Lipo-abdominalplasty or Mini-tuck Suitable? (photo)

Hi there, I am a fit, healthy active 37 yr old mother of 2. Looking into a moderate abdominalplasty surgery. I do not want the muscle wall compromised, and have done some research on newer methods that in some individuals can remove the excess skin and stretchmarks without severing the muscle tissue... I'm wondering if this would be suitable for me, as my muscles are quite firm under the skin... where/who geographically offers this procedure? I've seen quotes from $4000 - $6000 aprox, accurate?

Doctor Answers 3

Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

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A Mini Tummy Tuck will address the skin laxity below the belly button. But, this particular surgery will not smooth out loose skin above the belly button. With regard to the separation between the rectus muscles, the mini tummy tuck approach will only tighten the muscles below the belly button, not the muscle above. With this surgery, one may have some residual fullness above the belly button if the rectus muscle separation is significant.

A Full Tummy Tuck is the best surgery if your rectus muscles are separated along its entire length and there is skin laxity above and below the belly button. The full tummy tuck does result in a scar around the belly button, as well as a long scar along the lower abdomen. But, your entire abdomen will be smooth and flat.

The mini and the full tummy tuck do not cut or compromise your rectus abdominis muscles.
If your muscles have good tone and your skin is not significantly loose, then you may want to consider liposuction alone. This surgery, however, does not remove stretch marks.

It's best to have a comprehensive evaluation by your plastic surgeon to determine which surgery would be right for you.
Thank you for your question and photo. Best of luck!


Gregory C. Park, M.D.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Mini-tuck Suitable?

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Typically an abdominoplasty is used to treat some combination of

  • excess skin
  • excess fat
  • laxity of the abdominal wall

Where there is no issue with the abdominal wall, no muscle tightening need be done. 

Most define a mini-abdominoplasty as surgery limited to below the navel, and this would give no correction above the navel.  The attached photo does not show enough of the abdomen to be certain, but I suspect that there is skin laxity above the navel also, and that it may well be that a full abdominoplasty, less the muscle tightening would be recommended by a surgeon .

Thanks, and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon


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From the picture you have posted it looks like you would benefit from a Mini tummy tuck with no muscle correction. That would be called dermalipectomy, just removing the loose skin. The range you talk about sounds accurate. You should see a PS to get your accurate advice.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.