable as possible.
What’s the Difference Between a Mini Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?
Liposuction is a procedure that removes fat only, and is a good surgery choice for patients who have good skin tone and tight abdominal muscles. However, it will not benefit those who have sagging skin. When a patient comes to see us for the first time, we will work together to learn the patient’s aesthetic goals and review the procedures that might help meet those goals. For some, even a little hanging skin may warrant a mini tummy tuck.
Can You Have a Mini Tummy Tuck If You’ve Had a C-Section?
Women who have had a C-section will typically have a scar that runs horizontally in the lower abdomen. During a mini tummy tuck, an incision will be made very close to the C-section incision. Once the loose skin is trimmed away and the area is pulled tight, the two incisions are essentially combined into one, which will allow for only one scar to remain. This scar will still be located in an area that will be hidden by undergarments and a bathing suit bottom.
Can You Have a Mini Tummy Tuck If You Get Pregnant?
Abdominoplasty surgery should probably be delayed until after all pregnancies have been completed. The goal of a tummy tuck procedure is to tighten the abdominal wall. Getting pregnant after a tummy tuck may spoil the surgical results.
Leo Lapuerta Plastic Surgery