Mini Tummy Tuck - Effective?

I'm a 38 yr old mother of three- all under the age of five. I delivered a singleton and twins via c-section. I have an excess of skin below my belly button which I'd like to remove but I also am frustrated with my layer of padding that won't go away. I've lost all the baby weight and am leaner now than before I had children. I'm an active marathon runner and triathlete. I just want to see my abs again!! Will a mini tt help me achieve this goal?

Doctor Answers 10

It looks like you are a good candidate for a Mini TT

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It's a little difficult to tell from the photo, but it looks like you have most of your skin laxity and spread of the muscles below the belly button. With the c-section scar already there, there is very little downside. You should get a great result!

Good Luck!

Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

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The simple answer is that you need to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine which technique is right for you. For most women, a full tummy tuck is a better option. Although there may be longer scars, you are able to address loose skin of the upper and lower abdomen and the belly button tends to stay in a more normal anatomic location than with a mini tummy tuck which may lower it. You may be happy with a mini-tummy tuck, but your surgeon should be able to show you the differences at a consultation.

Tummy Tuck Options

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Congrats, it looks like you are an excellent candidate for a mini-tummy tuck based on your photos.

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 95 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

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Have a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon evaluate you and if you are a good candidate, a mini TT is a good procedure and can tighten up the area below the BB.  If your muscle is in good shape, and no diastasis present, then this is the procedure for you.  If the muscle is weak, you need a full TT if you want the higher muscle repaired (muscle above the BB).

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Candidate for mini tummy tuck

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Based on the photo and your concerns, you may be a good candidate for a full (standard) tummy tuck instead of a mini tummy tuck. Due to pregnancy, your rectus muscles have likely separated. A full tummy tuck procedure would involve repair of the rectus muscles and removal of any loose, excess skin in the abdominal area. Liposuction is included to improve body contours. A mini tummy tuck only involves repair and work on the abdominal region below the belly button. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the best option for you.

On this site, I do my best to give advice without a physical examination but I want you to know that a physical examination by a board certified physician is always the best way to get the most accurate information.

Mini-tummy tuck for "six pack"

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As the other surgeons indicate, mini tummy tuck is for tightening the skin and muscle in the lower abdomen.

Although you do not have very much fat, you indicate that you have a "layer of padding that won't go away".

Unfortunately, mini tummy tuck will not help the padding problem very much.  You can have liposuction to reduce some of the fat, but that also will probably not help enough to show your "six pack".

Most individuals need to get to a very low body fat percentage to show the six pack.  I do not believe that it is reasonable to expect that result from a mini tummy tuck in your case, even if you are in great shape.

James Nachbar, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Mini Tummy Tuck has limited benefits

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Dear Abby,

A mini tummy tuck is really designed to address the lower abdomen below the belly button, and generally in women with relatively good skin. It primarily tightens the abdominal wall below the belly button to reduce the "bulge." Sometimes a small amount of skin can be removed. However, if there is poor skin across the majority of the abdomen and if there is any laxity of skin or weakness of the abdominal wall above the belly button, then a mini tummy tuck will not improve those areas and may be disappointing. Consider the skin quality and the abdominal wall integrity across the entire abdomen, then discuss your specific goals and desired results with your plastic surgeon.


Behzad Parva, MD,FACS

Behzad Parva, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon

Mini tummy tuck is usually a lousy operation.

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Mini-abdominoplasty is for the very rare patient who has loose skin only below the navel and any abdominal wall laxity confined to that area as well.  After pregnancy, that is almost never the case. 

The picture demonstrates a patient that might be the rare candidate, but an actual physical exam would be required.  I am skeptical.

Mini tummy tuck is not the right operation for most patients

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Yo uhave a bit of skin laxity below the belly button. I'd be interested to see you in profile - a bulding abdominal wall above the belly button will not be addressed by a standard 'mini tummy tuck. You may be one of the few people that benefit from a 'mini' - an examination is the only way to say with certainty.


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I would need to examine you, but your photo would indicate that you are a good candidate for a minitummytuck. This would use your existing scar with a little fat removal and muscle tightening

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.