Will I Get Good Results with a Mini Tummy Tuck?

I was prepared for the stretch marks from pregnancy, but not the sagging skin and permanent "muffin top" look that I have when wearing tighter clothes. I don't like the invasive nature of a full tummy tuck, and don't need my stomach to be perfectly flat and smooth. I just want the saggy skin at the base of my belly gone, and things to be a little firmer so there is less bulge when my clothes show my tummy outline. Would a mini tummy tuck be a good option, or would it look worse?

Doctor Answers (14)

Mini tummy tuck?

+2

No you are not a good candidate for the mini tummy tuck procedure.

 In my opinion, the mini tummy talk 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.

It is important to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 710 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck Expectations

+2

A mini tummy tuck may be a good option for you. It certainly will not make you look worse, but it may not be as much of an improvement as you are hoping for. A mini tummy tuck tightens only the skin from the belly button to the incision at the lower abdominal skin fold. It does not tighten the skin above the belly button, and it does not tighten the muscle/fascia of the abdominal wall. Those two additional steps are the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini. If your skin is loose and sagging above the belly button or if the bulging of your abdomen is due to laxity of the muscle/fascia in addition to the skin, then a mini may not give you as much improvement as you are looking for. If the skin is sagging only below the belly button, and the muscle and fascia is tight, then a mini may be exactly what you need. 

Max Polo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Mini- versus Full Tummy-tuck

+2

From looking at your photos, I would have to agree with the opinions you received above.  You are an ideal candidate for a full tummy-tuck +/- liposuction.  You already have a crease along the area where the scar from an abdominoplasty would be placed.  In addition, the "bulging" of your abdomen would be exaggerated significantly if you only addressed the lower area.  The difference in recovery is not significant between the two procedures so that shouldn't be an issue.

Theodore Diktaban, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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Mini tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck in Atlanta

+2

After a detailed review of your photos and questions, you will benefit from a full tummy tuck. A mini tuck may not address some of your concerns. The length of the incision may be the same, but a full tuck will remove more excess skin and stretch marks, flatter tummy, and give you a longer result. When combined with liposuction, a full tummy tuck will improve your curves and shape better.

Basically, it is better to discuss your concerns with a board certified Plastic surgeon who can give you an honest opinion. Go to your consultation with an open mind and listen to your surgeons recommendations. Make sure your surgeon is a trained board certified Plastic surgeon. There is a difference between a "board certified physician", "Cosmetic surgeon", and a board certified Plastic surgeon. Do your research and know the difference.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Mini tummy tuck vs tummy tuck

+2

Based on your pictures and comments, a mini tummy tuck is unlikely to give you the results you desire. The extent of the loose skin in your lower abdomen suggest you will need a longer incision to correct the problem. The abdominal bulging will be hard to improve with a mini tummy tuck.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Ohio Plastic Surgeon
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Choose a full tummy tuck

+2

There are alot of misconceptions about the different types of abdominal contoring procedures.  Skin only procedure as you have described, mini-tummy tuck or full tummy tuck may leave you with virtually the same horizontal scar in terms of length and location.  A full abdominoplasty you will add a scar line around your belly button. On the other hand, I believe you are a good candidate for a full tummy tuck because your muscle weakness seems to extend above the umbilicus. A mini-tummy tuck with only a partial muscle repair may create a greater fullness in the upper abdomen. I have never regretted performing a full tummy tuck when it comes to muscle contour. In my experience there is not a significant difference in time of full recovery between a partial vs full muscle repair. There is clearly less recovery if no muscle repair is done at all, but not necessarily scar length or quality.

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
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Mini Abdominoplasty? Mini often Does Mini!

+2

Min does mini.  If you have a mini abdominplasty you will have a mini result.   If you can accept a mini improvement, then you may be mini happy.  Mini procedures done when the full abdominoplasties are indicated usually end in disappointment.  You will benefit from, and really will be best served by far with a standard abdominoplastuy.  Moder techniques with pain pump use and limited dissection is really quite easy.  Patients get back to work and function in 7 to 10 days.  Good luck,   Dr commons.

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Full tummy tuck vs mini-tummy tuck for "muffin top" after pregnancy

+2

From looking at your photos, you will really benefit far greater from a full abdominoplasty with a bit of liposuction in the hip area than you can with a mini. Even if you remove half of the tissue between your umbilicus and pubis, along the natural curve that has developed, the scar length itself will be almost the same length as one with a full tummy tuck, so there is no distinct advantage from that standpoint. Even with combined liposuction of the upper abdomen, you are still going to have laxity in the peri-umbilical area and above. Also if you are trying to achieve a nice flat silhouette, then you should have plication of your rectus fascia.

In other words you will not get anywhere near your ideal result with a mini tummy tuck versus a full. Hope this helps.

William F. DeLuca Jr, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

You will be unhappy with a mini tummy tuck

+2

Beacuse your upper abdominal muscles look lax on the side view and because you have some extra skin above the umbi, the result from a mini TT will not satisfy you if you want a great looking flat tummy.  Also, the scar from a mini is NOT SHORT and the recovery is basically the same as from a full TT.  Mini's are a rare breed.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

You have to be a good candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck...

+2

A Mini tummy tuck is when a bikini line incision is made and the skin from the lower abdomen, below the umbilicus, is tightened.  A full tummy tuck normally utilizes an incision made in the bikini area, but from hip to hip.  The skin is then elevated up to the ribcage, your surgeon will then tighten your abdominal muscles and remove the excess skin, leaving you with a beautifully flat upper and lower abdomen.

With that said, looking at your photos, I would think that you would need a full tummy tuck and would not be a good candidate for a mini to achieve the best results.  You have some sagging skin above the umbilicus and would need some abdominal muscle tightening. Of course, make an appointment with your surgeon so he may examine you.

Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.