Full Vs Mini Tummy Tuck with Liposuction for Mother with High Umbilicus?

I am a 33 year old mom with 2 kids and I don't plan to have any more kids. I have a low c-section scar and a high umbilicus or so I´ve been told. I've consulted 2 plastic surgeons and they told me the best option for me was Liposuction and a mini-abdominoplasty, but one other doctor told me I could benefit from a full Abdominoplasty, so now I'm confused. If you could please give me your opinions. Thank you very much!

Doctor Answers 26

Mini-Tummy Tuck vs. Tummy Tuck

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From your pictures it appears that you have significant abdominal wall laxity and weakness. The only thing that is going to tighten your abdominal wall is a full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. a mini-tummy tuck usually only removes lower abdominal skin and maybe only tightens the lower part of the abdomen. tummy tuck is possible even in a person with a tall torso or high umbilicus.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Standar abdominoplasty would be best option

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You do have a prominent abdominal bulge from your pregnancies.  I think you would get a satisfactory result wth a standard abdominoplasty and diastasis recti repair. I would recommend waiting 6 months after your final delivery to ensure the best repair and recovery.  There is always a possibility of making a bad scar but attention to detail and using standard plastic surgical techniques can keep this to a minimum.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Full vs mini tummy tuck with liposuction for mother with high umbilicus?

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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

Liposuction and mini Tummy Tuck may work for you

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Thank you for your question. From your photographs you do not seem to have a great deal of loose excess skin. In cases like yours, liposuction and mini Tummy Tuck can often produce a good result. The fact that your umbilicus is high eliminates 1 concern about lowering your belly button. With your current bellybutton position a mini Tummy Tuck would likely still leave the umbilicus in a good position.

You have three options

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  If you were not conflicted enough I think you actually have three options.  1) Liposuction and mini tummy tuck with floating beely button 2) full tummy tuck with small vertical incision near waistline incision 3) endoscopic tummy tuck.  Of the three I think a full tummy tuck with a small vertical incision is your best option as it will provide the best combination of results including full abdominal wall tightening, maximum skin removal, and proper belly button positioning.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs the Mini Tummy Tuck

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You can always have a stronger result with a full tummy tuck vs a mini as it allows you access to tighten the muscles of the upper abdomen (above your belly button).  Having said that, the real difference depends on amount of laxity you have in upper abdominal muscles.  Based on the pictures, I do think you might be benefit from a full tummy tuck, but liposuction may reduce the upper abdominal fullness enough that you will be happy.  Part of the physical exam that I cannot see on the picture is how much of a pinch you have (i.e. how much fat you have between the skin and abdominal muscle).  If this is significant, then you can probably get a good result with a mini and lipo.  If you don't then I would pursue a full tummy tuck.  Good luck.

Mini Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck?

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Without a physical exam, it is difficult to tell definitively whether a full tummy tuck of mini tummy tuck would best serve you.  However, based on your photo and history of pregnancy, I believe you would probably be best served by a full tummy tuck.

A full tummy tuck is the only surgery that will tighten you abdominal wall muscles above and below the umbilicus while removing the maximal amount of skin.  You will likely get the best abdominal contour with a full tummy tuck.  However, because you do not have an excessive amount of abdominal wall laxity and excess skin, like others have said, you may be left with a short midline vertical scar where your skin flap meets the horizontal lower abdominal scar.  

Most patients in your situation prefer the extra scar burden over the suboptimal results obtained with a mini tummy tuck.

I recommend you meet again with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to discuss all of your options.

Jaime Perez, M.D.

Tummy Tuck Specialist in Tampa, FL

Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, FL

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Extended mini-tummy tuck with umbilical transection best for high belly button

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Based on your description and your photographs, I would hate to perform a full tummy tuck on you as your scar would be rather high or you would have a lower scar with a vertical scar as well. In my opinion, you would do best with an extended mini-tummy tuck where the umbilicus is separated from the muscle and lowered an inch or so. This allows for near-complete muscle tightening, more skin removal than with a standard mini-tummy tuck and a lower scar than you would get with a full tummy tuck.  Liposuction would also be done at the same time and you would not have any umbilical scars.

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

Mini or full tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question and picture.

Based on your picture and history I think you would best benefit from a full tummy tuck procedure.

In  my opinion the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

It is important to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.
I hope this helps.

Full vs. a Mini-TT

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You are a  good example of why a proper consultation with a complete exam is essential before a recommendation can be made. Your photos suggests a fair amount of muscular laxity that should be repaired for a optimal improvement to your shape. Accomplishing this requires floating your umbilicus lower or transposing it completely. Ask your Plastic Surgeon again to discuss the plan and the trade-offs of different approaches.

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 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.