Full or Mini Tummy Tuck W/ Liposuction? (photo)

after the baby i was able to return to pre weight at 123. unfortunately, i was left with this pouch and some loose skin. i have been to a surgeon and was given the option of either the full or mini-tuck with liposuction of the upper abdomen and flanks. as baby is 16 months down time is a factor so I was leaning towards the mini. However after seeing some pics on here (hopefully my case is not as bad as what I saw) now I'm afraid that I may still have remaining loose skin. Your opinion?

Doctor Answers 25

Lipo or a mini tummy tuck - in your case stay AWAY from a full tummy tuck

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Thank you for your post and your photos! Congratulations on your baby! 

You are a wonderful candidate for abdominal recontouring. I would say that you are a great candidate either for lipo (there are many different flavors) or a mini tummy tuck. I would be able to recommend one over the other after an exam where we evaluate your skin, fat, and the condition of your muscles. 

Your best bet is to be evaluated by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has a lot of experience in body contouring and the many different types of tummy tucks. Ask tough questions like, what is the smallest incision you could do this through? What would I gain with each option? How would you address my belly button? What would you do to help the skin above the belly button?

Regardless, I would say stay AWAY from the full tummy tuck. You do not have a lot of skin damage so there is no need to make a huge incision on your abdomen. We have performed many mini tummy tucks with your body frame and emphasize making the incision as small as possible for every patient. 


Mini tummy tuck or full

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From what I can see from your pictures I would say that you would be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck which would leave you with a smaller scar. Liposuction would also benefit you in the abdomen and flanks giving you all around body contouring. Good luck!

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck W/ Liposuction? (photo)

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Thanks for the posted photos. You must understand over the internet it is very hard to be accurate as to recommending exactly what would be best. That is why all the expert posters are not definitive. In my opinion you are on the border of a short scar mini TT or Triplex Smart lipo + lipo, ort a combination ( I might lean toward this one if I could have done an in person examination). Best to be seen in person. Regards Dr. B, read my reviews here on REAL SELF concerning mini TT. 

Mini vs. full tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question and photos. Based on what I can see on your photos, I would not even offer you a full tummy tuck. You have a relatively high belly button and you do not appear to have that much excess skin. As a result, a full tuck would leave you with either a high scar or a vertical scar as well as a horizontal scar. It looks like you would do best with some liposuction and some kind of a mini-tuck.  Please remember that this opinion is based on your photographs alone and not an examination which obviously would be necessary in order to render a more firm recommendation. You may even be a candidate for liposuction alone.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Just do lipo

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From your pictures, you look like an excellent candidate for a liposuction-only approach.  You have good skin quality (loose, stretched-out skin demands some sort of excision) and only minimal widening of your abdominal muscles.  I don't think a mini tummy tuck is the wrong answer, however I think the gains are minimal and you'll get a fairly large incision.  A third option would be do a limited incision at the top of your pubic area, about 3 cm, and tighten the lower part of your belly where the problem area is, and combine it with liposuction of the rest of the abdomen.  

Tito Vasquez, MD, FACS
Southport Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Mini tummy tuck will work better

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You can answer the question by checking your abdominal skin at the sitting position. If you have a lot of thinned out skin in lower abdomen while in sitting position,you will get better result with mini tuck and floating the belly button.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Yes for liposuction when skin issues are minimal

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Liposuction can help improve your abdominal contour. However, as we look over your photos it is hard to convince us that any abdominal scar would be worth the small improvements gained for either mini or a full tummy tuck. Our vote is for lipo alone.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Liposuction of the stomach by itself can give you quite a bit of skin tightening.

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1)  I am in the minority here.  Of course it is hard to be sure just from your pictures, but it looks to me like you do not need any kind or tummy tuck.

2)  With deep and superficial liposuction of the abdomen (Gasparotti technique), your skin will tighten up fine, and you are avoiding the long scar and more difficult recovery of a tummy tuck.  This is particularly true for you because your skin has good elasticity.   I don't see any significant stretch marks. ( And you should also do liposuction of the love handles.)


George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Full or mini tummy tuck w liposuction?

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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 28 reviews

Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

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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 95 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.