Do I Need a Full Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck?

I recently had open surgery to repair a rather large hernia. My Dr told me he also repaired my abdominal muscles as they were completely separated, having no muscles in my mid section. He explained it as he did an "internal tummy tuck". Unfortunately, the results were a rather disgusting external abdominal area. Does health insurance ever cover the external correction in situations like this? Either way, is this where a mini tummy tuck would be warranted or is this a less expensive procedure

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tuck

This is a difficult question and a complex situation to answer. There appear to be a lot of detail that is necessary to make a proper recommendation. It is also imperative to have photos and an actual physical examination to determine whatelse has to be done.

This is something that has to be done in person and I recommend that you obtain a couple of consults from plastic surgeons who do hernia work and do tummy tucks. There are some plastic surgeons who don't necessarily do hernia work and do the more cosmetic tummy tuck operations. From the question, it appears that you needed and might need a lot of work that goes beyond a typical tummy tuck operation.


Good Luck



Plantation Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy tuck

It would be very helpful to see photos. However, in general ,very few women are good candidates for a mini tummy tuck and the results are usually somewhat disappointing.  The decision will depend also on what scars you have as a result of the hernia repair.  It would be ideal to plan the surgery in a way to remove the old scars if possible, and again, this usually requires a full tummy tuck.  Your insurance is quite unlikely to cover the cost.   Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Diagnosis and treatment recommendations usually require an exam

Hi there-

I'm sorry to hear about your outcome... I'm confident that a talented and experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon could help you be happier with your abdominal appearance.

On the other hand, it is probably not realistic to expect that your insurer will care that you are not happy with your appearance, even if this unhappiness is the result of an operation that was medically necessary.

As far as the details of the technique, it would not be possible (and might even be considered irresponsible) for me to suggest what type of tummy tuck would be best for you. Your best bet is to visit a good plastic surgeon in your area for an examination and recommendations.


Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Full ot mini tummy tuck need determined by location and extent of excess of skin

Your question is impossible to answer precisely and with confidence without having any photographs and, of course, without having conducted an examination. Which procedure would be best for you would depend on the extent of skin laxity and the location. With considerable laxity above the umbilicus, a full tummy tuck would be the appropriate approach.

You should seek out 1 or more consultations with plastic surgeons in your area in order to decide what would be best for you.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck?

As the others suggested, it is difficult to say without an examination or photos.  Based on your description it would seem you need a full tummy tuck.  A mini tummy tuck will only address a little skin in the lower abdomen.  If you have loose skin that involves the mid or upper abdomen then a full tummy tuck is warranted.  Unlikely insurance will cover this.

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Do I Need a Full Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck?

Sorry, but without an exam, or at the least some good quality front and side view photos, it is impossible to answer your question. But as to terminology, whether or not the muscles are repaired is not what separates mini from full tummytucks. It is whether the surgery takes place above the navel, or only below it. So if your upper abdominal skin is a problem, you will need the full tummytuck.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck after hernia repair mini or full

Impossible to say without examining you, but probably a "full" tummy tuck.  You probably already have an up and down scar.  Depending on what you have in terms of extra skin/fat you may need to add a side to side scar as in a "regular" TT.  Best for you to see a board certified PS.  Best of luck to you. Insurance not likely to pay. 

James E. Chappell, MD
Annapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck

It is hard to determine whether a full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck would be most beneficial for you without photos or examination. Most of the time a patient would need a full tummy tuck to achieve the best results as it improves everything from below the breasts to above the pubic area. The mini tummy tuck will only improve the area below the belly button to above the pubic area.


As far as insurance, this procedure will more than likely not be covered because it is not a medical necessity. I recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine what procedure would be best for you.

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Mini tummy tuck question

it is a little difficult to say without examining you, but very few patients are good candidates for a true mini tummy tuck.  With the history of a hernia repair and repair of muscle separation (diastasis) and how you are describing your tummy skin - it sounds like you will need a full abdominoplasty. The good news is that most of the discomfort from an abdominoplasty comes with the muscle tightening (which you already had).  The extra skin removal and tightening is still a surgery, but the recovery might not be too bad!

Andrew Smith, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.