Best Solution for Stretch Marks...Mini or Full Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I'm a 30-yr-old mother of 4. African American height:5'2 weight:138lbs. I want to rid myself of the stretch marks and pooch. I had to undergo surgery for an ectopic pregnancy about 7 yrs ago that required an incision at my pelvic line. Based on photos which would be the better route to go?

Doctor Answers 11

Stretch marks and tummy tuck

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I would do a staright forward ttummy tuck to maximize removal of as many stretch marks as I can.also I would tighten your abdominal muscles so your tummy id flatter.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Mini- vs Full Tummy-tuck

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Looking at your photographs, it's important for you to know that no procedure will be able to remove all of your stretch marks since they go above your belly button.  I believe that a full tummy-tuck would best help you in getting rid of loose skin and tightening your waist and flattening your abdomen.  A mini-tuck will only tighten the lower abdomen and would remove less skin, overall less of a result.  The upside is less recovery and less cost. If you chose a mini-tuck you may need to consider some liposuction. Best wishes.

Asaad H. Samra, MD
New Jersey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

No you can't

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Neither a full nor a mini tummy tuck can get rid of all of the strech marks you have;  your stech marks go above your belly button and there is no way to get rid of all of the strech marks.  You should do a tummy tuck if you want to remove loos skin and tighten your belly muscle to get a flatter tummy.  It is true that a full tummy tuck will give you a tighter/flatter belly but it will not get rid of all of the strech marks.  Who every you choose to go to for your consultation make sure they show you before/after photos of similar cases to yours and that they show you six views from each patient (front, quarter turn, profile, back and sitting views from under the breasts to above the knee area)....

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck

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The full tummy tuck will get you a better result.  Much of your bulge is from stretched out abdominal muscle, and these can only be fully tightened with the full tuck.. A mini tummy tuck will give you some improvement.  The benefit of the mini is less cost and recovery involved, and no scar around the navel, but I would go with the full.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck For Removal Of Abdominal Pooch And Some Stretch Marks

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There is no question that you would benefit most by a full tummy tuck. This will remove the loose skin and stretch marks between the pubis and just above the belly button. Any stretch marks above the belly button would remain but will be moved lower. Think of a full tummy tuck as a good method to primarily remove your pooch and provide some secondary improvement in the reduction of the number of your stretch marks.

A full tummy tuck is almost always a better choice for a Mother of 4

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  • When a woman has had several children or lost a large amount of weight it is more than likely that her skin in the lower and upper abdomen has been stretched out and the skin is loose. The only way to tighten this loose skin is to remove the extra skin and pull the upper abdomen skin down to tighten both the upper and lower abdomen skin. I have very infrequently seen a patient who would have the better results from a mini abdominoplasty. 

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Full tummy tuck

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Based solely on your photos, it looks like you are a good candidate for  a full tummy tuck which will remove the loose skin and stretch marks below the umbilicus.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.  I think the best operation for you would be a full tummy tuck procedure. Unfortunately, even with a full tummy tuck, a significant number of stretch marks will still exist ( but lower down on your abdomen).

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 is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall 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.  

 I hope this helps.

Mini or full tuck

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I don't find the photos to be very helpful. A full tuck will remove stretch marks below the umbilicus and make those above less visible but you may have both options.

Tummy Tuck for Stretch Marks

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Based on your pictures, a full tummy tuck would be better but the stretch marks above your belly button will still be there, just much lower.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 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.