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

I've had 2 children and my stomach was very tight before then. I'm a fitness instructor so i'm in shape my body fat is in the normal and my weight is fine, i just have extra skin that hangs.

Doctor Answers 16

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck

In my opinion, a true mini tummy tuck with a short scar will not work for you.  The more loose skin that is present and the higher up on your abdomen the looseness extends, the longer the incision necessary to achieve a flat tummy.  This is true no matter if muscle tightening is necessary or not. 

In your photos, you have skin overhang extending out farther than the length of a traditional mini tummy tuck scar.  If you try to shorten the scar length in your situation, you will likely not be happy with the result and likely will need a second surgery.  It may be possible to do a full length abdominoplasty incision, but not make an incision around your umbilicus.  It would require a personal consultation to determine if this is possible because the surgeon will have to assess how much lower your umbilicus will be positioned.

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Mini Tummy-Tuck with Liposuction can be a Great Option

A mini tummy-tuck can be a great option for the right patient. Unfortunately, the techniques for mini tummy tuck can vary greatly depending on the surgeon, so it is important to understand which technique your plastic surgeon is recommending.  A mini tummy-tuck is usually best for patients who do not require repair of the abdominal muscles, which may be appropriate for you.  You can determine this for yourself by laying on your back, feeling your upper abdomen while doing a straight leg-lift with both legs.  If there is a bulge in your upper abdomen, then there is a separation (diastasis) of the muscles, which should be repaired through a modified or full tummy tuck. If the muscle does not bulge, then the excess fatty tissue may be removed by liposuction in combination with a mini tuck.  I have found, in some patients, that using the Avelar technique for a mini abdominoplasty (which involves liposuction combined with skin removal only)  that the results can be excellent without the downtime of a full tummy-tuck and eliminates the need for a drain following surgery. Based on your picture, your scar would be as long as the skin fold that currently exists but could be placed inside the bikini line.  Mini tucks don't always yield mini results. It is important for you to seek out a board- certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in body contouring and familiarity with some of the more advanced techniques . Good luck to you.

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Am I a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question and photos! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. Looking at your photos, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly.  A mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness in a small subset if patients. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. I would highly recommend continued diet and exercise prior to any consideration for body contouring as getting down to your ideal weight prior to the procedure will certainly give you the best results. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle will be needed in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

Once you are ready for the procedure, I would likely recommend a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening along with some liposuction to the hips/flanks for additional contouring. This would remove the excess skin/soft tissue and stretch marks while contouring your belly. You should consult with a plastic surgeon at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Mini-Tummy Tuck Good Candidate

You sound like a Great Tummy Tuck Candidate and congratulations for staying in shape as exercising your core abdominal muscles will make your Tummy Tuck result that much better. If indeed it is just excess skin then you may be a candidate for a "mini Tummy Tuck" or "Skin only" tummy tuck procedure. See a board certified plastic surgeon to see which is best for you.Here are some guidelines:

Women and men who have excess skin and/or fat around the abdomen which does not

respond to diet and exercise are candidates for abdominoplasty. Many patients complain

that they cannot flatten their abdominal muscles through exercise, which also means a

tummy tuck may be right for them. Abdominoplasty candidates have excess abdominal

skin which may sag, a disproportionate or protruding abdomen, weakened or separated

abdominal muscles, and/or excess fat concentrated in the abdomen.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck

Hello Sandy. Your abdomen seems to be in good shape based on your photograph, however, it's impossible to tell if you're a candidate for a mini tummy tuck. You would need to show us a lateral (side) photo to give us more information, and more importantly, you would need to be examined in person by a board certified plastic surgeon.

Mini tummy tucks only treat the abdominal skin and muscles below the belly button, and most people who need a tummy tuck need a full tummy tuck. So I would advise you to visit with at least one board certified plastic surgeon in order to make your decision.

I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

Mini tummy tuck is a good operation for the right patient.

It is impossible to know if you are a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck by your photo. I typically only offer mini tummy tucks to patients who have good quality upper abdominal skin that is not lax and when all the skinn laxity is in the lower half of the abdomen. a good test is to bend at the waist and see if you have a roll of skin that forms above your waist.

Laurie Casas, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

While you are thin and you have a pannus hanging you also have lose skin around the umbilicus. I am not a big fan of mini tummy tucks because most patients require tightening of the muscles above and below the umbilicus and are usually also botherd by lose skin above the umbilicus.  These are all best treated by a full tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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

The differences between the mini-tummy tuck and the full abdominoplasty, in terms of scars, are a slightly longer lower abdominal scar and a scar around the umbilicus with the full procedure.

In my experience patients are much more concerned about scars before surgery, whereas after surgery they are much more focused on having achieved the best possible correction.

I don't believe that many patients are ideally suited for mini-abdominoplasty. There is truth to the statement "mini procedure equals mini result."

You won't mind the small increase in scarring that comes with a full abdominoplasty, as long as you achieve the contour result you are looking for.

Good luck!


Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the photo. You are no doubt in very good shape as a fitness instructor. I believe the best result for you will be a full Tummy Tuck. It will allow the abdominal muscles to be tightened from pregnancy and result in a tight, "six pack" appearance to your abdomen. I always include liposuction of the hips and around to the back of the waistline(flanks) to contour the whole waist. The belly button can be made to look very natural. The scar, while longer than a Mini Tummy Tuck, can be kept very low, to hide under a bikini if so desired. A Mini tummy Tuck scar could leave puckering at the ends if a long enough dart is not taken to remove the excess skin. You should get a beautiful result and appear to be a very good candidate for a Tummy Tuck. Always visit with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and see lots of their pictures. Tummy Tucks are not all done the same. Best Wishes to you!

James A. Hoffman, MD
Saint Paul Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Full Tummy tuck vs. an extended mini-tuck

Thank you for your question and photo. It is impossible to give you a definitive opinion without a careful examination. However, based on the picture and the information you provided, I believe that the best procedure for you is probably an extended mini-tummy tuck.  It appears that you don't have a lot of excess skin above your umbilicus, therefore a full tuck will leave you with either a high scar or a lower transverse scar along with a vertical scar in the mid line. You do appear to have a lot of skin below your belly button which would not be adequately treated with a standard mini-tuck. An extended mini-tuck would leave a longer scar, but it could still be very low and the majority of the excess lower abdominal skin would be removed.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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.