Mini Tummy tuck or full? Is there any more advance surgeries to avoid a full? (photos)

I am 36 and a mommy of 2. I workout out consistently and eat clean 90% of the time. I have seen two surgeons that both recommend a full tummy tuck. I have expressed my desire for a mini, but they say no I wouldn't be happy with the results. Since this is permanent and I have worked really hard to maintain my physique I want to be more educated and know my option and get the opinion of other plastic surgeons. I want a flatter tummy, with some lipo, I do have muscle damage in the lower abdominal.

Doctor Answers 17

Tummy tuck options

Hi and thanks for the question. Without examining you firsthand, it is difficult to make an assessment. Photographs can often times be misleading.  In general, only a very small percentage of the population is a candidate for a mini tummy tuck. Most patients generally require a full abdominal plication to achieve optimal results. Lastly, in our practice, liposuction is generally performed as a separate procedure. From the photos, you would be an exceptional candidate for Vaser 4D high-definition lipoplasty which would add excellent definition to an already great baseline torso contour. 

Best of luck,

Dr. Vallecillos 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Mini Tummy tuck or full?

This is where photographs may be misleading. The decision as to a full, modified or mini abdominoplasty is based on your physical examination. The photos show you with your arms elevated which may mask zones of adherence in the upper abdomen which cannot be corrected with a mini abdominoplasty. You appear to be in good condition so you can anticipate a good result with the appropriate procedure. Although you are the ultimate decision maker as to what you desire, the consultant surgeon does act as the navigator to guide you to the best decision. Be certain to have consulted with an ABPS certified plastic surgeon.

Norman H. Rappaport, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Mini Tummy tuck or full? Is there any more advance surgeries to avoid a full?

You appear to have good muscle tone and no significant diastasis, based on the photos. The primary issue I see is skin laxity. If that laxity is above the belly button, then  full TT will be needed to address that. If the laxity is only in the lower abdomen, then a mini TT will treat that. Since you are so lean, if a full TT is recommended, then I would suggest floating the belly button to avoid a vertical scar on the abdomen. Good luck!

Keith Hodge, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews



The only way to remove as much injured skin as possible, while simultaneously repairing your abdominal muscle wall, is with a full abdominoplasty. The length of the scar is irrelevant if it is placed properly, which is not the case in the example you post; too high! Go visit a few ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question.  Firstly you have a wonderful figure especially after 2 pregnancies. 

Without examining you it is difficult to give you a definitive response especially since 2 surgeon's have said go with a full. 

It does not look like you need muscle plication in the upper abdomen,  nor do you have much laxity there.

I would therefore think that you most likely would get an excellent result from a mini tuck. The lower abdominal fascia can be repaired as well.

You actually have quite a few more options which could be discussed at some other time.

Peter Fisher M.D 

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Mini vs. TT full

thanks for the question and the photos. Many have already commented, but the Mini vs. Full TT has to do with the amount of skin excess, position of BB and amount of separation in the muscle. You look to have a great figure with very toned muscle. The location of the desired scar and amount of skin that needs to be resected will have to be done with a consult. Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area that is an ASAPS member and specializes in cosmetic body contouring. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews


I think you are a very reasonable candidate for a mini or at least a short scar technique for improvement to your abdomen. I would get another opinion. Best of luck. 

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Mini Tummy tuck or full?

The answer depends on your goals. Your photos indicate damaged and loose skin extending above the belly button. A mini TT takes away about 1/2 the loose skin below the bellybutton and does not repair any muscle diastasis. The full TT removes all the loose skin below the bellybutton and tightens the muscle diastasis. A lot of patients that settle for the mini TT are not satisfied a few years later and wind up having the full TT.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Mini Tuck

An abdominoplasty is performed to improve the contour of the belly by removing excess skin and fat and by tightening lax abdominal muscles. There are two main types of abdominoplasties – the mini and full. 

A mini abdominoplasty is a fine-tuning procedure performed for patients who have no abdominal wall laxity, no excess skin above the belly button, and a small pouch of excess skin and fat below the belly button.

In contrast, a typical full abdominoplasty is performed after bearing children or after moderate weight loss. It can be a powerful procedure that can flatten and remove excess skin and fat from both above and below the belly button and tighten the abdominal muscles. The trade off is a scar in the bikini line that extends hip to hip and a scar around the belly button.

There are slight variations to these basic surgeries based on the anatomy of the patient. 

Based on your pictures, your abdominal muscles are tight, you have very little fat, and you have little excess skin above the belly button. You would likely do well with a mini tuck. The scar would be very close in length to you "wish pic."

A detailed examination will help delineate the best surgical option. Consultation with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery would be the next best step. 

See our link below for more information.

David Tauber, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck or...

A mini tummy tuck does not tighten the upper abdominal fascia.  Most women who have children notice that the blue extends well above the umbilicus.

The full tummy tuck tightens the entire deep fascia but may be overkill in fit ladies.

For ladies who wish to avoid a long and high incision, there are several in-between options which results in shorter and lower incisions.  Much of our practice involves such in-between surgeries.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 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.