Follow-up - 3 children, work out a lot with little extra skin: Mini or Full Tummy Tuck? (photo)
Doctor Answers 6
Full tummy tuck for a flat tummy
You might be able to get by with a limited tummy tuck but you may also be disappointed if you don't get the results you were hoping for. A full tummy tuck is your best bet for a flat tummy and to remove the extra skin, fat and fix the laxity. To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery. I hope this helps.
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Mini vs Full tummy tuck
From your comments, it seems that a flat abdomen is what is desired.
A fully tummy tuck will give you the tightest abdomen and give you the option of tightening the under lying muscles. A full tummy tuck requires an incision around the belly button. If you don't have a lot of laxity, then you might end up with a small vertical scar between your current belly button and your abdominal scar. At the same time, you may want to add liposuction to the mix to reduce some additional fat to create a flat abdomen.
A second less invasive option is to consider the mini, float the belly button (disconnect it from the muscle and reattach it in the new location and then add liposuction. This has the advantage of not having the vertical scar and may work with you because you may not a need a lot of skin excision.
The mini without floating the umbilicus is another possibility, but the I would rely more on the liposuction to reduce the volume above the belly button.
Lastly, if you are trying to avoid a lower abdominal scar, then I would consider Slim Lipo or Smart Lipo as you can debulk the abdominal fat that you see when your hips are flexed, and get the added benefit of skin tightening. Overall, i would say your skin elasticity appears reasonable so adding a little tightening with the laser may be sufficient along with the volume reduction. It sounds like you had lipo in the past, but this doesn't preclude you from doing a similar procedure to add to the result.
Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck
A few words of caution for patients contemplating tummy tuck surgery may be in order: 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 for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to improve their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.
I hope this helps.
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Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck
It's hard to be sure without seeing you in person but you don't appear to have a lot of skin laxitiy especially above your belly button (which does look somewhat high). Your photos suggest some residual fat excess and it is difficult to tell about the muscle wall. Based on these factors I agree that a mini tummy tuck with floating and slightly lower your belly button and some addiotional liposuction to your abdomen could a reasonable option.
You will do fine with mini tuck and floating the belly button
Your belly button is high and you do not have enough tissue to do full tummy tuck. I would recommend liposuction, mini tuck and folat/lower the belly button. If you get regular mini tuck, the pull on the belly button will look abnormal. The lower of the belly button is down without any scar outside.Please check my web site for examples.
Tummy Tuck versus Mini Tuck
Based on your sitting down pictures, I would suggest a full tummy tuck. However without examining you in person, it is difficult to give you specific advice. The advantage of full tummy tuck is that the skin can be pulled tighter and any muscle diastasis (separation) can be fixed at the same time which will make your belly flatter and your waist narrower by tightening the muscles.
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.