How to Choose Between Full or Mini Tummy Tuck?

I heard there are 2 types of tummy tucks, mini/full. I had a c-section 20 yrs ago. I'm 5'4" + 126 lbs but I still have a belly w/ stretch marks. That's my only issue. I'd prefer a mini for financial/after-care. I included a pic of belly, but not sure how clear or close it will be. Thx.

Doctor Answers 10

Mini or full 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.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

There are two types of tummy tucks, mini and traditional (full abdominoplasty).  Because a mini tummy tuck is designed to address very small, isolated pockets of excess fat, it is more common for patients to need traditional, full tummy tuck surgery to address excess fat, loose skin, and stretched muscle often the result of dramatic weight fluctuation or having children.  To decide which technique is most suitable for your individual needs, please consult in-person with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who has experience in body contouring procedures.

John L. LeRoy, MD, FACS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Mini or full tummy tuck?

Thank you for the question and picture.

Based on your history,  is very likely you will be better off with a full tummy tuck procedure.

A few words of caution for future patients contemplating tummy tuck surgery may be in order:  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  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Full vs Mini tummy tuck

Just based upon your photos you look like you ahve a lot of loose skin of poor quality.  You probably are a better candidate for a full tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

When to get a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure that can create a more contoured abdomen, a tight waist and a beautiful figure.

In our Miami practice, we feel that as all patients are unique, so is every tummy tuck.
Some of our patients receive a mini tummy tuck, some receive a full tummy tuck, while others receive a combination of both procedures. During the initial consultation, we spent a great deal of time talking to the patients to understand what their concerns are, to learn their aesthetic goals, so that in this way we can create a surgical plan that will help the patient meet their aesthetic ideal. If a woman has extra skin and extra fat but the muscles are in good condition, we may be able to perform a mini tummy tuck. If the woman also needs a muscle repair, a full or a regular tummy tuck may be necessary.
Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon that has a great deal of experience in tummy tucks, liposuction, body contouring surgery. Such a specialist will be able to understand your goals and combined this with a thorough physical evaluation to present and operative plan that will help you meet your aesthetic ideal.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

MINI versus FULL tummy tuck: photos (SEE LINKED VIDEO BELOW)

Thank you for the picture. My advice would be to proceed with a full tummy tuck. Given the severity of the wrinkles (striae and laxity) you may even require a fleur-de-lis modification.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tummy tuck mini

It depends on how much excess skin you have and what you want to improve. The longer scar will remove more skin,tissue. It is difficult to tell from your photo. Watch my video. I am offering a recession temporary price reduction and we offer excellent low interest financing.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Full or mini tummy tuck

Thanks for the one photo. Very hard to advise just from the frontal view. In general I agree with Drs. Aldea and Rand. My options to you are as follows:

1. Full TT with MR

2. mini TT with lower MR

3. extended mini with MR

4. free float umbilical mini TT with MR

I think you need #1.



Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Choosing the RIGHT tummy tuck

Everybody wants to have a mini tummy tuck but very few people are actually candidates for one.  If you have a mini when you needed a full TT you will have a weird looking abdomen where the lower portion is flat and the portion above the belly button sticks out and has loose skin.  This is a "mini tummy tuck deformity" and can only be corrected by having the full tummy tuck you needed in the first place.

A full TT is required when you have any issues like loose skin or muscle laxity above the umbi.  Unless you are perfect up there, you will need a full TT to get the best result.  Simple as that really, so don't be "sold" on a mini just because it is what you want to hear.  Also, know that there are many non-plastic surgeons out there who want your business so they will tell you "all you need is a mini" because they know you want to hear that and because that's all they know how to do!!  Be ware of these people, they usually aren't even trained in plastic surgery!!

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

Choosing between an APPROPRIATE Tummy Tuck and an INappropriate Tummy Tuck

You should NOT have a poor procedure because you cannot afford the proper procedure. A MINI Tummy Tuck and a FULL Tummy Tuck are 2 completely different operations withe very different capabilities.

If you do NOT have muscle separation or skin looseness above the belly button, a Mini Tummy Tuck may be the surgery for you. On the other hand, if you DO have muscle separation and skin laxity above the belly button then performing a Mini Tummy Tuck would be a serious mistake which is sure to result in a substandard result.

In your case, you definitely have skin looseness and stretch mark damaged skin above the belly button. I would bet your rectus muscles are split above the belly button as well. I think a Tummy Tuck may be a better choice for a patient with your presentation.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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.