A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure where abdominal contouring is performed through excess fat removal, skin trimming, and muscle tightening. The partial tummy tuck addresses extra tissue accumulation and loose tissues in the lower abdomen.

A Partial Tummy Tuck

A partial tummy tuck is typically performed under localized anesthesia and with a minimal incision. The length of the incision is the size of a C-section incision, depending on the amount of tissue to be removed. The single short incision allows access to a limited area of the abdomen.

After removal of the required amount of fat and tightening of the abdominal muscles, the skin is stretched downward and excess skin is trimmed. Since the procedure does not involve extensive skin removal, subsequent navel repositioning is not required. Once the procedure is complete, the incision is closed with sutures. A temporary drainage tube may be placed at the site of incision.

Partial Tummy Tuck vs. Traditional Tummy Tuck

The primary difference between the two procedures is the incision length. In the case of a partial tummy tuck, the incision length is smaller compared to that of the traditional tummy tuck. The traditional tummy-tuck incision extends from hip to hip.

The partial tummy tuck is specifically intended for correction of subtler stomach issues. Less skin and fat are removed, and a lesser degree of muscle tightening is performed.

Because the partial tummy tuck features a shorter incision and involves less alteration of the tissues, it is gentler on the body. The post-surgical recovery process is shorter and more comfortable, and it involves less bruising and swelling.

The end results of both techniques are distinctive. A partial tuck offers a tightened lower abdomen, while a full tummy tuck reshapes much more of the abdomen. In both cases, a noticeable tummy bulge is smoothed away to offer a flatter core.

When to Get a Partial Tummy Tuck

A partial tummy tuck is ideal for candidates who are in good shape but are still dealing with a slight tummy bulge. It is not recommended for women who are planning a pregnancy. In such situations, the abdominal fitness and tightness created by the partial tummy tuck is reversed when the skin expands to accommodate the growing baby.

Skin elasticity is a major factor that goes into determining the candidacy of a patient for a partial tummy tuck. Patients who want this procedure must be at their ideal weight and BMI with good skin elasticity. A BMI cut-off most surgeons consider is 30 or below. Before the surgery, care must be taken not to lose or gain more weight.


Patients who get a mini tummy tuck are discharged after a few hours. The recovery time for a partial tummy tuck is similar to that of liposuction. During recovery, it is common for the patient to experience pain and slight discomfort. Pain medication is prescribed for pain management.

In the few weeks immediately following the procedure, strenuous activities like intense physical exercise must be avoided so that proper healing can occur. A post-surgical garment will be worn for a time to aid in the healing process.

The results of a partial tummy tuck are considered permanent as long as the patient does not lose or gain additional weight.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

At Anson, Edwards & Higgins Plastic Surgery Associates, we provide a variety of aesthetic procedures to numerous satisfied patients. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for a partial tummy tuck.