Do I Need a Full or Mini Tummy Tuck? (photo)

Iam31 years old with 3 children. My last is 5 years old and was a c-section. I have been doing reasearch on tt's and have had 2 consultations. I was told by one doctor that I would need a vertical scar inorder to have a full tt. The other was pretty certain he could do a full without that. From the photos below I would love to have some insight on if A) I need a full B) does it look as if I would need a vertical scar. C) what would be the best course of action at this point? Full/Mini etc.

Doctor Answers 15

Do I need a full or mini tummy tuck?

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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.  I do not think that you would need a vertical component to your abdominoplasty.  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!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your story and the photos.  It looks like you would benefit from a full tummy tuck.  The rectus muscles can be placed back together as well.  The mini tummy tuck is for those with just a little extra skin that needs to be taken down.  This is not usually the case.  Please go see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Together, you will choose the right operation for you.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck?

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Great question!  Simply put, you need a full tummy tuck without a vertical scar and you should only seek out board-certified plastic surgeons to perform your procedure.  Best wishes!

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon

Rarely is a Mini Tummy Tuck Adequate

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You certainly need a full tummy tuck.  A mini tummy tuck would not take out enough skin.  However, you do not need a vertical scar.  If you are not planning on having additional children, I recommend abdominoplasty with mesh reinforcement.  This procedure has been shown to reduce weight and maintain weight reduction long term.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for sharing your photos!!   In my opinion,  I could get my best result for you with a full tummy tuck.   I do not think a vertical scar will be necessary.   I would encourage you to seek the advice of at least 3 board certified plastic surgeons to ensure you make the most educated decision.


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

Mini or full tummy tuck

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is often determined by how lax your tummy is when relaxed and by how much skin you wish to remove.  Your photos suggest a full tummy tuck will be better but there are extended mini-tucks that can produce a good result too as it involves either sliding your belly button down an inch or having an umbilectomy with umbilical reconstruction at a later time.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Do I Need a Full or Mini Tummy Tuck?

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The posted photos show you need a full tummy tuck with muscle repair. The mini operation is the incorrect choice for you in my opinion. 

You definitely need a full TT

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you would not get a good result at all with a mini TT. you absolutely need a full TT. 

however, i doubt very much that you need an additional vertical incision. you should get a very nice result.

good luck 

david berman md

A full tummy tuck is likely your best option.

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Thank you for your question and the photos.

A full tummy tuck is likely your best option.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

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You would obtain the best aesthetic results with a full tummy tuck.  Based on your photos and history of multiple pregnancies it appears that you have significant loose skin and muscle (rectus diastasis) in the upper and lower abdomen.  A full tummy tuck addresses the upper and lower abdomen, whereas a mini-tummy tuck only addresses the lower abdomen.  I believe you would have a nice cosmetic outcome with a standard horizontal lower abdominal scar alone.   Adding a vertical scar may improve your contour since it removes skin and tissue in another dimension, however I do not believe your situation justifies having an easily visible scar.  Good luck with your surgery.

Mark Schwartz, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

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.