Wondering if I should get a full Tummy tuck or a mini?! (photos)

Doctor Answers 17

Wondering about full vs. mini tummy tuck.

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Thank you for your question and photos.  Of course, an exam would be needed to make a final determination.  It looks like you would be a good candidate for a traditional tummy tuck.  At that time, the rectus muscles can be sewn back together, (plicated).  Mini tummy tucks are usually reserved for those with extra skin between the umbilicus and pubis.  The loose skin is trimmed off.  These patients are usually quite thin.  Best to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Together you will come up with a plan.


Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

4 Options

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Dear ashleyneal1990,
Your case is kind of a “tweener” meaning that three different options would be satisfactory for you. It is a matter of determining which is the best option in your mind. If you think about it abdominal recontouring only has three options, and that is liposuction, mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck, and I might a fourth which would be a modification of a full tummy tuck in which we use a floating bellybutton technique. You really do not have excess skin above the bellybutton nor do you have stretch marks above the bellybutton, so my thought would be either a traditional full tummy tuck which would result in a three-scar pattern (around the bellybutton, small vertical one in the lower abdomen and then the bikini line scar) or a full tummy tuck with a floating bellybutton option which would only have a scar in the tan lines. I hope this has been helpful to you. Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Robert D. Wilcox, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Full tummy tuck or mini?

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Thank you for providing the photo with your question. Because your stretch marks extend above the belly button, I would recommend a full tummy tuck. This will allow for tightening of the abdominal muscles along with maximum reduction of excess tissue. You are a great candidate and should have a beautiful result. Best of luck!

Ashley Gordon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Wondering if I should get a full Tummy tuck or a mini?!

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Thank you for your question.  Based on your photo which shows excess loose skin with stretch marks, it appears that you would be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck.  This would help eliminate the excess abdominal skin, tighten your muscles and improve your contour.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Full TT or mini

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HI Ashley,

  It would be in your best interests to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to get a complete exam and discuss your goals with him/her. You certainly could have a full tummy tuck which would probably give you the most dramatic result, but with the
understanding that you will have longer scars and a longer recovery.
  Your health history also is important in deciding which procedure to perform as
a full tummy tuck will take longer and will probably require an overnight stay.
A full consult with a good, experienced plastic surgeon will help you make a decision as to which operation is best for you.
Dr. Christine Rodgers

Wondering if I should get a full Tummy tuck or a mini

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Thank you for your question. Based on the picture Full TT will give you the optimal results. Please consult with board certified PS for evaluation.

Tummy choices

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Thanks for your inquiry and an excellent question.  From your picture it is hard to access how much muscle separation and pooching you have. If the muscle is greatly separated-you will need a full tummy tuck.  I suggest you get a few in person opinions.  Good Luck.  

Wondering if I should get a full Tummy tuck or a mini?!

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There are a variety of surgical procedures or combinations that can produce good results in patients with abdominal laxity, depending on multiple factors including their anatomy and degree of desired improvement: A mini tummy tuck, an umbilical float modified tummy tuck, a full abdominoplasty. Each of these can be performed with or without liposuction, repair of the diastasis recti and correction of the umbilical hernia. They produce different degrees of improvement.

The loose skin and lower stretch marks can be removed with a tummy tuck and the upper stretch marks brought to a lower position where they will be less obvious. It is usually possible to have a low scar line which is covered by a bathing suit bottom.

Following the advice of anyone who would presume to tell you what to do based on a limited two dimensional photo without taking a full medical history, examining you, feeling and assessing your tissue tone, discussing your desired outcome and fully informing you about the pros and cons of each option would not be in your best interest. Find a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and one that you trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla,California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tummy tuck

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A full tummy tuck with liposuction would help flatten and tighten the abdominal area, contour the area, and remove any excess skin. The scar would be placed as low as possible similar to a c-sxn scar (but may be lower), but would need to extend laterally to remove excess skin. Usually, the stretchmarks below the belly button are removed (any stretch marks that are included in the skin excision).A diastasis repair is part of a full tummy tuck and involves tightening the muscles. It's done by performing a type of "internal corset" with suture. This is going to cinch in your waist and give you more of that hourglass shape .Liposuction will contour your figure and the extra skin will be excised and tailored to your new shape. I hope this helps.

Kiran Polavarapu, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Choice

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Thanks for your question and pictures.  Without doing an in-person examination it is a bit difficult to tell which option is best for you however you do look like a candidate for full tummy tuck.  You may even benefit from a little abdominal and flank liposuction to help fully define your midsection and provide you with a nice hourglass figure.  The good news is that it appears you would have a nice result from tummy tuck.

First, find a board certified plastic surgeon to begin your surgical journey and start thinking about what type of support you have to take care of you after this surgery so that you can plan a good date.  Example being, if you have small children, you will not be able to pick them up for a few weeks and will need support from family to help with the everyday simple tasks of bathing, feeding, and clothing your children. 

Wishing you all the very best,
Steven Camp MD

Steven M. Camp, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 120 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.