Mini or Full Tummy Tuck After Weight Loss?

Should I have a Mini Tummy Tuck or full Tummy Tuck? I lost 30 lbs 5 years ago and I've built very good stomach muscles, but this skin and fat has remained.

My surgeon said that I'm a good candidate for both surgeries. I'm afraid I will be disappointed by the mini, but I'm afraid the full tummy tuck will leave me with a scar that I will be embarrassed to show.

The DR told me that I didn't have a lot of skin above the navel and therefore he could not guarantee how low my scar would be. Advice?

Doctor Answers 8

Mini tuck for mini problems, full tummy tuck for bigger problems

The answer to your question depends entirely on whether you only have loose skin below the belly button or if it also is present around and above your belly button. You seem to have a bit of looseness up high in your photo.

If you only have a minimal amount of loose skin that is only below the belly button, then a mini-tummy tuck should be a good choice. The scar should still be able to be placed low enough to hide it well.

The same goes for the full tummy tuck scar. It will be longer but can be placed low enough to hide -- there would be a scar around the belly button that would be exposed, however.

Take the advice of your board certified plastic surgeon. They'll have the experience and know-how to guide you towards the best choice.

Ogden Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck after weight loss


I would recommend a full tummy tuck. This will effectively flatten your entire abdomen. A mini-tummy tuck will only remove the skin inferior to the belly button, so you would be left with wrinkling above that level. In addition, a full tummy tuck will allow your surgeon to tighten your muscles. The main drawback is the length of the incision, which will not be visible in clothing but which may be visible in swimwear. It's a trade-off either way, so you'll just have to determine which is more important to you. Good luck.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

A full tummy tuck will provide you with best improvement in contour

For most patients (men or women) who have had fairly significant weight loss, there will be some loose skin above the umbilicus, which will not be corrected with a mini tummy tuck. A full tummy tuck will provide you with better overall tightening and will also provide some improvement laterally where you also have some lax skin. One way to keep the main scar low is to make the lower incision first, remove the appropriate amount of skin, and have a small up and down incision (if necessary) to close the hole where the umbilicus was located. Interestingly, men seem to fare well with abdominoplasty scars, and the scars usually fade well with time.

Michael D. Yates, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Mini or full Tummy Tuck after weight loss in a man

Full Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is the answer.

Your skin excess is mostly between the belly button AND both hips but you DO have skin excess above the belly button. You would get a MUCH BETTER flattening of the tummy with a full tummy tuck and the scar can easily be hidden under most men's underwear or bathing suits.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Consider excess skin excision or full tummy tuck after weight loss

Now this is the way to ask a question and a great photo also. I would recommend a skin excision of the excess ONLY. But a extended full tummy tuck can also be a choice. Remember you are trading the loose skin for a scar. That is why you must make an informed decision. Best of Luck.

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

Most people who have significant weight loss require a full tummy tuck

In reviewing your photo, it appears that you have enough lax skin to warrant a full Tummy Tuck. Remember, the scar can be hidden by most clothes and with time, it fades very nicely (though this takes time). I think the scar is much better for your appearance than the loose skin. However, that is a choice that you must make for yourself.

Best of luck!

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

Mini or major tummy tuck

Congratulations for loosing the weight! Don't be discouraged about getting a major tummy tuck. In Southern California, where I practice, many of my patients present requesting tummy tucks for loose skin and also insist that the scar be accomodated through a narrow underwear or bathing suit "corridor", similar to the underwear you favor. My rationale for recommending the major tummy tuck is that it seems that you have excessive skin between the rib cage and the belly button. A mini tummy tuck, which does not detch and reposition the umbilicus upwards will only leave you with the excess skin fold and a belly button, which is slightly deformed, with a superior skin hood. A major tummy tuck will enable your surgeon to redrape the abdominal skin, reshape the belly button and ultimately give you a result, which has greater longevity. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck

It seems that you bending over in the picture. The photo also shoes that the laxity in your lower abdomen is going to your hip bones. Because of that even a mini tuck has to go to the sides enough to avoid dog ears. You seem to have a Long distance between the belly button and the sternum. I believe the full tummy tuck is a better choice for you and less likely to disappoint you. It seems that the scar length would be similar.

Farhad Rafizadeh, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 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.