Full Vs Mini Tummy Tuck for Vertical C-section Scar?

I had a Tummy tuck consultation with a plastic surgeon. I've had two c-sections. I want a full tuck in order to achieve dramatic results. However, I was told that I would get a small vertical incision because of the lack of skin as a trade off to keep the scar low.

He said that I am a good candidate for a Mini tuck with Liposuction but I'm afraid it wouldn't give me the super tight/flat abs I'm looking for. Can this vertical scar be avoided with a full tuck? How common is this vertical scar?

Doctor Answers 7

Another option

A full tummy tuck in many patients will produce one of two things: a long high horizontal incision or a vertical incision where the umbilicus used to be coupled with a lower incision. The other option may be liposculpture with a Hybrid tummy tuck (TM), a full fascial tightening with a small incision. This technique requires special endoscopic instrumentation and training. The umbilical float disconnects the umbilicis and can be quite deforming by pulling the umbilicis very low or causing it to be flat and odd appearing.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Tummy tuck

In trying to judge from the photograph, it appears your skin excess is mainly below the belly button and not excessive. If there is not enough skin to allow the belly button to reach the pubic bone then you would likely end up with a vertical scar for full tummy tuck. The other alternative is known as umbilical float. I am not a fan of this but many plastic surgeons are. Mini + lipo seem reasonable. I think it would be in your best interest to consult with one or two other American Board of Plastic Surgery certified plastic surgeons to have some other opinions. Find doctors in your area by going to www.plasticsurgery.org.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Full vs mini tummy tuck for vertical c-section scar?

Hello! Thank you for your question and photos! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. Looking at your photos, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle prior to the procedure and afterwards is recommended in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

Once you are ready for the procedure, I would likely recommend a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening. This would remove the excess skin/soft tissue and stretch marks while contouring your belly. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. It will not address your abdominal wall and the tightening of such, frequently needed to achieve a shapely abdominal wall. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result. You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon well-versed in body contouring procedures at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tummy Tuck, Abdominoplasty,liposuction

You are very smart.  You are correct.  To acheive your goal and avoid that vertical incision, the skin must be trimmed and repaired with the table flexed at 60 or 70 degrees.  You will be bent over after surgery for about a week but will attain your goals.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Mini tummy tuck works only if you look great above belly button.


Hard to tell from your picture, but you might get a great result with deep and superficial liposuction, subdermal tunnelling, and a mini tummy tuck. Full tummy tuck result more dramatic, but you will need vertical scar. Your doctor is right. On the other hand, you make great scars.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Hybrid Abdominoplasty an excellent option

Hi there-

In patients like yourself, a more traditional tummy tuck carries a significant risk of taking you from your current appearance (trim but with perhaps a bit more abdominal roundness than you would like) to looking funny or strange. Your abdomen would be flat, yes, but it may not be an attractive change, because you would have undergone a procedure designed for people with more skin than you have. I don't think trying to force a square peg into a round hole is the best approach.

At the same time, liposuction alone is not likely to give you the flat, athletic appearance it sounds like you are desiring.

In cases like yours, the option that has worked best for me and my patients has been a Modified (or Hybrid) Abdominoplasty, in which a smaller incision is used to allow access to the entire musculature (so much more improvement than a mini-tummy tuck).

This is a relatively sophisticated technique that does require special equipment and experience- so there are some surgeons out there not even aware that it is possible.

Find a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgeons with a lot of experience in abdominal contouring that you like and feel you can work with. Ask to see photos of other patients who have undergone the same procedure, and maybe even to talk to a few.

I think what you want is possible, but its important not to end up regretting your decisions because options were limited. Your situation requires a special technique for the best outcome.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

You won't be as flat with liposuction as with a tummy tuck

You may be wanting something your body can't deliver without some negative consequences. Liposuction will never give you as tight an abdomen as a tummy tuck. The avoidance of a vertical scan depends on having enough extra skin in the upper abdomen to reach the pubic region. If it won't, you either need a higher scar or else a lower scar plus a vertical component. The floating belly button is something I only rarely do.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.