I was heavy before pregnancy and have lost all my "baby weight", and I continue to loose weight, which is good, but the extra skin is going to be a problem. At what point should I consider a full-tummy tuck over a mini-tummy tuck? Is the amount of skin that needs to be removed a factor that surgeons consider for the type of tuck needed?
How much extra weight loss would impact a mini-tummy tuck?
Doctor Answers 16
Weight loss and tummy tucks-mini vs full?
I just saw a patient today with the same question. She had gain about 60lbs with her first and only pregnancy. She subsequetly lost the weight and has no loose skin , no extra fat, and no weakend muscle above her belly button. She may consider a mini tummy tuck---but frankly those patients are quite rare in my practice. Most patients would benefit from a FULL abdominoplasty; and as a result of this- I perform mostly the full procedure.
If you are one of those fortunate ladies, you may consider this- but if not- have a full tummy tuck.
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Beware of the mini tummy tuck!
I do mini tummy tucks but only on very, very select patients - probably less than 5% of my tummy tuck patients. Mini tummy tuck is often done with a big dose of wishful thinking on both the surgeon's and patient's part and often does not achieve the result both are hoping for. And if a mini has been done, it can compromise the result of a full tummy tuck done later. Don't go with a mini unless your only problem area is really just below the umbilicus. I have learned this the hard way both as surgeon and patient!
Mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck
Tummy tuck surgery involves removing the excess skin and fat, tighening up the midline fascia, recreating the new belly button opening, and contouring your tummy during skin closure. The more loose skin you have, the more dramatic result you will see. Mini tummy tuck in general means removing the excess skin and fat belore the belly button. The belly button is left alone and not reppositioned. You have to come in for a formal consultation in order for your surgeon to examine you to determine what procedure is the best option. My recommendation is set up a consultation appointment with your surgeon, go over all the details of the option, then you can decide which procedure is right for you.
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I don't offer mini-tucks because you will not get the desired results.
I don't offer mini-tucks. Most women need several areas treated after a large amount of weight loss or pregnancy which include treatment of loose skin, extra fat and muscle seperation which can not be achieved with a mini-tuck.
Lose the weight before tummy tuck
I would recommend losing all the weight you are planning to lose before your tummy tuck. The looseness of both the ski and the muscle both contribute to what type of tummy tuck would be best for you. The tighter you want to be, and the looser the skin and/or muscle will make a full tummy tuck a better option.
Is the amount of skin that needs to be removed a factor that surgeons consider for the type of tuck needed?
THe amount of excess tummy skin which needs to be removed and its location (above VS limited to below the belly button), the woman's weight and its stability, having completed her family with no more planned pregnancies, the amount and distribution of excess fat, other medical history and emotional history (including the woman's goals and acceptance of surgical scarring in exchange for a flat tummy and narrow waist) - ALL are part of the decision making process between picking the kind of Tummy Tuck best suited for a particular woman.
In general, a MINI Tummy Tuck is an operation which does NOT address the needs of women who were pregnant and lose significant wait since it does not correct excess skin and muscle laxity/separation above the belly button. You should consult more than one Plastic surgeon but the odds are that you may look a LOT better with a FULL Tummy Tuck done after your weight has stabilized for 4-6 months.
Peter A Aldea, MD
Full tummy tuck vs mini
I am not a fan of the mini tummy tuck because it does not treat the upper abdomen. Often patients have loose skin in the upper abdomen and the upper abdominal muscles are not tightened. In addition a full tummy tuck removes alot more skin from between the umbilicus and lower bikini area.
Patients are more educated now than ever before and the internet including this forum has a ton of information. At the end of the day, the choice is yours...however... you are not in the position to decide what is the operation to give you the best outcome. The surgeon is. Go see a board certified plastic surgeon.
Odds are you'll need a full tummy tuck
Congratulations on your weight loss after pregnancy. Because mini tummy tucks are not the right operation if you have any laxity of skin or muscle above the belly button, they are quite rare in my practice. They sound like what you want to hear you need, but they will leave you disappointed if you really needed the full TT which most people need.
Mini vs. full tummy tuck
A combination of a pregnancy and significant weight loss probably would suggest that a full tummy tuck is the better procedure for you. Extra skin and laxity above and below the umbilicus could best be firmed up and contoured when the imbrication of muscles above and below the umbilicus is performed. Excess skin needs to be removed more aggressively than what a mini abdominoplasty could accomplish. Your Plastic Surgeon would be best to answer this question for you after a full consultation.
Good luck to you.
Frank Rieger M.D. Board Certified Tampa Plastic Surgeon