Repairing deep muscles without a full tummy tuck
Whatever choice you make, the plan should include a full tightening of the deep layer, repair of the diastasis, and repair of what appears to be a belly button hernia. A standard mini tummy tuck will not help the problems in the belly button or in the upper abdomen.
A full tummy tuck will certainly accomplish all of these, but will leave you with a long and high incision. I am not sure that is justified with your frame and apparent fairly tight skin on the abdomen.
It is possible to perform all of the above procedures, with a modest removal of skin from a smaller, low C-section-type incision. We have termed this procedure a Hybrid tummy tuck(R). It is performed with special retractors and endoscopic equipment. However it does remove some extra skin, which in your case may be a good alternative to a full tummy tuck.
Don't skimp on abdominoplasty
You must realize that if you have liposuction and diastasis repair you will have evn more loose skin than you already have. Since you already have a C-section scar and you have a diastasis and you appear to have loose skin you are an ideal candidate for a full tummy tuck. You will be far happier with the full treatment than with the compromise.
The key phrase in your question is "loose skin". With pregancies you will probably need a plication of your abdominal muscles. You do not appear to have a lot of abdominal fat just a loss of your waist due to the lax abdominal muscles. Do not look to liposuction to solve either of these problems. You are correct in thinking that removal of abdominal fat may cause deflation with the problem of excess abdominal skin. Congats on being so close to your prepregnancy weight, that is the real key in having a great figure after pregnancy.
You are a good candidate for that procedure. you have to cut the base of the belly button to do the repair. Your belly button looks as though it may have a umbilical hernia, which ,if so, would make it slightyly more difficult...If you have a mini, then, you can have a full because the belly button will have been cut off at the base. The problem is a full would cut off the blood supply and a high chance of belly button death. Please make sure to discuss all of this with your board certified plastic surgeon.
Endoscopic abdominoplasty or Mini Tummy Tuck
That is a great question. Some patients with a diastasis of their stomach muscles (widening) are candidates for an endoscopic repair which entails two small incisions (lower abdomen and belly button) and then using a small endoscope and special instruments, the muscles can be repaired. This procedure is combined with liposuction, and is only reserved for patients with no excess skin.
As far as a mini tummy tuck, that procedure repairs the muscles and removes skin well below the belly button. From your photo, it is really hard to determine the amount and distribution of skin excess. Anything more than excess skin below the belly button, a full abdominoplasty would be recommended. Make sure you discuss this with your plastic surgeon and hopefully an individual plan for you can be agreed upon.
Liposuction can't fix loose muscles
I think you already know that, based on your comments. You look great and have done a good job getting back in shape after pregnancy! You don't have much fat on your abdomen, so liposuction is not what I would recommend. You are likely to end up with wrinkly loose skin, if not contour deformities (dents). I hate to tell you this, but a tummy tuck would be best for you, as it would tighten the muscle and get rid of the loose skin you have. The scar can be placed low enough that it's hidden by your bikini.
Full Tummy Tucks provide the best results
I hate to rain on your parade, but I would recommend a full tummy tuck.
Of course, I can't see your entire torso, and your hands obscure your hips. Nevertheless, I bet that you do have rectus diastasis, and I don't know of any way to properly repair a rectus diastasis without at least some form of tummy tuck.
I have never been a fan of mini tummy tucks. I have often seen dog ears result, and the belly button is always pulled a little too low. In particular, your belly button could benefit from some rejuvenation, and I'd bet that a full tummy tuck would provide the best result.
You have such a nice figure that you probably didn't expect such a big procedure, but I wouldn't skimp on body contouring. This is a situation where less is NOT more; more is better.
A mini tummy tuck will give you a mini result
I do see that a lot of your issue is separation of the muscles based on the widening seen in your photos. There is probably a bit more excess skin than is obvious in the photos too.
While repair of the muscles could be done through a small C-section incision, you will not have good control of the excess skin at all. Lipo of your abdomen will not be helpful.
My experience is that patients who have a mini-tummy tuck will almost always complain of their excess skin, a rarely be pleased with their short scar
Mini-tummy tuck and liposuction after a c-section
Hi Mizuzjones - It appears as though you're an excellent candidate for a mini-tummy tuck with liposuction. This will remove a small amount of skin and your old c-section scar while allowing access to your entire abdominal wall to tighten your diastasis. Liposuction is great with this procedure as well, and you could get it for your hips if you'd like. The entire procedure can be done as an outpatient and should take around 3-5 hours. The post-operative discomfort is well controlled with oral pain medicine. Good luck!
I don't see quarter or side views.
You appear to have an umbilial hernia. That said, I don't see how you can get the repair of the diastasis without a scar. Since you will have a scar, you should just get the tummy tuck and the navel fixed.
Alternatively, you may want to investigate laser or UAL to help shrink skin, get small scars, and forget about the diastasis.