Should I Get a Full Tummy Tuck or a Mini Tummy Tuck? (photo)

Hi. I am 41 years old. I have a nine year old daughter.I exercise about 4 times a week but can't get read of my belly. I never had a flat stomach or a waist. I been thinking about getting a tummy tuck. Should I get a mini or a full? Thanks a lot :)

Doctor Answers 13

Full tummy tuck with liposuction on the sides to define your waist.

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Thank you for your question. You would likely benefit from a full tummy tuck with liposuction on the sides to define your waist.

To be sure, see two or more board certified plastic surgeons in your area in consultation.

Best of luck.

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

You should be congratulated on the appearance of your abdomen,  despite having had a pregnancy.

For the best results,  I think you should undergo a full tummy tuck operation.

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.

Full or "mini" tummy tuck?

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Without a full examination, the amount of information available to form an opinion on this question is very limited.  That said, your photos (especially the lateral view) suggest that you have skin and muscle laxity both above AND below the umbilicus.  Therefore, I would recommend a full tummy tuck, which will tighten the entire abdomen top to bottom.

Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for you question.    It is difficult to give accurate recommendation without an in office exam.  When I evaluate the abdomen, I assess:
1.  The amount of loose skin

2.  The volume of fatty tissue
3.  The degree of muscle laxity.

I evaluate this in each of 3 areas:
1.  Upper Abdomen

2.  Area around the Belly Button
3.  Lower Abdomen

MINI TUMMY TUCK: If a patient has loose skin, fatty tissue, and muscle laxity limited to the Lower Abdomen, then I recommend the mini tummy tuck.  In order to qualify for this, the patient must have good skin and muscle tone in their upper abdomen and area around the belly button.   I will frequently perform liposuction of these areas with my Mini Tummy Tuck to enhance the overall contour.

FULL TUMMY TUCK:  this is for patients who have loose skin and muscle laxity of the upper abdomen, belly button area, and lower abdomen.   This procedure tightens all 3 areas with a bikini line incision.   I often encorporate liposuction with my full tummy tuck as I feel it offers a superb end result.
EXTENDED TUMMY TUCK:  This works well for patients who have loose skin that extends over the hip bone into the flank area.   I will perform extensive liposuction and skin excision to the hip and flank area combined with full tummy tuck.

BODY LIFT/BELT LIPECTOMY:  this is essentially a 360 degree tummy tuck which involves removal of loose skin and fatty tissue of the lower back and buttocks, in addition to the extended tummy tuck.
I wish you a safe recovery and amazing result!!

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

You're most appropriate for a mini-abdominoplasty

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I would suggest you'd get a very good result from a mini-abdominoplasty for a few reasons

1. modest skin excess

2. thin frame

3. high native belly button position

These features make you the stereotypic patient for this type of short scar procedure. A full abdominoplasty incision (much like a facelift or breast lift) is only required for redraping the amount of excess skin you have. You really don't have much which makes the need for a traditional surgery likely overkill and you'd have plenty of access for any muscle suturing you'd require.

Tummy tuck

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Your photos don't reveal much looseness of your skin with you standing up straight.  An exam by a Plastic Surgeon will help get a better idea if you have enough excess skin  to warrant a tummy tuck .

Should I Get a Full Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck?Answr:

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Your case is really one of those tough ones because just from the pictures I cant tell exactly how loose you are above the belly button and how loose your skin is all over...I think in your case you really will need to spend some time with a Board Certified PS and let them push and pull a bit on you and see what your goals are as well!!

Mini vs full tummy tuck

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Based on the photos, the muscle laxity of the central abdomen appears to be the primary concern.  A standard mini tummy tuck can only provide access to the muscle below the umbilicus.  A full tummy tuck would address the muscle better but is probably overkill based on the quality of the skin.

You may consider a mini tummy tuck skin excision pattern with "floating" the umbilicus with the skin to give access to the upper abdominal muscles.  Basically this involves dividing the attachment of the umbilicus to the abdominal wall leaving it attached to the skin.  The umbilical stalk would be otherwise in the way of an accurate muscle repair above.  This has to be re-attached, of course.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 185 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck v. Full Tummy Tuck

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The mini tummy tuck works best on people with a trim upper abdomen and a shape like a "pot belly" bellow the belly button.  A full gives a tighter result and a more sculpted waistline.  It would be important to examine you in person to see what would work well on you.  It may be possible that even liposuction without a "tuck" could make for good change.  Ask your surgeon to compare these choices in your circumstances.

Mini versus Full Tummy Tuck

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From your photos, it appears that you have some loose soft tissues-skin and subcutaneous fat-in both the upper and lower abdomen.  Also, there appears to be some muscle laxity that can be addressed.  All that said, the only way to truly determine which procedure would be the best for achieving the results you desire is to obtain a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who after performing a detailed examination can provide the guidance you are seeking.  Hope this helps and best of luck. 

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.