Full Tummy Tuck After Mini Tummy Tuck? What will be done with my belly button?

I had a "mini" tummy tuck approx.3 yrs ago. My belly button was not "revised" in any way & my scar is almost from hip to hip. I do not know what was done to my belly button(float?). I was told by previous Dr.s office that it would be 2 weeks before I can get my records. I am unhappy with the laxity in my upper abodmen & lower body. I saw a new plastic surgeon recently & he suggested a lower body lift. Can this be done after my "mini" tummy tuck? What will be done with my belly button?

Doctor Answers 16

Full TT after "Mini"

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In general, a full tummy tuck, or even body lift can be performed after a mini tummy tuck.

The treatment of the umbilicus (belly button) during the first surgery is a key bit of information.  It is important to get the old records before proceeding, to avoid the possible complication of the belly button not healing after the second surgery.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Converting a mini to a full tummy tuck

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The only way to correct the upper abdomen after a mini is to do a full TT.  It is worth waiting to get your records because the new surgeon you go to would want to know if your belly button was floated or not.  If it was floated, doing a conventional full TT would probably cause the belly button to die and you would need a new one made.

Full tummy tuck after a mini - know your options

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We can only give general advice without seeing you, but there are some important things to know about the original surgery. If the umbi was "floated," then the blood circulation to it could be put at risk by converting to a standard. If the lower abdomen looks ok, then perhaps a reverse abdominoplasty for the upper abdomen would be worth considering. If the surgeon you saw recommended a lower body lift, that implies that there may be quite a lot of laxity in which case the mini was probably not going to meet your expectations, so this does put you in a tricky spot. Bottom line is you need to know the details of the first surgery in order to get good advice on how to proceed.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Converting mini tummy tuck to full tummy tuck

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Mini tucks can generally be converted to full tummy tucks; that is the short answer.

There are pluses and minuses for every type of tummy tuck. 

For ladies who just have a poor healed C-section incision or GYN surgery incision, and no looseness of the deep layer, a mini tuck may be just the right thing.

Everybody wants a mini tuck-- who wouldn't, with the shorter incision?

Unfortunately, the mini tuck may be just the wrong thing for many patients.

When looseness of the deep tissue is present, it should be tightened.  Classical mini tummy tucks only tighten up to the belly button.  We often perform hybrid tummy tucks, which tighten the fascia all the way to the sternum, and can leave the belly button intact.  Far more often than not, on side profile the bulge extends well above the belly button.  This is the reason we seldom perform a mini tuck when there is an abdominal bulge; patients are left with a bulging upper abdomen.  The hybrid tummy tuck requires special instrumentation and often an endoscope for the high up dissection.  It can be quite beneficial for ladies with minimal loose skin but a loose fascia.

In converting a mini tuck, we must make sure that the belly button has not been disconnected at the level of the fascia, the so called umbilical float.  The umbilical float is a procedure we do not ever perform for the simple reason:  it is difficult to convvert these tummy tucks to a full tummy tuck if the patient should age and have further loosening, or if they need additional upper abdominal skin tightening in the future.  A floated belly button can be determined on physical exam (it moves widely and is no longer tethered), but it is a good idea to get records anyway.  Still, I have seen a number of cases where the operative note indicated that the belly button was not floated, but physical exam showed it clearly was.  If the surgeon believed the operative note and proceeded, there would be a dead belly button.

If the belly button was not floated, absolutely a mini tuck can be converted to a full tummy tuck , a full tummy tuck with a flank plasty, or a body lift procedure.


Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Medical Records Important--Revision After These Are Obtained

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When patients have loose saggy upper abdominal skin following a mini-abdominoplasty, correction usually always requires conversion to a full abdominoplasty.This procedure involves raising a flap to the level of the rib cage.The skin is then advanced in a downward direction and the excess skin is removed at the level of the lower abdominal incision.An umbilical transposition is an important part of this procedure.
This maneuver is safe if the umbilicus wasn’t mobilized during the previous procedure.However, if an umbilical float was performed conversion to a full abdominoplasty could result in necrosis of the belly button.
For this reason, it’s important to delay surgery until medical records from your previous procedure have been obtained.It’s reasonable to proceed with full abdominoplasty if these records confirm that an umbilical float wasn’t performed.
It’s important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area.This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Full tummy tuck after mini tummy tuck? What will done with my belly button?

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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!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

A Full Tummy Tuck After a Mini Tummy Tuck

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If you’ve had a previous mini abdominoplasty which some patients have had and have subsequently had children, of course you can have a full abdominoplasty. Your abdomen may be somewhat tighter, but it is certainly possible to do this procedure if you’ve had children since your mini abdominoplasty. A mini abdominoplasty is only good in patients who have a long torso, high umbilicus and have no supraumbilical skin laxity.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Full or mini tummy tuck?

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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.

Converting a mini tummy tuck to a full tummy tuck

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It is possible to convert a mini tummy tuck to a full tummy tuck or even perform a subsequent body lift.  It would require a physical exam to determine if these procedures would be options in your case.  If you seek a plastic surgeon, make certain you give him/her all of your surgical records from your first surgeon.  If you truly had a floating belly button procedure your new surgeon will need to take this into account and may need to reconstruct a new belly button.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Tummy tuck after mini tuck

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I personally do not like Mini-tucks very much because few patients are candidates for a short scar. If the scar is going to be from hip to hip anyway, then why not get a proper, comprehensive abdominoplasty?

If you had an umbilical float procedure, a full tummy tuck will require constructing a new umbilicus, as your old one would not survive if it is dissected from the surrounding skin, since its stalk was transected to float it. If it was not floated, you should be able to have a regular tummy tuck approach, assuming you are a candidate.

Two weeks seems like a long time to get records from your doctor's office.

Tim Sayed, MD, MBA, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.