Age 24, 2 children and weight gain: Mini or Full Tummy Tuck? (photo)

I'm 24 years old and I've had 2 children. I gained a lot of weight with the first and lost it very quickly so I have extra skin on my stomach and I'd like to know if I would benefit more from a full tummy tuck or a mini one.

Doctor Answers 17

Age 24 - 2 children and weight gain: mini or 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!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures.
You should be proud of  the appearance of your abdominal wall after 2 pregnancies. Exactly what operation will best meet your goals will depend on physical examination. Online consultants cannot provide you with specific enough advice based on the photographs provided. 
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 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 helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

A full tummy tuck is likely your best option to get the result that you want.

Thank you for your question and the photos.

A full tummy tuck is likely your best option to get the result that you want.

To be sure, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

While young, there appears to considerable skin laxity above and below the belly button. To address the areas of laxity properly, you will need to have a full abdominoplasty. In person consultation and exam will confirm the appropriate procedure. Consult with 3 -4 surgeons to understand your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

It depends

You are young to undergo tummy tuck, but you have had two children and do show signs of significant skin laxity as well as diastasis recti (separation of the rectus muscles).  If you are not planning on more kids and are prepared for a 4-6 week recovery, you will likely achieve a very nice improvement of your abdominal contour with a tummy tuck.

The decision of "mini" vs full involves determining if your major involvement is below your belly button or also above.  Yours appears mostly below for which a mini would be very effective with a shorter scar, but you may not gain as much upper abdominal improvement with skin and muscle tightening.  A mini also avoids a circular scar inside the belly button which is simply stretched downwards rather than repositioned. The recovery is the same.

You should consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options. 


David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck

Based on your photo alone, it is difficult to make any formal recommendations.  But I will suggest that you will likely benefit the most from a full tummy tuck.   Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a formal consultation and to learn more about your options.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

A full TT

assuming you are not going to get pregnant again soon, only a full TT will

allow you to remove enough skin to really give you a good result.

good luck


david berman md

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Mini or full Tummy tuck

Dear Caddensmommy08,

First I would ask you if you are finished with having children ? 

If you are not sure, I would tell you to postpone any tummy tuck procedures and only consider liposuction of your midsection: better contouring, faster recovery, still the stretch marks, but no scar, and no need for revision in case of a 3 rd pregnancy assuming you will not gain and keep too much weight on.

If you are absolutely sure you are finished with pregnancies, then I think you would need a full tummy tuck.

You will be best served by a consultation so we can give you all details about the procedure, recovery, etc..

best of luck

Florence Mussat

Florence Mussat, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck

From you single photo, I would suggest a full tummy tuck to address your concerns.  The loose and lax skin around and above the belly button cannot be addressed by a mini-tuck alone.


Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 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.