Full Tummy Tuck After Mini Tummy Tuck? Any other procedures that can improve the appearance of my naval and skin around it?

Can I still get a full tummy tuck after I already had a mini tummy tuck? I am not sure if a full TT is now an option for me because my lower abdomen is really tight and there would not be enough skin to pull for the procedure.

Doctor Answers 13

Full vs mini tummy tuck?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! 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.Given your desires , 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!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Seems like you don't have enough skin laxity for full Tummy Tuck

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The mini Tummy Tuck shouldn't change anything in regards to a real tummy tuck. Ultimately, if you are a candidate for a real tummy tuck then you'll need some skin laxity and it sounds like you don't have enough to pull it off easily. Your best bet is to be examined by a board certified plastic surgeon and see what his opinion is on your particular situation. His opinion should clarify many of your concerns that can't truly be answered until a physical exam has been done. There are many technique variations that can be used to resolve your particular case, so keep searching!

Best Wishes,


Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Converting mini tummy tuck to full tummy tuck

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My problem with the mini tummy tuck is that it tightens the lower abdomen nicely, but does not tighten the upper abdomen. This creates the "mini tuck" look, a flat lower abdomen with a bulge in the upper abdomen.

Mini tummy tucks can almost always be converted to full tummy tucks.

Women (and men) will then be faced with the same issues that probably made them choose the mini tuck in the first place, high incision vs. vertical component, longer incision with the full tummy tuck, etc.

However the conversion is almost always successful and women and men can expect a much more homogeneous, flatter abdomen that ultimately looks better than a partially tightened abdomen.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

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Consider a reverse tummy tuck after mini tummy tuck

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This is an impossible question to answer without some photos to see if you are even a candidate for the full. I have converted minis to fulls but there are always reasons to do that. A bad diagnosis by the 1st surgeon, upper abdominal fullness, weight gain, etc. You might consider a reverse tummy tuck. Best of luck.

Full tummy tuck after a mini tummy tuck.

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I have performed full tummy tucks after mini tummy tucks and the key issue is level of the lower abdominal incision, the position of the umbilicus as well as the amount of upper abdominal skin laxity.

If there is insufficient laxity, then you may require a small vertical incision. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Full tummy tuck after mini tummy tuck

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It is usually not a problem to do a full tummy tuck after a mini tummy tuck. Tightness of the skin below the belly button is not as important as how much loose skin remains ABOVE the belly button. It is that loose skin which will be used to pull down and cover your tummy completely. If you have loose skin above or around your belly button after a mini (a common problem with minis) then a full tummy tuck is really to only option.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Full tummy tuck can be done after mini tummy tuck.

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1) Unfortunately, yours is a pretty common situation. Too many mini tummy tucks are done, because it sounds less scary, and then the woman is left with a new deformity.

2) In New York City, we have done about a dozen full tummy tucks after previous minis. Good results and no complications. The loose upper abdominal skin is slid down.

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

Full tummy tuck vs. mini tummy tuck

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Your question is a really good one and the bottom line is that you need to see an experienced surgeon in your area to determine if this is a possibility. If the lower abdominal skin is too tight, you may want to wait for the skin to loosen. Your other options to address the upper abdomen would be to go ahead with the full tummy tuck with the understanding that you may end up with an additional small vertical scar in your midline (your consulting surgeon can go into more detail as to why this may happen, but basically this would be the incision in the skin where your belly button used to be) or you may be a candidate for a reverse abdominoplasty, where the skin is pulled up and the incisions hidden in the crease of each breast. I would use a lot of caution with choosing this procedure, and I think in my opinion it is better for folks who already have those incisions present on the breast, say from a previous breast reduction.

Hope that helps, but definitely check out a few docs in your area before deciding on one.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Have an evaluation for tummy tuck after mini tummy tuck

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A secondary tummy tuck may be possible, but you need to be evaluated for your tissue elasticity.

It sounds like you will need some skin tightening, if not muscle tightening too. A secondary tummy tuck can be done but with the scarring and deficient skin from the first tissue, technical issues may present, and you questons can only be adequately be answered by examination from an experienced ps.

Full tummy tuck can be done after mini tummy tuck

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The answer is yes. Here are some considerations:

1. First, the original scar will probably be the lower limit of the skin, that is where the new incision will be.

2. The belly button will be left in place on the underlying muscles but cut free from the surrounding skin. The skin above the belly button is then undermined.

3. The skin flap is then pulled down. The excess skin is removed. Now, the hole in the flap where the belly button had been may come out in the skin that is removed or it may remain in the skin that is left in. If the belly button hole is left in you will have a small up-and-down scar in the lower abdomen. This is well tolerated by the patient as long as you let them know about it ahead of time.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 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.