Ask a doctor

Mini Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck?

I had a child 3 years ago & am now 22 years old. Im still considered a thin person but i have a little bit of loose skin & stretchmarks below my bellybutton. I also have a couple stretchmarks stemming from what was once a bellybutton ring scar. My problem areas r my bellybutton & my stretchmarks. I am wondering what surgery would be best for me; I am 5'5, 124 lbs. Would a mini tuck suffice? I was also wondering if there is a surgery focusing solely on repairing the bellybutton & marks above it?

Doctor Answers 17

Choosing the right kind of tummy tuck

An experienced body contouring surgeon can offer more choices than simply choosing between a mini and a full tummy tuck. Every patient has a somewhat unique problem that would require a specifically designed tummy tuck just for them. A number of factors need to be assessed; the skin, the muscle layer, the fatty layer, the belly button, the bony skeleton, etc. From the photograph it appears that you could benefit from a modified tummy tuck that could be done through a relatively small incision, incorporating liposuction, correction of your muscles all the way to the rib cage, floating your belly button inferiorly so as it tighten up your skin above the belly button. This is the type of a "designer" tummy tuck that does not follow a cookie cutter approach that chooses only between a mini and a full tummy tuck.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

VIDEO (click below) When you are in between a mini and a full tummy tuck: the midi or marriage.

A mini will not treat your upper abdominal skin. You may want to consider something in between a full and a mini. To understand this view the video below. The decision on which is best depends on your skin, fat, & muscle status.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Mini & Full Tummy Tuck Both Have Advantages/Disadvantages

It appears from your photo that you would get a nice result from a mini-TT.  Your umbilicus appears relatively high and you do not seem to have a lot of excess skin. This would result in either a higher transverse scar or a vertical scar in addition to the transverse scar.  The advantages of a mini-TT are the cost and the downtime primarily.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck?

Hello! 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. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle prior to the procedure and afterwards is recommended 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. This would remove the excess skin/soft tissue and stretch marks while contouring your belly. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. It will not address your abdominal wall and the tightening of such, frequently needed to achieve a shapely abdominal wall. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result. You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon well-versed in body contouring procedures 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 14 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck

Body contouring tends to be more than a bi polar choice as their tends to be a continuum and a number of surgical options targeted on where a patient falls on the continuum. Consult with 3 board certified plastic surgeons to understand your options, and choose one that best fits your needs/objectives.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Standard vs. mini-abdominoplasty

When evaluating an abdomen several factors must be examined
  1. Skin
  2. Subcutaneous fat
  3. Anterior abdominal wall laxity
  4. Intra-abdominal fat or visceral fat
If your skin has multiple stretch marks then liposuction may not be the best option. There are modifications of an abdominoplasty but in your particular case a standard abdominoplasty would be the best choice. This will flatten the abdominal bulge, contour the abdomen with liposuction of the trunk, flanks and posterior hips, and tighten the skin. The trade off is the scar. This is an individual decision for your to make after you weigh the risks and benefits. If you want to have a flat abdomen the trade off is the scar that can be hidden by your bathing suit or underwear. With proper planning the scar can be managed. Proactive scar care is vital to obtain an aesthetic result.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tummy Tuck May Not Be Best Option

To be honest, I don't think a tummy tuck would be necessary for you. You may want to consider micro needling, which can improve the appearance of stretch marks and scarring. Laser technologies may also help.

There is belly button surgery to improve the appearance of your navel. 

Consider 1540 laser not tummy tuck for belly button improvement

Thank you for your question. You look thin and do not have a lot of loose abdominal skin. I do not think that you have enough skin for a full tummy tuck.

A mini tummy tuck will not help the loose skin around your belly button and stretch marks. An umbilicoplasty will leave a terrible scar.

I suggest that you try a combination of 1540 erbium fractional non-ablative laser and Lux IR Deep skin tightening to improve your stretch marks and minimally tighten the skin around your belly button. Personally I would avoid scars on your abdomen

Mini vs. full tummy tuck

Based on the photos, I looks like a full tummy-tuck would be more beneficial. An in-office examination would be needed to make the final call.





Mini tummy tuck or full


  If you want to tighten your muscles, you need the full tummy tuck.  Your case certainly lends itself to a mini tuck for the lower abdomen.  This would not involve the movement of the belly button.

  For the revision of the belly button scar, you can sometimes have concentric circles around the belly button to get rid of some of the unsightly scars in this area.

  Ask your plastic surgeon.

         Steven M. Lynch, M.D.

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.