Mini Tuck or Full? Will This Help with my Stretch Marks?

I am considering a tummy tuck for stretch mark removal and to get rid of the small amount of excess skin remaining from 3 pregnancies. However, my stretch marks begin above my belly button at some points and Im wondering how tht would look afterwards. How much loose skin do you need for a tummy tuck? I feel like my abdominal muscles are still strong and Im not concerned with them, just the skin and strech marks. Help please!

Doctor Answers 10

Stretch marks and loose skin and fat- full tummy tuck vs. mini tummy tuck

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I would concur with all of my esteemed colleagues. A full tummy tuck will give you your very best result.

Don't be convinced to have a minimal procedure for this degree of looseness of the skin and fascia, and the damage from stretch marks.

Also, the closer to your ideal weight you are, the better your result will be. Exercise and diet will pay direct dividends to you in the form of a better result.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question and picture.

You should be very proud of what look like after 3 pregnancies.  I think you will be better off if you undergo a full tummy tuck procedure.

A few general words of caution may be helpful in regards to mini- tummy tuck surgery. In my opinion, the mini tummy talk 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.
It is important  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

A tummy tuck can remove some of the stretch marks below your belly button

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Hi - A full tummy tuck can remove most, if not all, of the stretch marks below your belly button. However, for you it's difficult to determine the extent of skin removal possible without actually examining you. The stretch marks above the belly button are harder to remove, and may require a reverse tummy tuck where the skin is pulled up and removed. Check with a local plastic surgeon to see which procedure is best for you. Good luck!

Should I have a full or mini tummy tuck?

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Hi there-

Based on your photo, I think you would be much better served with a full tummy tuck procedure....

A "mini" tummy tuck is a procedure likely to leave you very disappointed.

Remember that the only thing worse than being unhappy with your appearance is spending a lot of money, having surgery, and STILL being unhappy with your appearance. If you're going to pursue aesthetic surgery for self-improvement, have a procedure likely to give you an outcome you'll feel made it worth the expense and trouble.

You will benefit from full tummy tuck

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You have a lot of lose skin and also stretch marks. Full tummy tuck will help to remove most of the stretch marks and the ones above the belly buttom will move dowvn below belly button.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Stretch marks and tummy tuck

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I agree with all the other doctors that a full tummy tuck is what you need. This would remove the skin up to about the belly button. The skin above your belly button gets moved down to the pubic area. So the stretch marks that are currently above your belly button will still be present on your tummy but they will be below the belly button. The ones that are left also look better because the skin is tightened. Almost everyone that undergoes a tummy tuck can also benefit from muscle tightening and after 3 pregnancies you will have the best improvement in your overall shape if your muscles are tightened too. This will get you a much more sculpted look. I think of it as like adding an internal corset to your shape.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

You absolutely need a full tummy tuck

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There is virtually no role for a mini tummy tuck in a person who has had 3 children. You have enouigh laxity that all the skin from the hairline to the umbilicus could be removed along with all its stretch marks. Those above the umbi would stay but would be pulled down and tighter. Skip the mini as it will do nothing for you at all.

Full Tummy Tuck with recti repair will help you

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Easy answer from your photo. BTW thanks for posting the photo. I recommend a FULL TUMMY TUCK with repair of the recti. You will still have the stretch marks below the umbilicus. Regards and good luck.

Full tummy tuck

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I would really need to perform a physical exam to provide you with a more definitive answer but based  on your photo, it is my guess that you would do best with a full tummy tuck

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

The answer is - a FULL Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

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You would be MUCH BETTER off having a FULL Tummy Tuck.

The procedure commonly removed the skin between the privates / Mons pubis to just above the belly button (the majority of your damaged skin), tightens the muscles (After 3 pregnancies there is NO WAY your muscles are not separated - In the words of Mark Twain - denial ain't just a river in Egypt...) giving you a flat tummy and a much narrower waist, lifts the Mons pubis and gives an anterior thigh lift IF a High Lateral tension (Lockwood) Abdominoplasty is done.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.