Full Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck? Mostly Stretch Marks! (photo)

Hi, after having my first and last baby my stomach has gotten like this. I wanted to know if I can get away with having a mini tummy tuck or will I need a full tummy tuck? Also is my case considered severe, mild, or somewhere in the middle? Thanks

Doctor Answers 15

Mini versus a Full TT?

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 I dont believe your queston can be accurately answered without an in person consultation with a hands on exam of your abdomen. If you are mainly concerned with removing stretch marks neither approach will completely do so. The full TT will remove the most stretch marks but those above your navel will still remain. If the majority of your abdominal bulge is the result of fatty tissue liposuction alone may be enough for you.  If your bulge has a significant component of muscle weakness  you will need the full tummy tuck to tighten these muscles to produce maximal abdominal flatness. But remember, even with the full TT stretch marks remain and now you have the associated scarring. Again, a consultation with a plastic surgeon is needed to sort out the components of your problem and spell out the surgical solutions.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Full vs mini tummy tuck/stretch marks

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After reviewing the photos you have posted, I would recommend that your proceed with a full tummy tuck. I noticed that you mentioned that you have had children. The bulging of your abdomen is likely due to the fact that your abdominal muscles have stretched apart while you were pregnant. Although a mini tummy tuck would get rid of excess skin, it will not address the overall bulge that can be seen in your photos. Tightening the fascia, or layer over the muscles, is only done during a full tummy tuck and will be the only way to truly flatten your abdomen. It is important to know that whether or not you choose to do a full or mini tummy tuck, the only skin that can be removed will be the skin that starts at the level of your belly button and down. No stretch marks that you have above your belly button can be removed due to the nature of the surgery.

R. Michael Koch, MD
Tarrytown Plastic Surgeon

I recommend a full tummy tuck

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I definitely think you would have better results with a full tummy tuck since trying to limit the length of the scar via a mini-tt on you would most probably leave you with large "dog ears" (protrusions of skin) at the ends of the incision or significant "pleating" from trying to gather the horizontal excess centrally.  The good news is most women can hide their full abdominoplasty scar in a bikini or panties.

Hope that helped,


Audrey Farahmand, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon

Full TT or Mini TT

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Hi LLP22. You definitely nee a full TT with aggresive tightening of the fascia and liposuction.

Peter Fisher, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck? Mostly Stretch Marks

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A mini-TT is useful only in the occasional patient whose problem is limited to the lower abdomen, and in whom not much skin needs to be removed. Neither of these conditions apply to you so far as I can tell from these photos. 

A TT will tighten the abdomen muscles and skin, and will remove some of the stretch marks-not all of them. 

When you are ready for an in person consultation,RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S. Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Need a standard abdominoplasty

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Do not even consider a mini abdominoplasty you will be disappointed with the results.  YOu need a standard abdominoplasty with  a  low transverse incision, plication of the anterior abdominal wall fascia, removal of the redundant skin and liposuction of the lateral hips and flanks. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Full tummy tuck

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Hi.  Thanks for sharing your photos.  Based on your photos, full tummy tuck will give you a good result.  Full tummy tuck is more powerful surgery than a mini-tummy tuck.  A full-tummy tuck will get rid of more excess skin and fat as well as tighten your abdominal muscle.  You should make sure that your weight has been stable for at least 3 months and be medically healthy.  Best wishes!

Full Tummy tuck or mini?

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Based on the photos it appears that you have lots of looseness of skin, with probable waedness and separation of the abdominal muscles, and lots of stretck marks. I would recommend a standard TT to have the best result. You should seek consultation with a Board Certified PS. Good luck!

In the middle of mini and full tummy tuck

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A photo can show only so much, and the decision between a full and mini tummy tuck can depend on the degree of diastasis and the inherent laxity of the skin, as it is hard to judge by the appearance of stretch marks alone. We would defer to a careful consultation to consider which option is right for you,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck or Mini Tummy Tuck? Mostly Stretch Marks!

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Based on your pictures, a full tummy tuck seems like the better option. A mini-tummy tuck will not give a good result. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 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.