Mini Tummy Tuck

The tummy tuck is the gold-standard treatment for removing excess skin from the abdomen to restore a flat, taut stomach.

For those who desire a flatter,tighter abdomen, but would prefer a shorter recovery time, the mini tummy tuck may be ideal. If sagging, stretched skin is limited to the area around your belly button, you may be best served by a mini tummy tuck.

A mini tummy tuck is a variation of abdominoplasty for patients who only need to remove excess skin and tighten muscles below the belly button. This technique variation can be very beneficial for patients who have an overall good physique, but the area below the belly button is not responding to diet and exercise.

At ArtfulSurgery, Dr. Elizabeth Lee approaches tummy tucks and mini tummy tucks in terms of what is most appropriate for the patient’s goals and body. With a surgeon’s hands and a woman’s touch, Dr. Lee provides each of her patients with top notch care.

A Mini Tummy Tuck is less invasive than a standard abdominoplasty and will, therefore, require less recovery time. However, it will not offer the same comprehensive results as a full tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck utilizes a small incision across the pubic line, similar to the incision used in a cesarean section, that can be easily covered up with a bathing suit or shorts. From this incision, muscles below the belly button can be tightened and excess skin can be removed in order to give the patient a more contoured and attractive stomach.

Ideal Candidates

Ideal patients for a mini tummy tuck have muscle and skin laxity below their belly button that is not responsive to diet and exercise. If they have muscle and skin laxity above their belly button as well, then they may be better suited for a full tummy tuck procedure.

While a mini tummy tuck procedure is faster and requires less recovery time than a full tummy tuck procedure, it is still a serious operation. Patients must be in good health prior to undergoing surgery. This means that they should be at a stable weight and be nonsmokers, as well as be able to heal properly.

Dr. Lee recommends that patients wait until they are done having children to undergo a tummy tuck operation.

Both men and women are good candidates for a mini tummy tuck, especially if they have lost weight and have excess skin that won’t “bounce back” to their newly contoured shape. It is also a popular procedure for mothers who are having trouble regaining their pre-baby belly. However, women who wish to undergo a tummy tuck should be aware that future pregnancies may reverse the results of their operation.

mini tummy tuck

In order to get a more accurate idea of what can be achieved with a tummy tuck, please feel free to look at our tummy tuck photographs in our gallery. Then, find out if you would be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck by requesting a consultation with Dr. Lee in the East Bay Area!

Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck utilizes a single incision that runs across the pubic line. The resulting scar is very easy to cover up and will fade over time. On the other hand, the full tummy tuck utilizes a longer incision running from hip to hip, as well as an incision around the belly button. A smaller scar will obviously be appealing to many patients, but it is important to keep in mind that the smaller incision will give Dr. Lee less access to the patient’s muscle wall and will, therefore, minimize the corrections that she can perform. 

Both a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck aim to give the patient a more toned and flatter stomach. However, the full tummy tuck will offer more comprehensive results than the mini tummy tuck. 

The smaller incision in a mini tummy tuck means that the corrections will take place below the belly button. The larger incisions utilized in a full tummy tuck allow Dr. Lee to access the abdominal muscle, tissue, and skin from the breast to the pelvis. For patients suffering from skin or muscle laxity in their upper abdomen, a full tummy tuck will be necessary to achieve their desired results.

Since the full tummy tuck offers such comprehensive results across the entire abdomen, it is often necessary to reposition the belly button during the procedure for natural-looking results. With a mini tummy tuck, the corrections are not so extreme that the belly button needs to be repositioned. 

Finally, the surgery and recovery time will be shorter with a mini tummy tuck than with a full tummy tuck. In general, patients are usually free to return to work from a mini tummy tuck in 5-7 days, while patients who undergo a full tummy tuck may require 10-14 days to recover. 

mini tummy tuck

In order to determine whether a patient would benefit most from a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck, it is important to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon who has thorough knowledge of and experience in both procedures. Potential tummy tuck patients can request a consultation with Dr. Lee either online or by calling our office in Lafayette, CA.

Mini Tummy Tuck Procedure

At ArtfulSurgery, a mini tummy tuck is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Outpatient procedures mean you will come in the morning for your procedure and be able to return home afterward and recover in the comfort of your own home. Since the patient will be anesthetized, they should make arrangements for somebody else to pick them up following the surgery and drive them home.

The procedure typically takes 1 to 3 hours, depending on the extent of the case.

In some cases, Dr. Lee may need to perform liposuction on the patient’s lower abdomen if they have stubborn fat deposits that need to be removed. Then, Dr. Lee will reposition the tissue and muscle layers to provide more contour. She may utilize internal sutures to keep the muscles together and improve definition.

