Full Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck for Flat Belly?

I want to make sure I get great results. I want a beautiful flat belly. I want to be able to wear my sexy two piece bikinis again. Which between full tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck should I get done? I am 5'3 and I weigh 113 lbs.

Doctor Answers 28

Full tummy tuck

Based solely on your photograph, it looks like you would probably benefit the most from a full tummy tuck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy Tuck

Hi Laleiggt6,

Thank you for your pictures and questions. Based on the pictures you have submitted it looks as if you would be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck. I suggest you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options and goals. Best of luck!

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck for flat belly?

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

Full Tummy Tuck Vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

Pregnancy can result in dramatic changes in a women’s body.  These changes are especially noticeable in the abdomen, where redundant saggy skin, weakened muscles, and stretch marks may occur.  Your pictures suggest that you might benefit from a full abdominoplasty, but without a physical examination by an experienced plastic surgeon, there’s no way to know for sure.

If your excess skin is located below the level of the umbilicus and your muscle weakness is also at this level, you might be a candidate for a mini abdominoplasty.  Unfortunately, the location of your abdominal bulge, suggest that you might benefit from a full abdominoplasty.

Abdominoplasty is performed by making a lower abdominal skin incision and then lifting the skin and subcutaneous tissue to the level of the rib cage.  This typically requires detaching the belly button, which allows more skin to be removed.  The muscles are then tightened, excess skin removed and the belly button re-attached in proper position.

Mini Abdominoplasty typically does not detach the belly button and confines dissection to the areas below the umbilicus.  Muscles below the umbilicus are often tightened and excess skin below the umbilicus is removed.  Occasionally, liposuction of the upper abdomen is performed to augment the result.

The best results are obtained when correct analysis is performed and the best surgical option is applied.  In most cases, patients will require a full abdominoplasty.  Rarely mini abdominoplasty will adequately correct the problem.  Recoveries and results are excellent with both procedures.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Tummy Tuck Options

Thank you for you question.    It is difficult to give accurate recommendation without an in office exam.  When I evaluate the abdomen, I assess:
1.  The amount of loose skin

2.  The volume of fatty tissue
3.  The degree of muscle laxity.

I evaluate this in each of 3 areas:
1.  Upper Abdomen

2.  Area around the Belly Button
3.  Lower Abdomen

MINI TUMMY TUCK: If a patient has loose skin, fatty tissue, and muscle laxity limited to the Lower Abdomen, then I recommend the mini tummy tuck.  In order to qualify for this, the patient must have good skin and muscle tone in their upper abdomen and area around the belly button.   I will frequently perform liposuction of these areas with my Mini Tummy Tuck to enhance the overall contour.

FULL TUMMY TUCK:  this is for patients who have loose skin and muscle laxity of the upper abdomen, belly button area, and lower abdomen.   This procedure tightens all 3 areas with a bikini line incision.   I often encorporate liposuction with my full tummy tuck as I feel it offers a superb end result.
EXTENDED TUMMY TUCK:  This works well for patients who have loose skin that extends over the hip bone into the flank area.   I will perform extensive liposuction and skin excision to the hip and flank area combined with full tummy tuck.

BODY LIFT/BELT LIPECTOMY:  this is essentially a 360 degree tummy tuck which involves removal of loose skin and fatty tissue of the lower back and buttocks, in addition to the extended tummy tuck.
I wish you a safe recovery and amazing result!!

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Mini vs. full abdoominoplasty

In looking at your photos I would tend to believe a full tummy tuck would be the better procedure for your shape. It is always difficult to judge the looseness of skin and laxity of the muscle support for the abdomen without  examining you..Laxity above the umbilicus as well as below would best be improved with  imbrication of the muscles  in a complete fashion.  Advancement of the skin inferiorly would  firm up the abdomen that a mini tummy tuck could not offer.  Please get several opinions from Board Certified Plastic Surgeons of your choosing before you elect to have this surgery performed.


Good luck

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

It is impossible to give recommendations without a formal physical assessment/exam of your belly.  Having said that, I would like recommend a full tummy tuck especially to correct the post-pregnancy changes.  After multiple pregnancies, l'd likely recommend a full abdominplasty with liposuction of the waist. A tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a very popular cosmetic surgery procedure. A tummy tuck can be an effective tool for shaping and sculpting the body for better body appearance and improved self esteem.

Sometimes no amount of diet and exercise can create a flat tummy. Tummy tuck plastic surgery actually tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area to create a tighter, slimmer, smoother belly. A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures such as liposuction of your waists or flanks (i.e. love handles) to fine tune your result

Patients choose abdominoplasty cosmetic surgery for a number of reasons, including:

Excess abdominal skin following weight loss; Weight gain (beer belly or spare tire) from a sedentary lifestyle; Abdominal fat that is resistant to diet and exercise; Stretched stomach muscles from pregnancy; Desire for a thinner profile; Desire to look younger and fitter; Desire to fit into clothes better

I recommend you visit with an ASPS member plastic surgeon to further explore your options and to find out if you are a candidate for this procedure

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Deciding between a full and a mini tummy tuck

The simple answer is that you need to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine which technique is right for you. For most women, a full tummy tuck is a better option. Although there may be longer scars, you are able to address loose skin of the upper and lower abdomen and the belly button tends to stay in a more normal anatomic location than with a mini tummy tuck which may lower it.

From your picture, I would agree that a full tummy tuck will give you a better result.

Jason Brett Lichten, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Great Results

Realistic expectations is one of the key elements of a happy patient. A "Bikini Tummy Tuck" will optimize your results recreating your pre-baby tummy contour, and one of  the best belly buttons money can buy. Damaged skin (stretch marks) above the belly button will improve to some degree , but will still remain. 

Jose M. Soler-Baillo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Ideal choice for the tummy tuck

It is imperative that your surgeon thoroughly discuss with you pro's and con's of each option.  Tummy tuck surgery has many different variants, and it is important that the surgeon study your individual anatomy and design the ideal procedure for you.  It takes significant experience and talent to be able to do that.

In your particular case you would be and ideal candidate for a full tummy tuck, especially in view of  your stated desire for a maximum result.  In my practice some one presenting to me with your type of anatomy would undergo a designed abdominoplasty that would address a number of issues such as, correcting loose skin, tightening the muscles of the entire abdominal wall,  creating nice pleasing waist and shape, creating a more youthful and well positioned belly button.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 57 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.