Must I Have a Full Tummy Tuck?

I am nearly 1 year post-partum, having had twins by c-section. I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and fit. If you held a tennis ball centered in front of my belly button you'd never know I'd had babies (other than the c-section scar, which doesn't bother me much).

My OBGYN did tell me I have a hernia there (diastasis?) The umbilical area is just so unsightly, with just as much of a problem above the navel as there is below.... MUST I have a full tummy tuck to correct this?

Doctor Answers 14

Full tummy tuck is (probably) necessary.

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Without a photograph or direct examination it is impossible to be definitive, but your description is accurate enough to state with a good degree of certainty that anything less than a full tummy tuck with umbilical transposition, hernia repair, and diastasis plication will give you a very poor result that will likely disappoint you!

Of course, every patient wants "more" for "less" and that is why there is  potentially a doctor in every city who will capitalize on this unrealistic desire. These doctors may even be fully-trained and ABPS-certified plastic surgeons who advertise or market a "special" or "new" technique that combines liposuction with a mini-tuck, or simply try to accomplish major skin tightening with minor skin removal. (Guess what? This almost always fails!)

You sound like you are back to pre-pregnancy "fighting form" (congratulations!), so you are not overweight seeking tummy tuck-results from liposuction and small-incision "mini" tummy tuck. Rather, your loose skin is centered around your umbilicus, and if your OB/GYN is accurate, you also have a hernia that needs repair, and most likely a diastasis that also needs tightening. These require a full tummy tuck approach to yield the best result. Best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

No One Must Have a Tummy Tuck

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You can certainly decide for yourself which procedure will best correct your needs with the lowest risk, downtime, etc.  Photos would have been helpful, but it sounds as if you benefit from a full tummy tuck.  This is probably the best way to correct your diastsis and excess periumbilical skin.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Full Tummy Tuck versus Mini Tummy Tuck - which is right for you

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From the narrative description you provided, I believe you will likely benefit from a full tummy tuck with transposing the belly button and tightening the rectus abdominus muscles. With a mini tummy tuck you will have no improvement in the area above your belly button. To really ascertain what is best for you, consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Ankit Desai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon

When a full tummy tuck is necessary

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A tummy tuck does what you can't accomplish on your own with diet and exercise: repair separated muscles (diastasis), remove skin for a tight and flat tummy, and remove any localized fat when needed. From your description the full tummy tuck would be best. A mini only works when the skin laxity is limited to the area below the belly button.

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

Full tummy tuck

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From your description, you have excess skin above the umbilicus, streached umbilicus with possible hernia, some excess skin below the umbilicus, diastasis and minimal fat. I think you have provided a good description and you need full tummy tuck to address all these changes. mini tummy tuck has a very limited application and certainly not for you based on what you described. Good luck

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck

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In a  mini tummy tuck, the belly button is not touched. With a full tummy tuck, the skin is lifted all the way to the breast bone (sternum), and the belly button is released from the skin and reshaped and the muscle tightened.

The full tummy tuck, often gives the best result, as there is more skin tightening, especially above the belly button. If you have an unsightly belly button and or loose skin above it, a full tummy tuck would be the best option.

There is no must

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You probably want a full tummy tuck, because it will give you the best looking tummy. As this is cosmetic, it is your choice as to what you do, we can only advise you as to what will work the best.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy tuck after pregnancy

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The simple answer is that there is no way to tell without seeing you in person.  I can tell you, however, that if you do have a rectus diastasis, the only way to address this problem is with a full tummy tuck.  There are very few post-partum patients who are good candidates for mini tummy tuck.  I would recommend finding a board-certified plastic surgeon and going in for a consultation.  Good luck!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Mini v. full tummy tuck

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WIthout a full exam or at least a photos it is impoosible to give you any intelligent and specific recommendation.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Mini tuck gives mini results

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Happy to speak with you further. I'm local and an expert on multiple birth abdominoplasty. I can give you names of patients as well.

Leland Deane, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 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.