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Mini Vs. Full Tummy Tuck for Weight Loss Patient?

I am a 35 year old mom with 3 children. I am very self-conscious of the lax skin on my lower abdomen and can not wear a bikini because of the stretch marks and wrinkling around my belly button. I am in the process of losing weight and have noticed that the more weight I lose, the worse my belly looks.

I am 5' 4" and weigh 130 pounds and will lose 10 to 15 more pounds before considering a Tummy Tuck. From the picture, would a Mini Tummy Tuck or full tummy tuck be the best option? Thanks for your help!

Doctor Answers 11

Mini tummy tuck vs Full tummy tuck

Thanks for sharing your story and including photos.  The unfortunate part of cosmetic surgery is that there is no standard nomenclature for procedures.  The best solution is to go and see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who you are comfortable with.  He or she can then have an honest discussion with you after obtaining a history and physical exam to establish a course of action in terms of the amount of skin resection, fascial plication +/- liposuction, etc.  Please let us know how things are progressing for you.

Standard tummy tuck vs. mini tummy tuck

Based on the photo you provided, you would benfit significantly from a standard (full) tummy tuck. A standard tummy tuck would involve repair of the rectus muscles, which were stretched from pregnancy, and removal of excess skin and tissue. A mini tummy tuck would only involve work below the belly button area. This would not provide the best result.

Full tummy tuck vs mini tuck

 As you have seen from these answers, a mini tummy tuck has no role in your options for abdominal improvement.  You need a full tummy tuck to address your skin laxity issues.

Tummy tuck after weight loss

Hi, I would agree with the other surgeons in recommending a full tummy tuck. This will effectively flatten your entire abdomen.

A mini-tummy tuck will only remove the skin inferior to the belly button, so you would be left with wrinkling above that level. In addition, a full tummy tuck will allow your surgeon to tighten your muscles.

If the scar is placed low enough, you should be able to wear a regular bikini (not a string bikini) without a problem.

Good luck, nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck after weight loss

Now 6 out of 7 surgeons have recommended a FULL TUMMY TUCK. I'm the 6th in agreement for the better resultant full tummy tuck Good Luck.

Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty). Hands Down.

In your case ONLY a full abdominoplasty will deliver the cosmetic results you want and deserve. Your potential results would be outstanding.

Do NOT compromise and have a mini tummy tuck - the results will be disappointing.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Full tummy tuck best after weight loss

A mini tummy tuck has the advantage of a shorter scar and no scar around the belly button, but it only tightens skin in the lower abdomen.The standard tummy tuck improves the entire abdomen, and so when there is loose skin above the belly button then that is the way to go. From your picture I would predict that you would be disappointed with the mini.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy Tuck

I do both and think you would be disappointed with a mini. A full tummy tuck would give you your best result. Your best bet is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Jack Gelman, MD
Frankfort Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Mini tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck

The majority of your excess and scarred skin is in your mid-abdomen. A standard tummy tuck will remove all this skin and allow reconstruction of the belly button and repair of your muscle girdle.

There are specific problems where a mini-abdominoplasty can give good results, but usually it gives a less than optimal improvement to save a few inches of scar length in an area where it is not going to be visible. It is well worth the tradeoff.

Stanley G. Poulos, MD
Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Full tummy tuck.

A mini tummy tuck in you will give you a disappointing, mini result.  Go for a full tummy tuck and be certain that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.  Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.