Should I get a full tummy tuck or umbilical float mini tummy tuck? (photo)

35 yrs-5'2-107lbs mom of 5. I work out 4-5 times/wk. I've been to 2 consults. First dr suggested full TT but may have a reverse T-scar. 2nd said the same thing but also suggested an umbilical float mini TT.Both drs agree that fascia tightening is needed.I'm concerned that my BB would look odd having it an inch lower.He assured me that my bb is high.I hate the pooch.but don't mind some skin laxity. I'll also be undergoing a breast lift w/ implants

Doctor Answers 19

Should I get a full tummy tuck or umbilical float mini tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on your history and photographs, I think you will do well with a full tummy tuck operation. In my opinion, for example,the mini tummy tuck 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 have had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.  I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

What type of tummy tuck

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I am not a fan of umbilical floats. It is hard to be sure without an examination, but I think a mini TT with muscle repair may be my choice. When you are not bent over, there does not seem to be a dramatic amount of laxity above your belly button, by photos. If you want that tightened and the surgeon feels you have enough tissue to get you down even with a small vertical scar, then okay. Otherwise I would stay with a mini.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy tuck type: umbilical float vs standard

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Your photographs demonstrate diastasis above and beneath the umbilicus with associated skin laxity.  Only with an examination would I be able to provide you with a definitive answer, but it appears that you would be a reasonably good candidate for a full tummy tuck.  I tend to avoid using the "umbilical float" technique as lowering the umbilicus can look unusual (and is unpredictable) and the results often are less than satisfying.  With a standard approach, you may have a short vertical scar in the midline just about the pubis.   This scar is only necessary if the skin that is currently above your umbilicus cannot be drawn all the way down to your pubic area (the planned horizontal scar).  This small scar is usually a reasonable trade-off for obtaining a tight, flat abdomen.  It may be helpful for you to review some photographs of patients who have undergone this type of procedure.   Best of luck and be fairly sure of your expectations before proceeding.

Eric T. Emerson, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck as part of Mommy Make Over

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Thank you for your question and for providing the photos. While impossible to give definitive advice without an actual exam, it appears to me that you would be better served with a full tummy tuck.
A mini tummy tuck is used in people with an upper abdomen that has limited skin and muscle laxity. Based on your photos and description, you have laxity of your muscles well above your umbilicus, and loose skin around and above it. A mini tummy tuck will not sufficiently treat these areas, and more focuses on the lower belly. I am not a fan of the umbilical float procedure, and feel that detachment of the umbilical stalk leads to an unnatural appearance and location. I also do not believe that your belly button looks high, and that a low BB does look strange.
For these reasons, I believe that you would be better served with a full tummy tuck. Of course, your plastic surgeon will make the final decision with you.
Best of luck with your tummy tuck.
Jeff Rockmore

Tummy tuck better

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Based on your photos, you are a reasonable candidate for either a mini or standard tummy tuck.  However your best result, in my hands, would be a standard tummy tuck based on the fact that your rectus diastasis extends well above your belly button.  The upper abdomen should be tightened as well, which is difficult to do properly with a mini technique. Hope that helps. 

Tito Vasquez, MD, FACS
Southport Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Should I get a full tummy tuck or umbilical float mini tummy tuck?

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Based on your photos, you appear to be an excellent candidate for a Tummy Tuck.  You mentioned the belly button position moving an inch lower.  The belly button should stay in the same place, only the skin is moved.  We do not detach the belly button from it's stalk.  Discuss this issue with your surgeon so that you will have a clear understanding.  Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Should I get a full tummy tuck or umbilical float mini tummy tuck?

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     I think either is reasonable.  I would say that your umbilicus is at an average position and not prohibitively high.  As such I would perform the tummy tuck.

Try to research this to find the surgeon who consistently produces the results you would expect. Look at reviews on this site and see who gets the surgery right every time.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of breast augmentations, breast lifts, and tummy tucks each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Full Abdominoplasty with Muscle Tightening vs. Mini Abdominoplasty in Melbourne, Florida

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I frequently hear questions similar to this. Unfortunately, there is enough of a difference between a full abdominoplasty with muscle tightening versus what is often referred to as a mini abdominoplasty, or umbilical float, that the two results are never comparable. I have found that even my height/weight proportionate patients and my thin patients, as your photos appear, can benefit from a full abdominoplasty over a mini abdominoplasty almost every time. The simple reason is that a mini abdominoplasty does not include repair of the rectus diastasis, does not allow as much tightening of the skin, and therefore, does not produce nearly the cosmetic improvement that a full abdominoplasty does. I would discuss these concerns in detail with your board-certified plastic surgeon prior to proceeding for your optimal cosmetic result.

Amy Ortega, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mini tummy tuck or full

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hello. interesting question. I think that should get a full tummy tuck for best results.  you have a nice figure, that's the touch that you needs.

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 442 reviews

Tummy button float

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The tummy button float has limited indications in my practice. Similarly a mini tummy tuck is of limited benefit. It could be used for you but I don't think it will give an idle result.
A full tummy tuck would give the best result. The only issue in your case is whether you need a small vertical scar at the bottom of your horizontal abdo scar - this may be needed if you want a low scar and there wasn't enough skin laxity. Its impossible to guide you further without an examination but you should discuss all these pros and cons with a PS and look through your surgeons pre and postops.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 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.