Mini Tummy Tuck Scar Vs. Full Tummy Tuck Scar?

Is it possible to avoid a scar with a mini tummy tuck? I've heard that it doesn't entirely go away. Is the scar from a full tummy tuck more noticeable than from a mini tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers (21)

Mini tummy tuck scar vs full tummy tuck scar?

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Thank you for your question! 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. It will 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. 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.

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. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result. The scar is often shorter than with a full tummy tuck.  Best wishes!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Scarring Following Abdominoplasty

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Sometimes a mini tummy tuck scar is not as long as a full tummy tuck scar.There are a number of patients who require the same length of scar in the performance of a full or mini abdominoplasty.Just because it is a shorter scar it should not be expected to be less visible than a longer scar.Achieving fine line scars is dependent on many factors.These factors include the expertise of the surgeon, the quality of the skin, and the possible occurrence of any postoperative complications.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck scar vs. Full Tummy Tuck Scar?

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Having a mini tummy tuck does not exempt you from the hip to hip incision necessarily. You may be a candidate for a mini, but only with a focused physical examination by your Surgeon to evaluate skin elasticity and amount and with the understanding that the length of your scar will be very similar to a formal tummy tuck procedure. 

Pamela Gallagher, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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Mini Tummy Tuck Scar Vs. Full Tummy Tuck Scar?

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The scar from a mini tummy tuck is usually shorter because less tissue is removed.  However both scars when properly closed will heal with a small line scar.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Scars mini vs. full tummy tuck

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You cannot avoid a scar for a mini or a full, but 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 bothered 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

Mini vs. full abdominoplasty

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Both procedures have to leave a scar, because the scar allows the surgeon to remove loose skin.  Without a scar, the best a surgeon could do would be to firm up the muscles with imbricating sutures.  A mini abdominoplasty will also shorten the scar to some degree, and may also spare having to have a scar around the belly button.  If a scar had to be made around the umbilicus( belly button) it would not be to relocate or move the belly button.  Having a scar is much less important than having the significant improvement that a tummy tuck would offer.

Francis (Frank) William Rieger, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Mini tummy tuck, mini abdominoplasty

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there is always a scar.   mini tummy tucks vary in what actually are.   some are smaller incisions and remove only skin.  some have lipo,  some tighten the lower abdominal muscles.

all scars will fade with time but there is always something,  the mini is usually shorter

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Mini vs full abdominoplasty

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Both mini and full abdominoplasty leave scars and the full abdominoplsty scar is almost always longer than the one from a mini. All scars are permanent though they do fade with time. I have never been able to predict how noticeable a scar will be; some are barely visible, others will keloid--although that is unusual from an abdominoplasty.

It is more important that you choose the operation that will give you the best results given your anatomy and goals. You should seek a consultation with a  board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss this and be sure to mention your concern about scarring. It is a factor which should be considered though it should not be the only one. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck and Scarring

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Both mini and full tummy tuck surgeries require the use of a scar to remove your excess skin. There is no way in which these procedures can be done without a scar. Most of these, however, tend to heal remarkably well and are easily concealed in most clothing. The determination as to whether you need a full or mini tummy tuck is based upon your anatomy and the amount of excess skin you possess. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine your options.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Mini Tummy-Tucks Are an Excellent Option for the Appropriate Candidates

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A mini tummy-tuck is an excellent option for individuals with an abdominal bulge due to muscle weakness, fat accumulation, and mild skin laxity. With this procedure, liposuction is performed, the muscles are tightened, and a small amount of skin is removed. The procedure is termed "mini" due to the fact that less skin is removed and the scar is slightly shorted than that of a full tummy-tuck. As a mini tummy-tuck removes less skin than a full tummy-tuck, there is less tightening of the abdomen compared to a full tummy tuck. The incision of both mini and full tummy-tuck are designed low in the bikini line to be hidden by even minimal clothing. A full tummy tuck will give a better result when:

1 There is more than just a little bit of looseness, especially after pregnancies or weight loss.

2. Significant abdominal muscle weakness due to separation (diastasis)

3. Stretch marks in the lower abdomen.

4. Distortion of the belly-button

5. Significant fatty accumulation is the abdomen requiring more liposuction.

The incision for a full tummy tuck is slightly longer than that of a mini, but the abdomen is much tighter. Mini tummy tuck is an excellent option for candidates who meet these criteria. For the majority of women, a full tummy tuck is a better option. On this site, the patient satisfaction rate for a tummy tuck is 93%. This compares to 80 % for mini tummy-tucks. A mini tummy-tuck is an excellent option for an appropriate candidate. The difference in satisfaction rates most likely represents our attempts to stretch the indications and offer a mini-tummy tuck for individuals who would have done better with a full tummy tuck. I would recommend a consultation with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon,

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.