Am I a Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I'm 31 have 2 kids and was informed I need a hernia repair. I asked my surgeon to take a look at my stomach and she cut me off and said "No she will repair the hernia but not touch the loose skin". Then was informed that stretch marks eventually go back to normal. It's been 3 years and they still haven't returned to normal so i'm a little confused by her comments. Am I a candidate for Mini Tummy Tuck? And do stretch marks ever go away?

Doctor Answers 5

Loose skin after hernia

You definitely are a candidate for a tummy tuck, but the question is how much looseness is there below the belly button. If there is significant, which there is, I think you would be better with a traditional tummy tuck which would make your abdomen flatter. The problem with too much loose skin and trying a mini tummy tuck is that either some loose skin will remain or the belly button can end up too low.

Tacoma Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck Candidate?

 Thank you for the question and picture. I do not think you are a good candidate for mini tummy tuck surgery.

A few words of caution for patients contemplating tummy tuck surgery may be in order:  In my opinion, the mini tummy tuck is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

You may find the attached link helpful to you as you educate yourself about the procedure. I have also attached some advice that I provide to my patients who are about to go tummy tuck surgery:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery. 
I hope this helps.

You are a candidate for a full tummy tuck

Although a photograph does not replace a full in person consultation, your picture seems to suggest that a full tummy tuck would be a much better option for you.  And if your hernia has not yet been repaired, it is easily done at the time of your tummy tuck (as we often do for our patients)

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 312 reviews

Am I a Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

You are on the border of a full tummy tuck vs a min tummy tuck. I think I would side with the FULL one. 

Am I a Candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck?

    Stretchmarks and loose skin will not go away.  A minitummy tuck will not produce the best result.  A tummy tuck will allow the loose skin to be fully removed.  You could consider liposuction of the sides as well to make the waist smaller.  Find a plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of tummy tucks and liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.