Is a full tummy tuck ideally used on patients who have recently lost a lot more weight rather than a patient who gains and looses weight from a typical pregnancy. Is a mini tummy tuck sufficient for pregnancy stretch marks and loose skin?
How Often is a mini-Tummy Tuck Recommended for Stretch Marks post-baby?
Doctor Answers (8)
Mini vs full tummy tuck.
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 botherd by lose skin above the umbilicus. These are all best treated by a full tummy tuck.
When is a Mini Tummy Tuck a Good Choice
The woman who will get the most out of a mini Tummy Tuck is that person who has little excess skin above the belly botton and stretch marks that are confined to the lower half of the skin between the belly button and pubic bone. It is a great operation in the right body type, but a bad idea if you need a tighter result. The majority of tummy tucks are full tummy tucks whether the reason is prior pregnancy or weight loss. You should seek a consultation from an experienced plastic surgeon , member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to know what is best for you.
Mini Tummy tuck
It would be a rare patient that a mini tummy tuck will take care of the majority of their stretch marks. If you have few stretch marks and just a little excess skin and muscle laxity below the umbilicus then a mini abdominoplasty may be a good procedure for you. I find that less than about 1 in 20 abdominoplasty patients that come into my office would be a good mini abdominoplasty candidate.
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Mini Tummy Tuck good for the right patients
A Mini tummy-tuck can be just what someone needs if virtually all of their excess skin and fat is below the navel. Also, the muscle tone needs to be good. As you can guess from the other responses, this is not usually the case. Most women, after pregnancy, will have looseness of the muscle fascia which needs to be tightened, and most will also have loose skin above the navel. That being said, I still see several patients each year who only need liposuction and skin removal from the lower abdomen and are quite happy with their mini-tummy-tuck results.
Mini tummy tucks
In my experience, min tummy tucks are rarely performed because most patients actually need more skin removal than is achieved with a mini. Your best option is to see your PS and discuss the options with him/her. Making the determination of a mini or full tummy tuck is best done by your PS after assesing your goals and amount of tissue excess.
Mini tummy tucks should be rare
Mini tummy tucks are rarely the right choice in my experience and opinion because they remove less skin, do nothing for the muscles or skin excess above the umbi and can even make your upper abdomen stick out more by only tightening the lower abdominal muscles while leaving the upper ones loose. It is not an issue of weight loss vs pregnancy, rather, it is an issue of skin excess and muscle laxity.
Mini-VS FULL Tummy Tuck Recommended for Stretch Marks post-baby?
There is an aphorism (or truism) in Plastic Surgery which states " Do MINI procedures ONLY if you will be happy with the resulting MINI results".
The reason you have stretch marks is that your expanding uterus was big enough to stretch and crack your skin. To do this to your skin, by simple logic, it first had to permanently stretch and split your tummy muscles which were in its path on the way to the skin.
A MINI Tummy Tuck would remove ONLY the excess skin below the belly button and will not allow for tightening of the stretched and split muscles above the bely button. Do you REALLY think that would reverse the damage caused by the pregnancy(ies)? Whedn you were pregnant were you large only below the belly button and flat above it? Of course not. By having a MINI Tummy Tuck, you would lose a GREAT opportunity to get your Before-Baby Tummy back AND, at best, you may get a weird, sub-par tummy tuck result. Your solution is a well-done, Full Tummy Tuck.
Peter A Aldea, MD
Mini or full tummy tuck?
Thank you for the question.
In my opinion, the mini tummy talk 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. It is important for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to improve their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.
I hope this helps.