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I want a mini tuck, but I was recommended a full? (Photo)

I have lose skin and most of it is below my belly button. I don't mind the stretch marks just the extra sag below my belly button. My tummy doesn't bother me enough to get a full tummy tuck, but I do want a mini to remove the extra skin from the bottom. Is it ABSOLUTELY necessary for me to get a full tummy tuck or would I just get optimal results from a full?? I have no abdominal separation...

Doctor Answers (15)

Mini Tuck Versus Full Tummy Tuck

+2
Hello,

What is your perception of the difference between mini and full? Is it the scar length? Is it the pain? Is it the recovery time?  If it is any of these, then your perception does not meet reality.  There is hardly a difference between the two with any of the above mentioned issues, especially with the advent of anesthetic infusion pumps, which makes abdominoplasty less uncomfortable than the liposuction that is usually performed concomitantly around the waist. 

Much more importantly, what can be achieved with a full tummy tuck is far superior to a mini tuck. Although you say you just want the skin tightened below the belly button, what is your perception of the tightening you'll actually get? Specifically, if your lower abdominal skin becomes tightened, how will you feel about the quality of skin around and above your belly button?  I have always been very careful to choose the right candidate for a mini tuck, with the end result of choosing 5% of my patients as 'good candidates' for the mini (the other 95% getting full tucks). Of that small group of patients, I have found their satisfaction rate far below the full tummy tuck group, most complaining of persistent skin laxity around and above the belly button.

Only a thorough consultation and examination will determine what is best for you. Please visit a few surgeons that have great reputations for abdominoplasties.  They would not only be certified by the ABPS, but also members of the ASAPS, a very important additional achievement indicating their specialization in cosmetic plastic surgery.

Best of luck!


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy tuck

+1
The incision that is necessary to get the skin and fat out is what you need.  Don't get married to the ninny tummy tuck or the full.  Get your tummy tuck done and then you will be happiest.

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

A tummy tuck can be done as a solitary procedure. Many times the results are enhanced by adding liposuction to the hip and love handle area. A tummy tuck is also done in combination with a breast augmentation in a mommy makeover.

Robert Whitfield, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Mini tuck vs full tummy tuck

+1

As others have answered here, a mini tuck primarily address skin laxity and sometimes abdominal laxity below the belly button. It doesn't do much for looseness or muscle laxity above the bellybutton. A full tummy tuck handles this area better.

There are other variations that are less well-known depending upon your goals and time for recovery.

For example a full tummy tuck can be done without muscle repair for the appropriate patient.

A full muscle tightening can be done with a mini tummy tuck skin excision or sometimes with no skin excision.

There are more extensive kinds of abdominoplasty that remove even more skin in patients with massive weight loss and severe laxity

The best way to approach this would be to learn which option would best fulfill your needs.

A board-certified plastic surgeon can help go over the options with you and address your goals.

Antoine A. Hallak, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

I want a mini tuck, but I was recommended a full?

+1
A short scar tummy tuck will remove loose skin and tighten the muscles to produce a nice, flat, tight abdomen with about the same length scar as the minitummy tuck.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of tummy tucks and body contouring 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

I want a mini tuck, but I was recommended a full?

+1

 Thank you for the question and pictures. Assuming you have completed pregnancies, you may be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck operation. Given your history and photographs, in my practice, I would not offer you the mini tummy tuck operation. 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, if re approximated at all, is addressed below the umbilicus only leaving the upper abdominal wall muscles 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 have had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 751 reviews

Full or mini tummy tuck?

+1
A mini or modified tummy tuck, with or without liposuction, as well as one of a variety of full tummy tucks that exist can produce a good cosmetic appearance in the appropriate patient. They can be performed with or without tightening the abdominal muscles.

A modified abdominoplasty with a floating of the umbilicus can produce a very nice significant result in many patients. All of the options will give you a significant improvement.The best option for you depends on the extent of looseness of your tissue above the umbilicus (belly button), since there is a limitation of how much tightness you can get with that procedure and still maintain a normal appearing position of the navel, as well as your desired outcome.

Following the advice from a surgeon or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based on two dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Mini tummy tuck

+1
You certainly can have just a mini-tummy tuck... as long as you understand the limitations of the procedure and understand what your likely end results will be. Even though you would have more dramatic results with a full abdominoplasty, you would also have a significant improvement with just a mini-abdominoplasty. The improvement will be limited to the skin below the belly button and the ability to tighten the rectus muscles is limited. But you seem to understand this already and know what really bothers you. It seems to me that you are well informed and might do very well with the mini procedure. 

William T. Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Full tummy tuck not many will give you a better result

+1
Thank you for your question.  As a patient you're entitled to obtain the treatment that you desire.  However your plastic surgeon has a responsibility to advice you as to the best course of action for you based on his or her expertise.

The problem with a mini tummy tuck is that first any loose skin above the belly button cannot be improved with a mini.  This can result in a tightened lower abdomen but loose skin above the belly button which creates an abnormal appearance.  In addition a many will pole your belly button lower which can also look abnormal.  It is generally wise to follow your plastic surgeons advice if you trust the surgeon and have confidence in his or her expertise.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Mini tuck or full tummy tuck?

+1
You could have either but it depends on what type of result you want.  A mini will remove some skin below the belly button and tighten the abdominal wall from the belly button down to the mons area. This would give you a good result but if you want a really flat stomach a TT would be the right choice.  I would recommend a mini tuck with tightening of the abdominal wall.  Good luck

John D. Smoot, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

I want a mini tuck, but I was recommended a full?

+1
I'm sure your surgeon will do whatever you want, but I doubt you will be happy after a mini. If you bend forward at the waist while standing and the upper skin is even a little loose, it will be a lot looser in a few years. Go with the best surgery which is the full TT. BTW, if your surgeon does a full TT and closes with progressive advancement sutures he won't have any trouble with the standard TT and will still have a low incision. Floating the Umbilicus down gets minimal upper tightening and is not much different from a mini.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.