Should I Get a Full or Mini Tummy Tuck

I have had 3 pregnancies, 2 c-sections. I am 5'4 and weigh 120lbs. I want to get a tummy tuck to get rid of stretch marks and tighten the abdominal muscles. My concern is getting a natural looking belly button. Surgeons have told me I can go either way.

Doctor Answers 21

Full tummy tuck or Mini tummy tuck

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You will not be happy with the result of a mini-tummy tuck.  The mini-tummy tuck effect is restricted to the area below your belly button.  The full tummy tuck will extend to above your belly button.  Your waist can be narrowed only with the full tummy tuck, and your loose post partum abdominal wall bulge extends to above the belly button.  You want these areas flattened, and sexy.  Check out our fitness tummy tuck, which adds surface contouring.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Mini versus full tummy tuck,TT

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A mini tummy tuck will give you that, a mini result! You are an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck. 

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Should I Get a Full or Mini Tummy Tuck

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In your case - a FULL Tummy Tuck. Hands down.

Doing a mini Tummy Tuck in you would mean losing on a potential fantastic result in favor of a substandard result. A Full Tummy Tuck will flatten the tummy, narrow your waist (regaining a great hourglass figure), lift a sagging Mons pubis, lift and smooth the anterior thighs and remove the maximal amount of loose and damaged tummy skin (stretch marks etc).

If you want a great belly button - pick a surgeon who is passionate about creating a sexy belly button. Such a belly button should ALWAYS be an innie, in the midline, at an appropriate height (from the genitalia), located in a slightly depressed / sunken area and have a slight shelf / hood from 10 to 2 o'clock. The belly button should be the focal point of the new tummy and you must pick someone who would give this to you.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck

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Based on your photos and your history, I believe you are an ideal candidate for a full abdominoplasty. You have muscle looseness from the rib cage to the pubic bone. You have skin looseness over the entire abdominal wall, with significant loss of your waist.  You also desire improvement of your umbilicus. All of these factors can be dramatically improved with a well designed tummy tuck.  Make sure your surgeon has expertise, talent and lots of experience with performing abdominoplasty with rather thin patients with significant muscle looseness. 

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Fully Tummy Tuck versus a Mini Tummy Tuck

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Based on your photographs, a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) would tighten your rectus muscles and narrow your waist, which is what I would recommend. I would also add liposuction of your upper abdomen, waist and hips.

Donna Rich, MD
Webster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Full abdominoplasty vs. mini-tuck

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You would benefit from a full abdominoplasty.  While the scar is longer, it will still sit below a bikini line. There is no question that you will have the best and most flattering result from a full tummy tuck.

Full tummy tuck will give a better result

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Based on your photos, a full tummy tuck will allow for greater skin removal and muscle tightening which will give you a better abdominal contour. This can be easily determined during an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon with you in a semi-flexed position. The key to getting a natural looking belly button is to create a depression at the belly buton so as to avoid a flat appearance and to create the suture line very deep at the base of the belly button so there isn't a visible scar at the lower border.

It's quite rare that someone is a true candidate for a mini-tummy tuck; these patients are usually quite thin with minimal skin excess.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Full tummy tuck is best

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A mini TT is very rare and you aren't an ideal candidate for one because of how much skin laxity you have and the muscle laxity that extends above the belly button showing on your side photo.  Good luck.

Full vs mini tummy tuck

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Many patients think only of the length of the scar when  assessing options for abdominal contouring. Much more important is the total result achieved. Restoring an  appropriate "girdle effect of the abdominal muscles not only improves the flatness of abdomen, but actually adds support to the low back which is a common concurrent problemwith diastasis or separation of the abdominal muscles. A well-shaped waist can also be achieved with muscle repair that is not possible with just skin resection. Finally, the more skin to be removed, the longer the required scar. However it is much more important where the scar is placed and how it is shaped than just the length. I  also find that an appropriately reconstructed  umbilicus(belly butoon) after a full tummy tuck usually looks better than a distorted  or malpositioned one which may occur from a mini- tuck. In summary there are indications for a limited or mini tuck but your photos indicate that this procedure would be more likely to give a mini result.

Stanley G. Poulos, MD
Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini vs full tummy tuck

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In my experience, women who have had 2 or more pregnancies and have stretch marks in the lower abdomen benefit most from a full tummy-tuck. A mini tummy-tuck just doesn't remove enough skin for most women's needs. Properly done, the belly-button should look very natural and often times better than before surgery. Ask around and make sure you find a surgeon with a great reputation and lots of experience with the surgery.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 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.