Am I a Good Candidate for a Full or Mini Tummy Tuck?

After having 4 children and from yo yo dieting, my stomach is a mess. I have lots of stretch marks and lower abdominal loose skin. I have been to 2 different surgeons, one recommended a full tummy tuck and the other (which quoted me more) stated that a full tummy tuck would be too invasive and that a mini tummy tuck would be good for me. Now my concern is the stretch marks and my ab muscles underneath. The second surgeon stated that i have a pretty strong core so i wouldn't need tightening of the abs. That is hard to believe after having 4 kids. So, am I a candidate for a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 28

You would be better with a full tummy tuck

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It is unlikely that after 4 children your muscles don't need tightening from xyphoid to pubis.  Also, to remove more of the stretch marked damaged skin, a full tummy tuck will serve you much better than a mini tuck.

Full vs. mini TT

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Even though you are in excellent physical condition, there is considerable loose skin from childbirth.

Your would benefit best from a full tummy tuck with deep plication of the fascia.

A mini tuck would likely leave you disappointed. Although there are now many new types of mini-tucks available now, all are best for women who have minimal damage from childbirth.

You should talk to your surgeon about the location of incisions, the overall appearance of the abdomen, how the belly button wil be reconstructed, etc. You many want to loolk at many pictures and obviously select a board certified plastic surgeon with interest in tummy tuck surgeries.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Go with the Full Tummy Tuck

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A mini tummy tuck only removes a small amount of skin, and is generally done when just the muscles need to be tightened.

Looking at the photo you provided, I would suggest a "full" or "standard" tummy tuck. I would expect that almost all of the stretch marks from your belly button down would be removed, and the remainder would be moved down low on your abdomen.

Additionally, the muscular tightening would certainly benefit you after having 4 children.

Review the credentials of the two surgeons you consulted with - I'm a bit surprised someone offered you a mini tummy tuck.

I agree that a full tummy tuck is the way to go

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I highly doubt that a mini tummy tuck will give you the desired result. Don't opt for an inadequate surgical procedure. It looks as if you need to have a lot of skin removed and the muscles tightened. If you have love handles - then a small lipo can be done at the same time.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

It depends on your goals.

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The answer to this question depends on your goals, finances and recovery.

If the stretch marks and appearance of your umbilicus bother you significantly, these will be best addressed with a full abdominoplasty. This generally costs more from both a recovery and expense standpoint. You will be pulled tight enough that you can plan on 7-10 days in a flexed position day and night after a full abdominoplasty. Generally this costs about $1,500 to $3,000 more as well.

A mini-abdominoplasty will address only a portion of your stretch marks but will help a great deal with the extra skin over the belt line in a seated or flexed position.

See an example of the type of patient who would, like yourself, benefit from either. However, a full abdominoplasty is going to address more of her concerns.

Best of luck.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 189 reviews

Only a full abdominoplasty will help you.

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To peachgirl1,

Hi!   A mini tummy tuck only deals with the lower stomach.  In your picture, you have loose skin and stretch marks at least a couple of inches ABOVE  your belly button.

I have seen several women like you who had a mini tummy tuck and later had to have the full operation.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Full tummy tuck may be the answer

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Thanks for your question. What I generally tell my patients is that if you are looking for or just need mini results, then a mini tummy tuck is fine. Otherwise, big improvement can happen only with a full tummy tuck. Why compromise your result for several centimeters of incisions on each side?

It appears that you have lots of stretch marks, even above the belly button. And after 4 children it is very likely that you will need the muscles tightened (plicated) from under the chest down to the pubis. This is all considered a full tummy tuck.

You will have a very nice result, hoping you choose the right board certified plastic surgeon, but it will have to be a full tummy tuck to get the result that you and your plastic surgeon would want.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Full tummy tuck

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The Mini tummy tuck works well in very selected patients. I think that a full tummy tuck will be the best option for you. The full procedure will get rid of the excess skin, most of the stretch marks (below the belly button) as well as the define your muscles.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Full abdominoplasty (TT) with muscle plication best addresses these concerns

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A mini abdominoplasty would not remove as many of your stretch marks as a full abdominoplasty would. I would recommend this instead of a mini. With four children, I would advise a vertical muscle plication of the inner edges of the rectus (sit-up) muscles as part of the full abdominoplasty. I am sure you will find many Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who can accomplish your goals for you. I would not hurt to see their before and after photos or speaking with one or more of their patients. Good luck!

David N. Hing, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Stretch marks are high

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Since the stretch marks are so high on your abdomen and they are your biggest concern, you really need the full monte. A mini tummy tuck would tighten the stretch marks, but they would still be present.  Good luck!

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