Do I need a mini or a full Tummy Tuck? Or do you have other suggestions? (photos)

I'm 32 with a 4 yr old, 2 1/2 yr old and almost 9 mo old. All three were birthed naturally. I run, bike and use an elliptical between 5-6 days a week when I'm healthy. I hate my belly, and I'm wanting something done. I don't know if I would benefit from a Mini or a full tummy tuck. The scars from the fulls are very intimidating; However, I want this bulge gone! I feel like I look pregnant and very unattractive. I also have an umbilical hernia and heard this can also be repaired at the same time?

Doctor Answers 11

Do I need a mini or a full Tummy Tuck? Or do you have other suggestions?

In your case after reviewing the posted photos I would recommend a short scar full TTT with serious muscle repair... 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Do I need a mini or a full Tummy Tuck?

Thanks for the good photos. It appears you have a significant space between the muscles for a good distance both above and below the navel.  And although you have little in the way of fat the skin looks altered also above and below. I think within a short time you would find yourself unhappy with the results of the mini. Better to get the right procedure now and do the full TT. Although the scar is long it fades over just a few months and if you get the right doctor he/she will make sure it is eay to hide with panties or a swimsuit bottom.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck

The photos you have submitted suggest you have abdominal wall weakness that extends above your umbilicus. A mini tummy tuck will not adequately address your concerns and may actually make your tummy look worse. Your hernia could be repaired at the same time as the tummy tuck. I would only do a full tummy tuck for you. Actually, the scar for a full tummy tuck is just a little longer than a mini. I hope this helps you make a decision. Remember, always go to a board certified plastic surgeon for these procedures. 

Thomas G. Liszka, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Full versus Mini Abdominoplasty

If it is bulge that you want repaired, then you need a FULL tummy tuck / abdominoplasty with muscle plication.  The bulge is due to rectus diastasis (separation) of your muscles.  The only way to repair this is to lift the abdominal skin all the way to your xiphoid and sew the muscles back together.  You look like you do not have a tremendous amount of excess abdominal skin or fat, so your external incision likely would not be much different between a "Mini" tuck and a Full tummy tuck.  The only difference would be a small incision around your belly button since the excess skin from above your belly button would be pulled downward and removed.  

Good Luck. 

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Do I need a mini or a full tummy tuck? Or do you have other suggestions?

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

Do I need a mini or a full Tummy Tuck? Or do you have other suggestions?

   A short scar tummy tuck with muscle plication and hernia repair, if indicated, can be performed together.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck

Based on the photos provided I would recommend a full tummy tuck.

The mini tummy tuck operation is an operation that addresses the lower abdominal wall, below the umbilicus. The “full” tummy tuck operation involves treatment of the entire abdominal wall; this operation serves to remove excess skin, re approximate the abdominal wall muscles that may have spread with pregnancy and/or weight gain/loss, improve the appearance of the waistline and often pubic area as well

Antoine A. Hallak, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Full tummy tuck or mini lipo

Hello and thank you for your photo.
Your bulge is most likely due to stretching of the abdominal wall musculature as a result of 3 pregnancies. This can only be fixed by giving you a tummy tuck incision and plicating (tightening) the muscle layer with sutures. I recommend that you see a board certified plastic surgeon in consultation to get more specific answers to your questions which can best be addressed after a thorough history and examination is performed.
Best of luck to you!

David L. Cangello, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Full tummy tuck needed for muscle repair

Thank you for your question.  From your photographs it appears that you have a split muscles and lacks muscles.  To properly repair your muscles a full tummy tuck is required but the scar can be reasonably short because you do not have a lot of excess skin.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon.

Do I need a mini or a full Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures. I think that you will do well with a full tummy tuck operation.  Generally speaking, in my opinion, the mini tummy tuck is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

 For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.  I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 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.