Full tummy tuck muscle repair vs. Mini tummy tuck with lipo? (photos)

Went to my second consultation both doctors are board certified. One surgeon advised a full tummy tuck, the other one advised mini tummy tuck with liposuction. I was just about to make a financial commitment for the mini TT but having second thoughts. Would a mini tummy tuck be the best option or a Full TT?

Doctor Answers 13

Full tummy tuck is wiser option

You need full tummy tuck. Go back to the surgeon who recommended it. He can explain to you why you need full tummy tuck.  

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Dr. Derby Sang

thank you for your question and your photo.

based on your photos i can tell that you are a great candidate for a full tummy tuck combined with a Lipo in all areas needed.

Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Mini TT or Full


Based on these photos alone, it appears that a full Tummy Tuck may make more sense for you. Liposuction is typically done with either but a mini Tummy Tuck limits improvements to only below the belly button. Excess skin, fat and muscle separation above your belly button would remain with only a very small improvement to the lower abdomen. You may find that upper abdominal areas are more concerning to you afterward. I recommend that you seek another opinion/exam and be sure to ask lots of questions so that you have a clear understanding regarding the limitations of a mini.

All the best

Full tummy tuck vs mini

Thank you for the question and the pictures.     Looking at your picture I think you would get a better correction with a full tummy tuck.   If you prefer "mini"  just make sure you ask questions and have a realistic understanding of what can and can not be accomplished.   Good Luck

Richard Rosenblum, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Mini- vs full tummy tuck

I personally think there are very limited indications for a mini-tummy tuck.  Lose skin above and below the umbilicus requires a full tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Mini vs full tummy tuck depends on skin not fat

The decision about whether a mini tummy tuck will work vs a full tummy tuck depends on how loose the skin is or how loose it will be after fat removal with liposuction. If you need a muscle repair then that could be done with either a full tummy tuck or a mini with umbilical float. Both a mini and a full will include fat reduction, whether using lipo or direct excision. My guess is that you will be happier with a full or a full with T-closure. See examples on my site for the several variations to consider.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Full tummy tuck muscle repair vs. Mini tummy tuck with lipo? (photos)

Please put your front, side pictures. These pictures are easier to see if they are taking by someone else not close to the camera of the area you are interested only to give you a better answer.      mini tummy tuck, tummy tuck and a vertical abdominoplasty. The appropriate procedure depends the amount and location of the excess skin. That's what your plastic surgeon will have to determine after the actual physical exam. Choose a board certified plastic surgeon who has done a ton of Tummy Tuck and has privileges to do this surgery at a local university hospital. This says his credentials have been checked out by fellow Drs. All surgeries carry risk, talk to your plastic surgeon and choose one wisely. 

Many surgeons, including myself, offer online virtual consultations where you send us your photos and we can estimate the cost. I, like many surgeons, also offer free consultations so that you can be examined and given the most accurate quote.

Types of Tummy Tucks

Thank you for your question and photographs. When in consultation with the Plastic Surgeons, ask exactly what they plan to do. In my experience a full tummy tuck includes liposuction of the lower and upper abdomen, tightening of the abdominal muscles from breast bone to pubic bone, shaping the waist line, removing excess skin and repositioning the belly button.

A mini tummy tuck includes all of the liposuction, but only tightening of the lower abdominal muscles and removing excess skin below the belly button.

During your exam, just make sure to let the plastic surgeon know what your concerns and goals are and let them give you options to achieve your goals.

Mini- vs full tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

The distinction between full vs mini abdominoplasty may be different between different surgeons.  The goals of any abdominoplasty procedure should be to reduce excess skin and fat and to tighten the abdominal wall muscles.  Sometimes there is not enough skin to allow for adequate tightening with a low enough scar.  In that case the belly button is relocated to a lower position on the abdomen or there is a vertical scar at the center of a low transverse incision line.  Some women have a separation of their abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis) that needs to be repaired.  These are all areas that need to be addressed during consultation, regardless of the name you give the operation. Be sure to consult a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who has had a lot of experience with these procedures.  You can get an idea of his/her level of expertise by reviewing a comprehensive portfolio of pre- and post-op photos. 

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great candidate for a full tummy tuck with liposuction.  This can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 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.