Each of these addresses different types of abdomens. Some fortunate souls go through pregnancy with minimal stretching of the abdominal skin and have only some rounding of the abdominal muscles. Those women are the candidates for a mini tummy tuck.
I make a small incision above the pubic area (about the size of a c-section scar) and work the skin and fat up off of the abdominal muscles all the way up to the breast bone “floating” the belly button in the process. I then repair the abdominal muscles and sew the skin and belly button back down.
Mini tummy tucks are fairly uncommon, as pregnancy stretches both skin and muscle in most women. If the skin above the belly button is fairly tight, you become a candidate for a modified tummy tuck.
A modified tummy tuck involves a scar the goes from hip bone to hip bone. The skin and fat is again elevated off of the muscle and the muscle tightened. This time, however, some of the skin below the belly is removed.
Modified tummy tucks are also fairly uncommon. For every hundred tummy tucks I do, I do about 10 modified tummy tucks and one mini tummy tuck.
Why? Most pregnancies stretch the abdominal skin globally and women come in with looseness both above and below the belly button. To tighten the upper abdominal skin, I need to make an incision about the same size as for the modified tummy tuck and the procedure is, for the most part, the same. The main difference is the belly button.
In a full tummy tuck, I leave the belly button attached at its base and cut around it at the skin level. When the skin is pulled tight, the belly button “stalk” is popped through the new skin – making what looks like a new belly button.