What's the difference between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck? (photos)

Not sure which type of tummy tuck I had in 2007. Would like to get Lipo and a tummy tuck now. Is this possible?

Doctor Answers 7

Mini vs full tummy tuck

This is a very common question from patients I see in my office. In general terms, a full tummy tuck versus a mini tummy tuck is based on how much fat and/or skin needs to be removed. A mini tummy tuck is a good option for people who are at or near their desired weight with some excess fat and skin in the lower abdomen area only. A full tummy tuck is ideal for people who need to tighten the entire abdominal area. This procedure involves removing excess tissue and tightening the area from the chest down to the waistline.

Voorhees Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Redo tummy tuck

Dear Texan,    Thanks for submitting your pictures. From observing your pictures and noticing the long horizontal scar at the groin and pubic area, plus the the peri umbilical scar, you had full tummy . Additionally, you have skin and muscles laxity from the chest bone to the pubic bone and that make you a very good candidate for redo tummy tuck.       Tummy tuck surgery, when done expertly should give you a flat stomach, nicer horizontal scar, narrower waists, improved body posture that will reduce the strain on your back  and most likely significant weight loss , due to the abdominal muscles tightening that will reduce the amount of food that you can eat and your sense of hunger.   Obviously, your stomach will have to be examined , in order to rule out 2 conditions: 1.  Excess fat inside your stomach cavity . That will prevent stomach tightening and you will have to lose weight prior to surgery. I recommend to all my over weight patients the book "sugar busters" which if you will follow the book recommendation , you will lose weight. I lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks 18 years ago and kept it so, based on that book. 2. Fibroid or other tumors that if they exist,  will have to be removed surgically prior to the tummy tuck surgery.   I do not recommend combining tummy tuck with liposuction due to the significant increase in severe complication rate. It was demonstrated in an article, based on data from insurance company that insures only cosmetic surgery complication. The severe complication rate, when combining the 2 procedure increase X 10 !   Because of your previous tummy tuck and possible liposuction, redo tummy tuck is not simple, so do your due diligence carefully and choose your surgeon wisely.    Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive with flat stomach, low and nice scar and nice belly button. Also, check the reviews on 'RealSelf' for ratings and positive experience reports.                      Best of luck,                                             Dr Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. Based on the scar shown on your photos, you seem to have had a full tummy tuck. Because you lack skin laxity you may be a good candidate for liposuction. Most important is a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon regarding this procedure to get the best plan for you. Don’t settle for less!

Carolina Restrepo, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy tuck

Looks like you had a full tummy tuck with a large vertical component. Liposuction can be performed based on your exam. That would also determine if your muscle needs further tightening or not.An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations. 

Harry T. Haramis, MD, FACS
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Full vs mini tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  You had a full tummy tuck in the past based on your scar locations.  You would not be considered a candidate for another tummy tuck at this time given the fact that your skin is still tight.  My recommendation would be liposuction for further reduction in the fullness of your abdomen and flanks.  To be sure, consult with one or  more board certified plastic surgeons in your area to discuss your options.  Hope this helps!  Also, watch the video linked below.

Nicholas Tarola, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Tummy tuck

Hi bluelagoon1,

The scar around the umbilicus would imply that you had a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) You would probably benefit from liposuction but it is not clear whether or not you are a candidate for another full tummy tuck since the photos are limited.

Follow up with your previous surgeon or another board certified plastic surgeon.

Gideon Maresky, MD
South Africa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you had a full tummy tuck in 2007 because you have a visible scar around your umbilicus.  This can be revised with an innie no visible scar technique.  I recommend you have an in-person consultation to determine if another tummy tuck could be performed.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 124 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.