Can I Get Away with a Mini Tummy Tuck Vs. a Full Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I'm wondering if I can get away with a mini tummy tuck vs. a full tuck if I can get similar results with a smaller scar and less down time. I have mostly loose skin and the whole area feels very hollow, i.e. not much fat in that area. Please note that I do not presently workout and I plan on incorporating more exercise prior to having a tummy tuck. I am 5'5 and 128 lbs.

Doctor Answers 13

Getting away with a full vs a mini tummy tuck.

Thank you for your question and your photos.  Of course, an exam would be needed to make a final determination.  It looks like you would benefit most from a traditional tummy tuck.  The rectus muscles can be sewn back together, (plicated). More tissue is addressed.  Mini tummy tucks are usually reserved for those with extra skin between the umbilicus and pubis.  The loose skin is trimmed off.  These patients are usually quite thin.  Best to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Together you will come up with a plan.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Can I get away with a mini tummy tuck vs a full tummy tuck?

Hello! Thank you for your question and photos! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. Looking at your photos, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle prior to the procedure and afterwards is recommended in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

Once you are ready for the procedure, I would likely recommend a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening. This would remove the excess skin/soft tissue and stretch marks while contouring your belly. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. It will not address your abdominal wall and the tightening of such, frequently needed to achieve a shapely abdominal wall. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result. You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon well-versed in body contouring procedures at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Tummy tuck

Looks like a full tummy tuck probably the best idea. A mini may not do the trick for you. A few consultations with doctors in your area will give you the knowledge on how best to procede. Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Tummy Tuck Options

Thank you for you question.    It is difficult to give accurate recommendation without an in office exam.  When I evaluate the abdomen, I assess:
1.  The amount of loose skin

2.  The volume of fatty tissue
3.  The degree of muscle laxity.

I evaluate this in each of 3 areas:
1.  Upper Abdomen

2.  Area around the Belly Button
3.  Lower Abdomen

MINI TUMMY TUCK: If a patient has loose skin, fatty tissue, and muscle laxity limited to the Lower Abdomen, then I recommend the mini tummy tuck.  In order to qualify for this, the patient must have good skin and muscle tone in their upper abdomen and area around the belly button.   I will frequently perform liposuction of these areas with my Mini Tummy Tuck to enhance the overall contour.

FULL TUMMY TUCK:  this is for patients who have loose skin and muscle laxity of the upper abdomen, belly button area, and lower abdomen.   This procedure tightens all 3 areas with a bikini line incision.   I often encorporate liposuction with my full tummy tuck as I feel it offers a superb end result.
EXTENDED TUMMY TUCK:  This works well for patients who have loose skin that extends over the hip bone into the flank area.   I will perform extensive liposuction and skin excision to the hip and flank area combined with full tummy tuck.

BODY LIFT/BELT LIPECTOMY:  this is essentially a 360 degree tummy tuck which involves removal of loose skin and fatty tissue of the lower back and buttocks, in addition to the extended tummy tuck.
I wish you a safe recovery and amazing result!!

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Standard abdominoplasty would give you better results

There is no question that you would be very dissatisfied with the limited results that you would achieve with a mini-lift.  This type of abdominoplasty  has a very limited application.  You need a standard abdominoplasty with anterior abdominal wall fascial repair.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck Vs. a Full Tummy Tuck?

It would be best to have an in person consultation with a BCPS. An in person consultation would be a complete review of  the positives and negatives of each procedure. You mention a smaller scar and less down time with a mini, but the trade off may be not having an optimal result...these are just some of the things that would be discussed during the consultation process in my practice.

Kenneth A. Marshall, MD, FACS
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

If you're going to have surgery, have the procedure most likely to result in a lovely outcome

Hi there-

If we step back from the trees and appreciate the forrest, the answers are usually easier to understand....

Your goal in pursuing this plastic surgery endeavor is to safely achieve the very best outcome you can, right?

An abdominoplasty ("full" tummy tuck) is a much better operation for you.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Can I Get Away with a Mini Tummy Tuck Vs. a Full Tummy Tuck?

Thanks for the posted photos. Very hard to be exact but I am leaning towards a full TT. Best to obtain in person opinions. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Mini v full tummy tuck

From the lateral view, there is bulging above the umbilicus and, based on this, I believe that you would be better served by a full abdominoplasty. Given your weight and starting point, you appear to be an excellent surgical candidate. Mini tuck is a limited procedure and is not applicable to most patients.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Full tummy tuck is most often a better choice than mini

A few things to keep in mind when deciding between a mini and full abdominoplasty: First, recovery time is similar though there is a shorter scar with the mini. Second, a mini will have no effect on the skin tone of the upper abdomen. Third, exercise will not change this. Bottom line is that for most patients the full tummy tuck is the better choice.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 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.