Mini TT or Liposuction? Consulted 3 PS (1 lipo only, 1 mini tt, 1 allowed me the choice). BA in Oct combining surgeries. (photo)

Realistic expectations of lipo alone. Realize will have some loose skin still. Was only going to do lipo but due to small incremental costs and learning I will not be running for 3-4 post BA reconsidering mini tt. I have a 5 and 1 year old. Nervous about recovery and inability to lift 1 year old and run. MIni tt would include muscle repair on lower half. Would like realistic recovery details. Also am a surgical mgr for a large hospital and would like to get back to work w/in a week.

Doctor Answers 6

Mini tummy tuck with lipo

From these pictures it seems like you may be able to get away with a mini tummy tuck. See a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with an expertise in body contouring and tummy tucks for more individualized information. In my practice in the San Francisco Bay Area I have come to the conclusion that the happiest patients are those that have realistic expectation on what a procedure will and won’t do for them. 

Dean Vistnes, M.D.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Francisco Bay Area

#realself #drdeanvistnes #minitummytuck #liposuction

Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

A mini-tummy tuck is your best bet!


My two main observations from your photos are: (1) you don't have much hanging abdominal skin/fat although perhaps some skin tightening would be beneficial; (2) you have a bulging abdominal contour which is likely due to rectus diastasis, or separation of the abdominal "6 pack" muscles (I'd need to examine you in person to tell for sure). Have you had a pregnancy in the past? This invariably stretches the muscle layer and is the primary cause of bulge in young women.  

Although I can't examine you, my instinct is that you would almost certainly benefit from a mini-tummy tuck which is a beautiful operation that allows me to tighten the lower abdominal skin through a very low and short scar (completely hidden below a bikini), and I also tighten the "6 pack" muscles to create a flat, contoured abdomen.  With your muscles in the proper midline position, your middle will feel more supported and exercise is made easier. Although you'd have temporary moderate soreness due to muscle tightening (around a 5 out of 10 where 0 = no pain, 10 = terrible pain) for a few days, this rapidly dissipates.  

If you schedule surgery on a Thursday or Friday, and then have 2 weekends to recover (~10 days off), then I believe you'd be able to go back to work the following Monday (depending on your pain tolerance).  

As a side note, liposuction plays no role here! Because you're quite thin, your abdominal bulge is not from internal or external fat - it's from a stretched abdominal muscle layer. 

All the best in your search!
- Dr. Rad

Ariel N. Rad, MD, PhD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Mini TT or Liposuction? Consulted 3 PS (1 lipo only, 1 mini tt, 1 allowed me the choice). BA in Oct combining surgeries. (photo)

Your abdomen is a true borderline case and judging from your photos it does not seem that either procedure would make much of a difference.  Before committing yourself to any abdominal contouring procedure, try to tighten your abs by heavy-duty exercise, sit-up, etc.  That is probably your best bet.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Thank you for your question about mini tummy tuck.

Thank you for pictures.  It is likely you would enjoy the benefits of full tummy tuck or mini tummy, but not liposuction.

To be sure, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Mini tummy tuck vs lipo: how to decide

There are 3 things to consider in deciding between a mini tummy tuck and liposuction alone:
  1. Skin tone. Liposuction will not tighten loose skin, and it may be looser after fat removal.
  2. Internal vs external fat. If most of the convex appearance in the profile is fat that you can pinch under the skin, lipo might be an option (depending on skin tone.)
  3. Muscle separation. If there is a degree of muscle separation, then lipo alone will give you a limited result. 
All of these factors require an in-person evaluation before a definitive recommendation can be made.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy tuck, abdominoplasty, mini tummy tuck, umbilical float,

First of all, you obviously have taken great care of yourself , and you are fortunate to have very few if any stretch marks.  What I notice on side view is that your abdominal wall is probably not at flat as you would like.  Because of that, I suggest repairing the muscles (diastasis) all the way down from xiphoid to pubis.  This would give you a flatter, more athletic appearance.  I would simply float the umbilicus and that would make for a better repair as well.  You could get some tightening of the skin this way and hopefully achieve the look you are after.

As far as post op recovery, that is something you need to discuss with your surgeon.  Exparel is a must and you will need to have some time to recover, similar to a C-section type of activity restriction.  Walking will be your exercise of choice for 4-6 weeks and allow the muscle repair to fully knit together.  

Paul Watterson, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 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.