Disappointed in the Results of Mini Tummy Tuck - looking for Advice

I had a mini tummy tuck with lipo and the lower muscles tightned on March 3rd. I am 17 days post op and still wearing my compression garment. I was happy with my results right after surgery other than the swelling which I new would be temporary...but as the swelling has gone down, the skin has gotten loose. My surgeon told me at my 2 week appt. that as the swelling goes down even more, the skin may just get looser. This is not what I paid for! any advice?

Doctor Answers 17

More than one way to skin a tummy. Hybrid tummy tucks.

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Conventional wisdom is to either pull just from the belly button down for a mini tummy tuck.  OR pull the entire abdomen down, make it really tight and create a new belly button - full tummy tuck.  But there is a hybrid surgery where we float the belly button down to a lower spot without creating a new one.  We get way more tightness but still use the mini incision.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Mini tummy tuck result not enough

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mini tummy tucks are often disappointing if patients are expecting much more than a scar revision of a C-section.

We perform very few in our practice.  Almost all women who need their fascia tightened up to the umbilicus also need it tightened up to the breast bone.

For this reason, we perform this tightening in almost all women who have a mini tuck, and term this procedure the hybrid abdominoplasty (hybrid tummy tuck).

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Most patients do better with a full tummy tuck

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While it's hard to really comment without seeing your before photos, what I tell my patients is that most women (not all, but most), especially those who have had kids, do better with a full tummy tuck.  The reason for this is that we can tighten the entire length of the muscles that have been stretched from pregnancy, and we can also remove more loose skin in most cases.  The only real downside is a slightly longer incision as well as an incision around the belly button, and I think most of us would agree that our patients rarely are bothered by this.  In your case, I would give it some time and speak with your surgeon about your concerns so that when everything has healed he can give you some options for improvement should it be needed, but right now the best approach is just time and allowing your body to heal.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

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 A mini TT is just that, a mini.  Some need to have a full TT so more skin can be removed, and the tightness is greater.  In addition, the muscle can be tightened in several locations if needed.  The full TT is just more of a complete procedure.  The mini is for those with small issues, and a good muscle.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Full or mini tummy tuck?

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In my opinion, the mini tummy talk 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.

It is important to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.
I hope this helps.

Mini tightening commonly underperforms

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Mini tummy tucks do much less than many women would like. I commonly recommend more surgery to the patient requesting a mini and do fewer of them than I have in the past.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Mini tummy tuck

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There are only a few candidates who do well with a mini tummy tuck.   Most patients cannot get the results they desire without the undermining of skin and repositioning the belly button that is done with a full tummy tuck.  You could still do a full tummy tuck.  Discuss this with your surgeon.  Donald R Nunn MD Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Mini-tummy tucks often yield mini-results

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Very few women are great candidates for a mini-tummy tuck, which I why I rarely perform them. I do, however, do quite a few revisions of mini-tummy tucks which were done elsewhere and have resulted in unhappy patients.  A mini-tummy tuck can only treat skin below the belly button, not around it and not above it.  In your case, you appear to have significant skin laxity (looseness) above and below the belly button.  Your "before" pictures would be useful, but I suspect I would have recommended a full tummy tuck to you.

It is possible that you could still have a full tummy-tuck.

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

Mini-tummy tuck equals mini-result

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As far as I am concerned, there are very limitied indications for a mini-tummy tuck. Mini tummy tucks work only on a small subset of patients who have a flat and firm upper abdomen, a lax lower abdomen, a relatively high naturally located belly button, and a relatively small amount of redundant skin in the lower abdomen. If a patient does not meet those criteria, then a mini-tummy tuck is the incorrect procedure. In my practice, most patients fall into one of two categories:

1) Good skin but too much abdominal fat: these patients are good candidates for liposuction.

2) Lax abdominal wall musculature and loose abdominal skin: these patients are good candidates for full abdominoplasty.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

A mini tummy tuck may lead to "mini" results.

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Before commenting too much, it is important to realize that you are early in your recovery and you may have some improvement over the next few months. A mini tummy tuck has a role in treating infra-umbilical skin excess. However, when the patient has significant laxity around the belly button (as you do in your photos) the results are often less than satisfying. To address this central skin excess, a full abdominoplasty with relocation of the belly button is recommended. I recommend giving yourself more time to heal and if your results are still not what you expected, you may need a revision abdominoplasty. You will always have some skin laxity when you sit or lean forward. This is normal, otherwise you would never be able to stand up straight!

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.