Which Should I Get, Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck? (photo)

Im looking to have a tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck to remove my stretch marks and extra skin that i inherited after giving birth to my son. Im not sure which one I would get the most benefit out of. My main concern is my stomach looking nice in a swimsuit and not having a scar that shows. Any advice would be appreciated as i am uncertain which would work best for me

Doctor Answers 8

Sometimes the best option is no surgery.

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Sometimes surgery is not the answer. You do have stretch marks, and unfortunately they are located around the belly-button. What you do not appear to have is excess skin above OR below the belly button. Neither a mini-tummy tuck nor a full-tummy tuck is going to remove the stretch marks because you do not have enough laxity in your skin. Either procedure will remove some skin certainly, but in the end you are likely to end up with the same complaints and a large scar. If the slight bulge in your abdomen below the belly button bothers you, this can be improved with a simple procedure known as a "plication." My recommendation is to save your money and spend it on your son!

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck (For Patient in Good Shape after Pregnancy)?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Your situation is interesting in that (in my opinion) there is no great or easy answer. On the one hand, most patients who have had pregnancy and/or weight gain/loss benefit from full tummy tuck surgery (not  mini tummy tuck surgery). This operation serves to remove the “excess” skin ( majority of stretch marks for most patients)  and reapproximate the abdominal wall muscles that have spread with pregnancy and/or weight gain/loss.

On the other hand, in your case, you do not appear to have significant excess of abdominal wall skin.  Unfortunately, however, your abdominal wall stretch marks to extend above the umbilicus. Therefore, a mini tummy tuck operation will likely not help  achieve your goals of “removing stretch marks”.

 Assuming you are not planning on having any further pregnancies and do decide to undergo an operation  (as opposed to leaving well enough alone,  which may be a good option in your case),  I think you will be better off undergoing a full tummy tuck operation. Given your body type, the incision line will have to be planned carefully;  low enough to be hidden in your swimming suit, yet high enough to remove as many stretch marks as possible/safely ( while minimizing the chances that you will end up with a vertical scar related to the current umbilical site).

If my response is confusing, you will find that exclamations will be clearer  when you visit with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons in person.

Best wishes.

Full or Mini

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Honestly, you look fantastic! You don't need anything! I would seriously suggest you reconsider having an abdominoplasty.  Here is why I say this:

  1. As a darker individual, you are at an increased risk of hypertrophic scars/keloids.  You will not be happy with these.
  2. You do not have enough skin excess for a full abdominoplasty, so pursuing this will result not only in a long horizontal scar, but a vertical scar as well from your native belly button.
  3. You have stretch marks above your belly button which cannot be removed with a mini-abdominoplasty. The stretch marks that remain will widen from the increased tension placed on your abdomen from a mini-abdominoplasty.

If you are dead-set on paying for your local plastic surgeon's summer vacation, then your best bet is a mini-abdominoplasty with muscle plication.  Do this with great reservation and with the aforementioned points in mind.  If I were you, I'd forget about the surgery and  enjoy spending time with your son before he grows up.  It happens faster than you think!

Warmest Regards and Best of Luck,

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Mini vs maxi

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Base on your photos it looks like a mini will do it however if the stretch marks extend up over you belly button then you may need a larger incision.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck?

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From the photos, this is a borderline call. With an actual in person consult, much uncertainty would diminish!!

The mini-TT treats only the lower abdomen, but this seems to be the main issue here. The lower abdominal incision would not be shorter , but there would be no navel incision. The muscle bulge in the lower abdomen would be tightened, the excess skin in the lower abdomen trimmed. 

A full TT would remove more skin, but would not remove all the stretch marks. There would be an incision around the navel, and then possibly a short vertical incision near the lower abd incision, and I am not sure that would be a good trade off.

Most who ask about a mini-TT wind up being a better candidate for a full TT, but you might be a good candidate for the mini. 

Thanks, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Which Should I Get, Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck?

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Based ONLY on the posted photos I might offer mini TT with Smart Lipo Triplex of mid/upper abdomen. 

Both options are available to you

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Thank you for the photos.  You are one of the few patients that falls in between being a good candidate for mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck.  A mini tummy tuck would allow you to have a very low scar but would not rejuvenate the belly button.  A full tummy tuck would not likely remove all of the skin up to the belly button if the incision is very low so you will end up with a small 1-2 inch incision vertically in the center near your low horizontal incision.  Personally I would choose the full tummy tuck with a low horizontal incision and a small vertical incision at the bottom resulting from closure of your previous belly button location.  The link below shows on of my patients that exemplifies this.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

A Mini Tummy Tuck might be better for you

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The difference between a Mini and Full Tummy Tuck is the amount of skin removed, the amount of muscle tightening and the difference in scar location and length. A full tummy tuck will have a circle scar around your belly button and a longer lower abdominal scar. In your case, I would recommend a min tummy tuck. Although it will NOT remove all of your stretch marks, it will remove some lower skin and allow tightening of your lower abdominal muscles. I don't think you have enough fat and excess skin to allow for a full tummy tuck. Unfortunately, the stretch marks above your belly button cannot be removed with either type of procedure. Good luck with your decision!

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 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.