Is a mini tuck, with complete muscle repair, right for me? (Photo)

I am 5'6" and 135lbs. I've had three kids ages 4, 2.5, and 11 months. All were big babies. I have an umbilical hernia, as well as a good amount of abdominal separation. I had a consultation with a PS today who said I am not a good candidate for a full TT but would be a great candidate for a mini TT (no lipo). I am afraid of spending lots of money and a difficult recovery for minimal results. Should I just do the mesh for the hernia and no TT? Get a mini? Or perhaps find a PS to do the full tt?

Doctor Answers 6

Is a mini tuck, with complete muscle repair, right for me?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
A short scar tummy tuck with muscle plication and hernia repair, if indicated, can be performed together.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Mini tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The mini tummy tuck operation is an operation that addresses the lower abdominal wall, below the umbilicus. The “full” tummy tuck operation involves treatment of the entire abdominal wall; this operation serves to remove excess skin, re approximate the abdominal wall muscles that may have spread with pregnancy and/or weight gain/loss, improve the appearance of the waistline and often pubic area as well

Mini Tuck Would Be Good

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thanks for your question and photos. A mini tuck would be a good operation for you, with rectus muscle fascial plication to correct the separation extending up into the upper abdomen. This is best accomplished by disconnecting the umbilicus (floating umbilicus), which allows easy repair of the umbilical hernia, as well, and then reattachment. There is no visible scar at the umbilicus, and you can still remove skin from the lower abdomen. It is not a good operation for patients with skin looseness above the umbilicus, but in your case, it should provide the result you are looking for. In my experience, mesh is definitely not necessary for the hernia repair. Good luck with your surgery!

Full tummy tuck is better option for muscle repair

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question.  A more complete an accurate muscle repair is certainly possible during a full tummy tuck then it is with a mini tummy tuck.  The full tummy tuck will also provide better tightening of the loose skin folds which bother you.  Because you are thin and do not have a lot of excess skin the only downside of a full tummy tuck is the scar may need to be a little higher on the abdominal wall.

Full tummy tuck vs mini tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Your photos lead me to believe you would be best-served with a full tummy tuck.  You would be left with loose skin around and above your belly button if you just do a mini-tummy tuck.  Furthermore, you need a scar around your belly button to fix the hernia anyway, so what is your surgeon saving by doing only a mini-tummy tuck at that point?  I'm confused by that recommendation for you. Please have some other consultations.  Best wishes!

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Is a mini tuck, with complete muscle repair, right for me?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on your history and photographs, I think that you will be a better candidate for a full tummy tuck operation. This operation will serve to re-approximate the abdominal wall muscles, remove the “excess” skin, and repair the umbilical hernia as well. 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. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.  I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

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.