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Which would you recommend a Mini or Full Tummy Tuck? (photos)

I have had a consultation for full tummy tuck and the doc said I would have a vertical scar that would be in addition to the horizontal scar because my skin wouldn't stretch around the belly button area to the horizontal scar. I really feel as if a mini tummy tuck would give me the results I want except I want my belly button to have the extra skin on the top removed so it doesn't look as if its sagging. Do you have any recommdations? Also the doc said he didn't think muscle repair was necessary.

Doctor Answers (10)

Mini or Full Tuck?

+3

Without an exam, I can't tell with certainty whether you have enough skin excess to have a TT without needing the small vertical incision you mention.  Based on the side view, I do think a muscle repair should be part of the plan. 

A mini-TT would not address the excess skin above the navel. If there is not enough upper abdominal tissue for a full TT without requiring the vertical incision, another option would be a reversed TT, where the incision is in the breast fold. I can't tell from the photos, but you may already have one with your breast lift. Otherwise, it could be combined with a revision of the lift since there is too much skin visible below the areolas.

Thank you for your question and for the attached photos. All the best. 


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini vs full tummy tuck

+2

Thank you for the photos and question!  I hope that these answers help!

It is difficult to accurately answer your question without an examination and evaluation.  However, given your photos, it does appear that you have some excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen along with some laxity of your periumbilical area and of the upper abdomen.  Your upright photograph also demonstrates some widening of your abdominal muscles, for which tightening of the abdominal wall would be recommended for the best results.  

These issues would not be addressed with a mini tummy tuck, which really only addresses those with just a small amount of skin needing excision.  A full tummy tuck would address all of the issues stated above and give the most pleasing aesthetic results.  I would suggest the full abdominoplasty, given your photos.  A consultation with a plastic surgeon for examination and evaluation is recommended to assist you in determining which procedure(s) would be the right one(s) for you.  Best of luck with your decision!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

+2

Thank you for the question and pictures.  Unfortunately, your situation is not so clear-cut that I feel comfortable responding with a definitive answer.  Doing so would necessitate direct physical examination and a full communication of your goals.

However, some general thoughts may be helpful to you.In my opinion, the mini tummy tuck 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.


I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 681 reviews

Tummy Tuck Options

+2

You are probably a better candidate for a full abdominoplasty. A modified abdominoplasty with tightening of the muscles and a minimal lower abdominal skin excision is not as likely to tighten or stretch the upper abdominal skin. Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck

+2

You look like a mini-abdominoplasty to me. I often take tissue off the mid abdomen as well as the lower abdomen, to remove stretched skin above the umbilicus,and try to correct hooding of the belly button.Sometimes the muscle doesnt feel bad but can be tightened more at the time of surgery, I also like to use ultrasonic liposucttion to improve the result. The tissue removed above the umbikicus is done in a transverse manner.

Terry A. Cromwell, MD (retired)
Lafayette Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Mini or Full Tuck?

+2

Based upon the posted photos you will need wheat was recommended NOT a min TT! Best to fully understand the recommendation. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck

+2
You have bulging above the umbilicus and will not be a good candidate for the mini tuck. I agree that you need muscle repair. The plastic surgeon's responsibility is to perform the right operation. I do not perform the inverted T procedure but do not see that as being required here.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Contour Abdominal Liposuction vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

+1

Although you may be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck, I would also examine you to see if you also qualify for Contour Abdominal Liposuction, which can dramatically reshape your waistline. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Vertical scar for tummy tuck

+1

In my entire career I have never done a tummy tuck with a vertical scar unless a vertical scar was already present.  Even then, I try to eliminate the vertical scar.  I think it kind of defeats the purpose of the tummy tuck when you leave such an obvious scar.  From your pictures, I would think that this scar would be far more obvious than any lax skin that you have.  It also looks like you have had a breast lift in one of your pictures.  From the picture, it looks like you have more breast tissue below your nipple than above.  To me, that doesn't look very perky or natural.  I know this wasn't part of your question but I might consider a revision of that surgery while you are under anesthesia as well.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 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.