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Mini Vs. Full Tummy Tuck; Am I Good Candidate for Mini?

I am 5'8 about 155lbs 22 years old. I had a c section 3 years ago and working out just isn't fixing the problem. My goal weight is 140-135lbs. I read that if your within 20lbs from your goal weight you might be a good caudate for a mini. Also if you can suck in your tummy and it becomes relatively flat than you shouldn't need muscle repair. I personally don't think I need muscle repair. Do I look like a good candidate for a mini?

Doctor Answers (15)

Another Option?


Thank you for your pictures. It appears that you have several issues

1.  You do have some fat I think liposuction would be helpful.

2.  I do think you have some muscle weakness and tightening of the muscle would be helpful.

3.  It doesn't appear that you have very much skin for removal. 

An examination would really tell what your issues may be but based on the pictures liposuction and endoscopic repair of the muscles may be helpful.  A rare group of patients are candidates for this procedure.

Dr. ES

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Liposuction and weight loss may be all that you need instead of a Tummy Tuck


Thank you for your question. From your photograph you appear to be young, with good skin, and not a lot of loose skin. I do see fat beneath the skin, and the most common cause of protrusion of the abdomen is fat around the intestines inside your abdomen which will not be corrected with a Tummy Tuck.

There is little doubt that further weight loss will definitely help you and weight loss will reduce the fat inside your abdomen. Because I do not see a lot of loose skin if there is significant fat beneath the skin after your weight loss then laser liposuction might be a better option.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini vs full tummy tuck


 Few patients are actually good candidates for a mini abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. Based on the pictures and description, you happen to be one of them it seems. The mini abdominoplasty with plication of your abdominal muscles as well as liposuction of your flanks and umbilical float will likely give you a very pleasing aesthetic results.

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Mini Vs. Full Tummy Tuck; Am I Good Candidate for Mini?


Wherever you read about the 20 lbs and the "sucking in your muscle....", you either misread the information or it was pure nonsense that somebody put up on the internet.  Many factors go into deciding weather you can benefit from a "mini" tummy tuck.  As a matter of fact there are very few people who are real suitable candidates for a mini TT, and you most certainly are not one of them.  You need to consult an experienced plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, who can guide you in the right direction.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
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You would be disappointed by a mini tummy tuck.


There are few indications for a mini tummy tuck. If you abdominoplasty will fix your abdominal wall, remove excess fat, and remove excess skin as well. Anything short of that will probably lead to disappointment.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
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When to have a mini vs full tummy tuck


As you know an in-person exam is the only way to get specific advice,  but here are the general guidelines: A mini-abdominoplasty will not improve the skin tone of the upper abdomen especially after fat removal. Sometimes when the umbilicus (belly button) is high (as it appears to be in the photo) then a variant called umbilical float can help. The need for muscle plication needs to be based on physical exam, but if it isn't necessary then your recovery will be faster. What you don't want to do is have a mini if there is any question of whether the full would be better, especially if laser lipo is part of it since the scarring will make it difficult to have the full tummy tuck later.

Richard Baxter, MD
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Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck


It is difficult to give definitive advice without a physical exam.  I do not think there are any reliable rules about tummy tuck options based on weight or ability to tighten your muscles.  Every patient is different and each patient needs to be evaluated individually.  The decision about which tummy tuck is best will depend primarily on the laxity of your skin and whether it is located above or below your navel or both as well as the laxity of your muscle layer.  Most women who have had children are better served by a full abdominoplasty although that is a generalization.  See a board certified plastic surgeon for an exam and consultation.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mini Vs. Full Tummy Tuck; Am I Good Candidate for Mini?


       There are many variants on the tummy tuck and minitummy tuck.   In your case, fascial plication or muscle tightening along with minitummy tuck to remove skin in combination with liposuction will produce the best result.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks, minitummy tucks, and liposuction procedures each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
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Mini versus full tummy tuck


In general a full tummy tuck beats the pants off a mini in almost every instance. A mini tuck will give you a mediocre result compared to the full tuck.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Mini-tuck? Hoping for Maxi results?


Liposuction removes fat (deflates loose skin, making it looser, and dependent on the inherent elasticity of the previously-stretched skin for any kind of reasonable result). That's why evaluation of the location and amount of fat, in conjunction with the underlying muscle tone and overlying skin elasticity is needed to answer whether or not lipo alone is helpful. And, of course, there is still that intra-abdominal contents component, and just how much stretch your abdominal wall (such as with pregnancy or previous increased wieght) was subjected to.

Muscle repair is almost always beneficial (which is indeed different from "needed"), and a mini tummy tuck usually does not involve muscle repair above the umbilicus. See how many women here on RealSelf ask about the "bulge above their umbilicus" after even "regular" full tummy tuck when complete and proper muscle repair is not done!

It is seductive to think of the reduced cost and the shorter scar associated with a mini tummy tuck. But when the incision is too short, dog ears result, and you know waht the solution for dog ears is??? (HINT: It's excising the dog ears and making the incisions longer on each side, which is what should have been done in the first place.)

Then there's the tethering of the umbilicus with a mini, making it look weird, or the umbilical "float" with the mini, making it look unnaturally low (also very weird). There's a reason full abdominoplasties have umbilical transposition, muscle repair, and long(er) incisions to remove all the loose skin--it's an inherently better operation for the majority of women!

Without a personal examination I would not totally discount a "mini" in your case, but in general, this is an operation that appeals to patients but has little application for most women with your anatomy. Get a few more opinions from ABPS-certified plastic surgeons with lots of experience. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 123 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.