Once the lower abdominal wall has been tightened, then she will close the incision with sutures. The skin will also be tightened and excess will be removed. The patient will be taken to a recovery room where Dr. Lee’s caring and comforting staff will be on-hand to help them wake up from anesthesia and with anything else they need following surgery.

Alternative Procedures

Patients who do not suffer from skin laxity, but just stubborn fat in their abdomen that isn’t responding to diet and exercise may not require a tummy tuck. Instead, they may benefit from CoolSculpting®.

CoolSculpting® is a state-of-the-art, non-surgical technique that allows patients to eliminate stubborn fat cells from their body without the need for an invasive surgery and no need for any recovery time. The CoolSculpting applicator targets and freezes fat cells, resulting in their destruction. Then, the dead fat cells are naturally processed out of the body. This safe procedure can be performed in our office in less than an hour


By scheduling a consultation at ArtfulSurgery, you will have the ability to meet one-on-one with Dr. Lee to find out how a mini tummy tuck, or other procedure, could revolutionize your body and life.

Dr. Lee will ask you about your concerns with your appearance and what you specifically would like to change. She will conduct an examination and ask you about your medical history in order to determine whether or not you would be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck. 

If you are a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck, then Dr. Lee will work closely with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

This will include picking the surgery date, proper preparation and recovery instructions, and the cost of the treatment. In some cases, Dr. Lee may suggest ancillary procedures that will help you achieve your desired results.


Following a mini tummy tuck operation, patients should expect there to be some bruising and swelling around the operational site. They will be provided with a recovery garment that will help minimize these side effects and aid in the healing process. They can also expect some discomfort, which can be minimized with an over-the-counter medication, like Tylenol, or a prescription medication provided by Dr. Lee.

If you work a low-impact office type of job, you may return to work within 2 weeks. During this time, they can do some light exercise, such as walking, in order to reduce the chance of blood clots. However, it is important the patient avoids strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least three weeks.

At the time of the consultation, once Dr. Lee has drafted up a detailed surgical plan for the patient, she will also be able to provide them with more personalized instructions for recovery. 

Patients should plan on taking approximately a week off from work in order to allow the body to heal properly.

*Individual Results May Vary


Dr. Lee requires all patients to come back in for a follow-up appointment after their surgery. During the follow-up appointment, she will make sure that the patient is healing according to plan. She will also remove sutures or replace any bandages, as necessary.

ArtfulSurgery Mini Tummy Tuck Follow Up Lafayette California Bay area

The follow-up appointment is the final step to getting results that you love. However, you should feel free to call Dr. Lee at any time about your mini tummy tuck procedure or with any other questions that you may have. Dr. Lee works hard to make long-lasting relationships with her clients, so they feel comfortable coming to her for the number of subjects in which she has expertise.

Please contact our office in the East Bay to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you!

*Individual Results May Vary

Book Your Appointment Today!

3800 Mt Diablo Blvd #102
Lafayette, CA 94549

(925) 299-1985


Will a Mini Tummy Tuck Hold Up?

A mini tummy tuck will hold up as long as a full if you are the right candidate for a smaller procedure. A mini tummy tuck improves things below the belly button. A mini tummy tuck is a smaller version of the full abdominoplasty. The incision is shorter, less skin is removed, and muscle tightening is only done below the belly button. If the muscles above the belly button are in good shape and you don't have much excess skin, a mini may be just right.

Mini Tummy Tuck Straight After C-section?

Yes it can be done. If this is your last baby and you had stretched out skin after your previous pregnancies, an immediate tummy tuck can be done after a scheduled c-section. Proceed with caution. It is probably not a good idea to schedule a c-section just so that you can have a tummy tuck at the same time. You should be planning a c-section for the health of you and your baby. You should be sure that the hospital where you are delivering, your OB-GYN, and the anesthesiologist are all comfortable with this combination of procedures. And you should have a surgeon experienced with tummy tuck do the tummy tuck. It is probably not a great idea to have the OB do the tummy tuck if he or she has not had plastic surgery training. Combining these procedures does increase the risk of certain postoperative complications such as infection or vein clots in the legs, but not hugely. My tummy tuck patients are done on an out patient basis so your hospitalization will be determined by your c-section. Barring complications you should go home with the baby when the OB-GYN feels you are safe, the same as if you had only a c- section. My patients have felt that they have friends and family ready to help with the new baby, but would not have that help or be able to take time away from their families if the tummy tuck were done later. The patients I have operated on have not felt that the tummy tuck made the recovery much different than their previous c-sections, and all in all, they have been pleased to have had the opportunity to take care of that stretched out belly at the same time as the delivery. You should be healthy and have a medical team comfortable with this process. If you have that support in place, this combination of procedures can be safely done and result in a great outcome.

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