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Tummy Tuck: Full, Mini or Endoscpic?

I have been to three consultations and I received three different options on what to do. My muscles are split apart but I have only a little loose skin. Most of the loose skin is below the belly button and I also have a umbilical hernia.

Not sure what the best option would be for me. I have been told that I can do a full, mini or endoscopic tummy tuck. The last Dr I went to recommended a mini but I'm not sure if that will help the muscles above the belly button. Thanks for any help!

Doctor Answers 11

You need complete muscle repair. This can be done through a mini tummy tuck incision!

Hello from Miami!

Thank you for your message and your photo. From your history and description of your tummy, it sounds like you would benefit from a complete muscle repair- a repair above AND below the belly button. 

Although somewhat more difficult than a regular tummy tuck, this can be done through the small incision of a mini tummy tuck. We have performed this complete muscle repair through inicisions as small as 5.5 inches. 

The best way to find out what procedure would be best for you is a personal consultation where the surgeon can examine you, assess the looseness of your muscle and skin and review your options with you. Be sure you work with a board certified plastic surgeon with a great deal of experience in body contouring and the wide variety of tummy tuck techniques.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

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Best abdominoplasty technique for you

It seems, from your picture, that you do not need a full tummy tuck.  You don't have enough laxity above the belly button.  It can be difficult to appreciate the amount of loose skin you have below the belly button in a picture like the one you posted.  If you have significant skin below the belly button, then mini-abdominoplasty with plication of the muscles of the upper abdomen should be done.  If you have NO loose skin, then you can do a endoscopic type of abdominoplasty where just the muscles are tightened.

Leif L. Rogers, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Choosing a tummy tuck.

For your situation, you will most likely get the result you are looking for from a full tummy tuck. This allows for the best repair of the muscles as well as removing all the excessive skin. A mini will not address upper abdominal laxity and the endoscopic is only for muscle repair without skin removal.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

You need a full tummy tuck

You are the a good candidate for full tummy tuck. You have sever diastesis and the rectus muscle should be repaired all the way up to xiphoid. Your have higher risk of belly button loss.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Full tummy tuck is your best option

From your history and the photos you provided, I think full tummy tuck with repair of the umbilical hernia would be your best option. Mini TT will not tighten the muscles and will leasve you with a bulge that you will not like.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Full tummy tuck for most patients.

Your instincts are correct: anything less than a full tummy tuck in your situation is not going to give you complete correction of your problems. Your umbilical hernia would be corrected at the same time. Be sure to go to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and look at results of his/her past patients with similar problems as yours.

Victor Au, MD
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tummy Tuck Choice

Three different techniques can be used in performing a tummy tuck: skin removal, liposuction, and muscle wall plication. What you need is dependent upon what you have and what you want to accomplish. An endoscopic abdominoplasty can tighten the muscle wall from pubis to xyphoid as well as reduce fat volume with liposuction. A miniabdominoplasty does the same but also removes a small amount of skin in the lower abdomen. A full abdominoplasty does the same but removes a large amount of skin from pubic region to above the belly button. And finally a reverse abdominoplasty removes skin from under the breasts and can combine muscle tightening with liposuction.  Hope this helps.  To learn more visit our blog on our website. 

Marc Schneider, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Only a full abdominoplasty will help.


Endoscopic abdominoplasty does not work and I don't know anyone doing it.  Mini will not correct upper diastasis.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


A full tummy tuck should fix all of your problems and I am sure you have plenty of excess skin. None of the other two will fix everything.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Yours is really NOT a complicated tummy tuck choice

Some doctors will tell you what they think you want to hear rather than what you actually need if they are afraid they will lose you as a patient.  My suspicion is that this is the case with the 2 doctors who recommended less than a full tummy tuck to you.  

The reason that you are not a good candidate for a miniTT is that your muscles are stretched well above the umbilicus and this won't be addressed in a typical mini so your upper abdomen will be bulgy with a mini.  The reason you are not a good endoscopic candidate (and almost nobody is either) is that once your muscles are tightened flat, there will be lots of extra skin that won't just shrink away after surgery.

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.