Should I get a tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck? (photo)
Doctor Answers 15
Mini vs full
Tummy tuck or less?
"Mini versus regular tummy tuck"
A limited abdominoplasty commonly called a Mini-tummy tuck improves only the area beneath the umbilicus. The limited abdominoplasty leaves a shorter scar and no scarring around the umbilicus. The cost is usually less and the recovery a bit quicker. Since most women after pregnancy have skin and muscle laxity extending up to the rib cage. A limited abdominoplasty would give them an unsatisfactory result.
You have minimal skin and muscle laxity above the umbilicus so your surgeon could offer you the option of a limited (mini) abdominoplasty. Please make sure your plastic surgeon is board certified and has an expertise in abdominoplasty. Also ask to see before and after pictures.
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Mini Tummy Tuck + Mild Lipo above the umbilicus
Thanks for your question.
Based on your photos, I'd have to ask what do you hate more about your abdomen: your stretch marks or the laxity. See I ask you, because your case seems to be restricted to the infraumbilical region (below your umbilicus). You muscle distention and/or fat accumulation are not bad above your umbilicus, so in cases like yours (if the patient is willing to stay with some of her stretch marks) I do a mini tummy tuck with muscle reinforcement (just the portion below the umbilicus) and a mild liposuction above the umbilicus. As you can see from your profile picture, below your umbilicus is where your belly protrudes more.
A complete tummy tuck would be an option to try and eliminate as much skin and stretch marks as possible, but only with a personal examination could I determine if your skin has enough flaccidity to pull your skin without your umbilical scar ending half way between your tummy tuck scar and your new umbilical scar (created on a complete tummy tuck).
Another point in favor of the mini tummy tuck, is that (taking into account that you're 23 y/o) you could be able to get pregnant and have a complete tummy tuck in the future the same way someone without tummy tuck would. With a complete tummy tuck, is not recommended to have any more children.
Hope this cleared your head a little.
Take good care of yourself,
Dr. Fernandez Goico
Between the extremes
Tummy tuck vs Mini Tummy tuck
You need to discuss with your surgeon what will be done with your belly button as well. It can be left alone or released and moved down. Neither of these leave scars. (Some patients do not like having their belly button moved, even if there are no scars.) With a full tummy tuck it is likely that you would not have enough redundant skin to leave a really low horizontal scar without having a small 1 inch vertical scar from your "old" belly button. Again your surgeon should go over these options. There is no right or wrong answer. Rather there are pros and cons of different things and you have to decide what is most important to you.
Dr. Duncan Miles
It can be a vexing question for young women who are thin. The key question is how much skin do you have above your umbilicus?. From the photos you have shared it appears that you have little loose skin above the umbilicus, which would make you a candidate for a mini..The best photo to assess skin laxity is in a "diver's position", standing but bent over at the waste. This is very helpful in assessing the excess skin.
Your surgeon will also get a sense of the elasticity of your skin by look and feel.
As an aside, I always caution women about considering liposuction alone in the abdomen. For most women who have had kids, the skin elasticity is poor and they trade a "poochy" abdomen for a "wrinkly" abdomen. Certainly liposuction can be very helpful, but most women need a skin reduction.
Should I get a tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck?
Should I get a tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck?
Most plastic surgeons would suggest that you finish having children before undergoing a full abdominoplasty with repair of the stretched out abdominal muscles.
Following the advise of anyone who would presume to tell you what to do based on two dimensional photos without taking a full medical history, examining you, feeling and assessing your tissue tone, discussing your desired outcome and fully informing you about the pros and cons of each option would not be in your best interest. Find a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and one that you trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.
Robert Singer, MD FACS
La Jolla, California