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close up photo of tummy before tummy tuck surgery

What are the different types of tummy tucks?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a popular cosmetic surgery aimed at improving the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat while also tightening the underlying muscles. However, not all tummy tucks are created equal. There are several variations of the procedure, each tailored to address specific concerns and achieve different results. 

Here, we explore the different types of tummy tucks, their unique characteristics, and the ideal candidates for each.

Traditional Full Tummy Tuck

The traditional or full tummy tuck is the most common type of abdominoplasty. This procedure involves a horizontal incision between the hip bones, just above the pubic area, and another around the navel to free it from surrounding tissue. The surgeon removes excess skin and fat, tightens the abdominal muscles, and repositions the navel for a natural look.

diagram of a full tummy tuck front view

  • Ideal Candidates: Individuals with significant excess skin, weakened or separated abdominal muscles (often due to pregnancy or substantial weight loss), and those seeking comprehensive abdominal contouring.
  • Recovery: The initial recovery period typically lasts about two to six weeks, with patients advised to avoid strenuous activities for eight weeks. Full recovery will take six months

Mini Tummy Tuck

A mini tummy tuck targets the lower abdomen below the navel and is less invasive than a full tummy tuck. It involves a smaller horizontal incision, and there is no need for a navel incision. The surgeon removes a smaller amount of skin and fat compared to a full tummy tuck and tightens the lower abdominal muscles.

diagram of a mini tummy tuck

  • Ideal Candidates: Individuals with a small amount of excess skin and fat localised below the navel, and those with relatively good skin elasticity and minimal muscle separation.
  • Recovery: The recovery time is shorter than a full tummy tuck and we advise around the two week mark for returning to work.

Belt Lipectomy – Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck is designed for patients with a significant amount of excess skin and fat that extends beyond the abdomen to the flanks (love handles) and lower back. The incision is longer, running from hip to hip and sometimes around the lower back.

  • Ideal Candidates: Individuals who have undergone massive weight loss resulting in excess skin around the abdomen, flanks, and lower back.
  • Recovery: Recovery is similar to a full tummy tuck but may take a bit longer due to the extensive nature of the surgery, typically requiring three to four weeks before resuming normal activities.


Liposuction is commonly used in conjunction with a Tummy Tuck as it helps to contour around the hips or the area above the belly button to help give a smoother and flatter result.

Which technique is right for me?

Choosing the most suitable type of tummy tuck depends on various factors, including: 

  • the amount and location of excess skin and fat 
  • muscle condition
  • your overall aesthetic goals. 

At MINKST you can be assured all doctors and surgeons we partner with are Australian qualified and highly experienced in the procedure and technique recommended. They all meet our stringent standards developed and overseen by our Medical Director, Dr Daniel Fleming who has more than 25 years of cosmetic surgery experience. 

Want to learn more? 

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