Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

I am unsure which to go for? Do I have too much fat for a skin only tummy tuck with no lipo? My PS said I need Diastasis Recti too...Its just a case of which procedure will give me best results with least risk. If I opt for skin only mini tuck he said I could have sedation & local as opposed to the full which needs the general anaesthesia and longer down time..

Doctor Answers 13

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

Hello and thank you for your question!

I think you are a good candidate for a normal TT, with muscle repair, because not only will it give you a better result in terms of reshaping , but it would also allows us to address issues such as localized fat and the amount of tissue we can remove. I would really suggest a lipo with tummy tuck. This will give you fantastic results, and of course muscle repair.

Please visit a board certified plastic surgeon for further advice and the best, safest results. 

Good luck!

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


It all depends on how much excess skin you have as to the benefits of each type of abdominal rejuvenation. The crucial question is also what you wish to achieve. There is no right or wrong answer and if you are having second thoughts with your current PS obtain a second opinion until you find a PS who you can trust to deliver you the best result. 

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

Thank you for your question and photos. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck. The abdominal skin excision could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Select Tummy Tuck Procedure

A variety of tummy tucks are available. Patients who only need a tightening of the abdominal muscles or removal of a small amount of skin may be best treated with a “mini-tuck.” Patients who have undergone massive weight loss, on the other hand, will probably require more extensive surgery.

An abdominoplasty is usually done under general anesthesia. An incision is made along the lower abdomen at about the pubic hair line, and another incision is made around the belly button which stays attached to the muscle.

Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall and skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only (shortest scar).

Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.

Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles above and below the belly button. The scar can be altered or lowered to be hidden by most panty lines and bathing suits. (Standard scar).

Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)

A general anesthetic is most common, although mini-tucks may be done with local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. A standard abdominoplasty is generally an outpatient procedure, but extended abdominoplasty may require a short hospitalization of 1–2 days.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Full tummy tuck with lipo

Thank you for your question, I would recommend a full tummy tuck with muscle tightening for a flatter abdomen and liposuction of your back and sides,this will give you a great result,consult with a board certified PS good luck!

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on the pictures, you will likely be much happier undergoing a full tummy tuck operation. Liposuction is often used at the same time as tummy tuck surgery to contour  certain areas. 

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. 

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

No brainer....

you appear relatively thin, seem to have ample skin excess AND your lower tummy is short compared to your long upper tummy (this allows for low incision placement) such, it appears that a full TT is likely your best option....a mini TT allows you to get away without a belly button incision but will not address skin excess in your upper abdomen

Good luck,,,

Richard Mark Winters, MD
Hackensack Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck + Lipo candidate, some advices:

Thanks for the question. 

In this regard, I'm totally agree with you, therefore i recommend you a Tummy Tuck with muscle repair, to get a flat abdomen and waist and back Liposculpture, getting better curves especially in the waist, improving your body contour.

Finally, I suggested take the fat we get and transfer to the buttocks and hips, to mold them and get better volume, contour and butt projection, is that we know as "Brazilian Butt Lift" (BBL).

Kind regards 

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

A full tummy tuck?

From your photographs, it seems that a full tummy tuck would give you the best aesthetic results. Liposuction of the abdominal wall, tightening of the muscles, and resection of extra skin would likely give you the best result. You may need a small vertical incision above the pubis at the bellybutton donor site.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck

Judging from your pictures ( which are shaded so not difficult to interpret) it looks like you have moderate laxity of your skin,  somewhat thick fat layer under your skin, and protrusion of your abdomen from the inside which likely represents some separation of your abdominal muscles.  A mini tummy tuck is only going to address the moderate laxity of your skin which will give you some improvement of your lower abdomen, but will not address the protrusion from inside your abdomen.   If your surgeon examined you and told you that you need rectus diastais repair, this would confirm that you need a full abdominalplasty for an ideal result.    The ideal candidate for a mini tummy tuck does not need repair of their muscles.   Consult a board certified plastic surgeon who will give you a full physical exam so your fully understand your surgical options and can make the most informed decision.  

Carlin Vickery, MD (retired)
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 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.