Lipo or Mini Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I am 34 and have had 2 c-sections, I would like to get rid of the "shelf" above my c-section and the fat on my stomach and lovehandles. I need a procedure where there will be minimal downtime as I don't have anyone to look after my kids while I will be recovering. If I need a tummy tuck, I don't want to have muscle repair as that will prolong my recovery. I have heard alot about smartlipo and the benefits of skin tightening. Would I be a candidate for smartlipo or a mini tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 17

Please consider a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening


Thank you for the photos.  Allow me to first say that any type of liposuction alone regardless of brand or technology would be a poor use of resources as it will not correct the two things that are fundamentally present for your abdomen:  1) excess skin laxity 2) abdominal wall laxity.  You may choose to get a mini tummy tuck but the cost difference between the two tends not to be too significant and the results, for you, would be far reduced.  Take some time and find the proper circumstances that would allow you to have the procedure that would give you the best result.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Which procedure is best, tt or lipo

The short answer is, it depends. And for you, it seems that it will also depend on how much recovery time there will be as well as what procedure  you decide on. As a general rule, the more extensive the procedure (for example, full tummy tuck), the more impressive the result. However, as in your case, there are other factors that can make a lesser procedure, and therefore lesser result, the procedure of choice. I doubt that lipo in any form would decrease your extra lower abdominal skin significantly. But a mini would remove it with relatively short down time. BUT you will not get any change to the upper abdomen. I would recommend that you see at least one plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (and possibly several) to discuss your options and what sort of recuperation each is likely to have. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tummy tuck

there is no question that you need a full TT and liposuction to your flanks. you will not get

a good result with anything less.

good luck


david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Choosing Between Liposuction And Mini-Tummy Tuck

Looking at your photos, I think that you should be choosing between a full and a min tummy tuck.  I do not feel that your excess skin will be treated with lipo.  I actually think that you will be much happier with a full tummy tuck which can also tighten your abdominal muscles.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Tummy tuck

You definitely need a full tummy tuck.  Neither lipo (smart or dumb) or a mini will give you a decent result.  You can have a tummy tuck without the muscle repair if you wish in order to have an easier recovery.  However to get the best result it looks like the muscle repair would be advisable as well.  Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Abdominal Liposuction or Mini Tummy Tuck?


Dear Vangirl,

Based on the appearance of your photos, a full tummy tuck with liposuction of the abdomen and flanks is your best treatment option. If you are unable to go through the recovery period associated with the muscle repair performed during a tummy tuck, then a full tummy tuck without muscle repair is also an option, albeit with lesser results.

A mini tummy tuck is suitable for patients with a small amount of excess skin only. Liposuction alone is suitable for patients with extra fat, good skin tone, and little to no excess skin. Any laser used with liposuction (eg. Smartlipo, Prolipo, etc.) may tighten the skin a small amount, but it is not a substitute for a tummy tuck and will not adequately treat the amount of loose skin that you have. You are not a suitable candidate for either a mini tummy tuck or liposuction alone.

Please consult with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your concerns further.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD



Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Mini-tuck or Smart Lipo

Because of the extent of your skin laxity or looseness, you would be better served by some sort of a "tuck" or skin-reduction abdominoplasty. Whether this is a mini-tuck, modified tuck, or full tummy tuck would be determined by what your desired and specific goals are and what you will accept as risks and scars. Without a muscle-tightening procedure, your acute recovery could be a short as 7-10 days.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Smart lipo not an alternative to tummy tuck

Based on the appearance of the abdomen in the photos, only a full tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) will give satisfactory results. The degree of skin tightening with laser lipo procedures such as smart lipo is comparatively minimal. A mini-abdominoplasty will also not give good results in cases like this and the recovery process is about the same as a full abdominoplasty. The determination of whether or not a muscle repair is done should also depend on whether there is a muscle separation.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

You really need a full tummy tuck

Your photos show a classic starting point for a full Timmy tuck with muscle tightening.  Really, nothing less than that is worth the money, time and risk to you.  Anything less will leave you very disappointed.  Either do it right or do nothing at all.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Lipo or mini tummy tuck?

Thank you for the photos. Neither procedure that you are asking about  will give you the body that you want. For the best results, you would benefit from a full amdominoplasty with muscle repair, and extensive liposuction of your back to give your feminine figure back. You do not have a lot of fat on your stomach. What I see is loose skin in the suprapubic area and abdominal muscle separation and fascial looseness secondary to your pregnancy. You are not a candidate for a mini tummy tuck (in my experience less than 10% of the patients I see are candidates for that) or Smartlipo. The only smart thing about the Smartlipo is the smart marketing that the company does. Initial recovery from a full tummy tuck is 2-4 weeks and yes you will need help if you have small children. you have to decide if it is worth it for you to get a minimal procedure resulting in minimal results or the appropriate procedure with long term excellent results. Good luck.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 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.