Am I a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck or a Mini? (photos)

I am 27, in decent shape after 3 kids and hate the stretch marks. I would say I am 15 lbs from my ideal weight. Would I need liposuction? I also wonder if I would keep my belly button? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 26

Tummy tuck candidate

HI. Thank you for you question. You are definitely a good candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction on abdomen, sides and lower back. A mini tummy tuck has very few indications and it is only performed on patients who are not a candidate for a regular tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck has often bad to moderate results and is very hard to correct

You wood look great with combined tummy tuck and liposuction

Although it is best to have an in-person physical examination with a board-certified plastic surgeon, based on the pictures provided you would seem to be a very good candidate for 360° liposuction with full tummy tuck.  The results should give you more contoured hips, flatter stomach, and a well-defined waist.  Some of the most happy patients are those that have undergone a body contouring procedure such as this.  Patient's easily lose 1-2 dress sizes, and feel better about day-to-day activities and exercise.

Because you have had 3 children,  the abdominal muscles will likely have stretched and therefore the laxity above the navel would not be well addressed with a mini tummy tuck.   Part of the full tummy tuck includes  bringing the rectus muscles together in midline to help shape the waist and abdomen.   Recovery from surgery  is approximately 2 weeks  with final shape and contour stable by 3 months. 

Wish you all the best.

Ideal Candidate for Tummy Tuck

Hello, thanks for your pictures and for your inquiry. You are a wonderful candidate for a Full tummy tuck. 

With a hip to hip super low incision you would do great. The abdominal muscle wall will be repaired and the extra skin will be removed. If you desire you might have liposuction in your waist and flanks so you can achieve a beautiful hourglass figure, which is so appealing. 

Please make sure that you and your surgeon are on the same page. Don't forget to discuss all your concerns, options and expectations thoroughly. Have a safe and pleasant PS Journey! 


Dr. Jaime Campos-Leon 

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 241 reviews

Are you a candidate for a TT or a mini?

Far more important than deciding if a tummy tuck is for you is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let him explain why one technique may be better than another and if you need a tummy tuck. Many board certified plastic surgeons provide a free first time consult and you should take advantage of that!
See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for you!The best clients are patients who are healthy but have EXCESS SKIN OR FAT that does not respond to diet and exercise. Patients who have undergone SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT LOSS and have hanging skin. Women with loose skin and stretch marks FOLLOWING PREGNANCY, as in your case. Anyone with LOSS OF SKIN ELASTICITY. Patients who are unable to tighten the abdominal wall with exercise. If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin; often associated with relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies)

Full TT vs. Mini-TT

Based on your photos, I think you need a full TT due to the amount of excess skin, stretch marks, and excess subcutaneous fat.  The full TT will also flatten your upper abdomen and allow for tightening of your rectus muscles which are likely stretched out by your 3 pregnancies.  You may also benefit from some liposuction to the flanks at the same time to restore your waist. The recovery of a full TT is more than the mini-TT but I think you will be disappointed with the results of the mini-TT. Best wishes!

Your tummy

You probably would do best with a full tummy tuck! Your belly button stays put--the skin moves around it.

Good luck!

Michael E. Decherd, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Tummy tuck versus mini

Thank you for sending your pictures and question. You are an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck and not the mini. After having 3 children, your abdominal muscle have stretched. During the tummy tuck, the muscles are tightened with stitches to give you a much flatter abdomen. You would not get this with the mini tummy tuck. You may not need liposuction when you achieve your ideal weight. Your belly button will be preserved during your procedure and should look better. Good luck in your journey. Please choose an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Thank you.

Mehdi K. Mazaheri, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

Hi Semifitmomoki

The short answer is that you need a full tummy tuck.  Lipo may be added as needed as an adjunct.

I say this because I see stretching of your abdominal wall that extends above your navel.  The navel is key choosing which is best.



Good candidate for a tummy tuck?

Hi Semifitmomoki,

Thank you for your questions and photos. Without being able to see you in person and do a physical exam, it is impossible to be absolutely certain, but I can give you my best advice based on your photos. You appear to be a very good candidate for a full tummy tuck. 

The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck procedure:
1. Has had a stable weight for 6-12 months
2. Is at a weight that they are happy with and that they are able to maintain
3. Is not planning to have more children.
4. Has a good support system that will be there for them both before and after the procedure
5. Is financially stable and able to afford the procedure
5. Is emotionally stable and considering a procedure to make themselves feel better, not for someone else
6. Has realistic expectations for their result
7. Willing to have an open dialog with your surgeon about any questions that you may have about anything during the tummy tuck process

You would likely benefit quite a bit from some contouring liposuction of the flanks to enahance your waist, and you would keep your belly button though it would be reinserted after skin removal and tightening (your surgeon will be able to demonstrate and explain, or there are multiple youtube videos). The majority of your stretch marks will be removed and the belly button will be re-inserted for a very natural result.  

I would encourage you to seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who has experience and expertise in body contouring who had many before and after photos of tummy tuck results that you like so that you can discuss your treatment options.  

Best wishes!

Dr. Brown

Daniel Brown, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy tuck and liposuction candidate

Thank you for your question. Based on your photos and information, you appear to be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck with liposuction on your waist to optimize your overall shape. Tummy tuck will flatten the abdomen, cinch in the waist, and remove excess fat and skin from the lower abdomen.  Liposuction to the back and waist will give you a lean appearance and accentuate the hour glass figure. Tummy tuck is a very powerful technique in the right hands, and can have dramatic results if done correctly.  You definitely have to choose your surgeon correctly and make sure that he/she has the training and experience to meet your goals with absolute safety.  Don’t settle for less than a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with specialized expertise in this procedure.

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.