Mini Tummy Tuck to Avoid Major Scarring?

I'm 40 with 2 kids, 5'2", 120 lbs. Nervous about a Full Tummy Tuck because of the scarring, would I get decent results from a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tucks

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You have a tough abdomen because you don't have much extra skin but it looks like you had previous liposuction because of the contour irregularities you have. To get the best, smoothest and tightest abdomen possible you need a full tummy tuck but the scar will need to be a little higher than in most people.

Mini Tummy Tuck

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Hi Karenrose1,

Thank you for your pictures and questions. Based on the pictures you have submitted it looks as if you would be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck. I suggest you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options and goals. Best of luck!

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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A mini tummy tuck will leave you with loose skin around your belly button and above the belly button area.

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

Full tummy tuck

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Thanks for the photo.  WIth the shadowing it shows up as alot of skin laxity in the upper and lower abdomen. If this is the case, a full tummy tuck is probably the better option.

Full tummy tuck recommended

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Based on the photo you provided, you are an ideal candidate for a full (standard) tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck does involve less scarring, however, it will not provide the best result for you. During a mini, work is only done to improve the abdomen area below the belly button only. Once that is fixed, then the area above the belly button will be more prominent or obvious. Work involved during a standard tummy tuck is muscle repair and tightening of the rectus muscles which have been stretched from pregnancy.

Then, the loose, excess skin is removed and tightened as well to provide you with an improved body contour and tight abdomen. Depending on the severity and complexity of the case, recovery could vary between patient to patient. Patient's feel great after 2 weeks time, but are required to stay hunched over for ateast 1 month to prevent tension on the midsection of the incision line. An abdominal binder is worn for 1 month to help minimize swelling and support the incision line. Drains are used to prevent fluid accumulation in the tissues and removed after 2 weeks. I definitely recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to discus the best and safest option for you. Good luck!

Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck

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I would recommend a full tummy tuck. If you came to my office for a consultation, that is what I would recommend and I would offer or do a mini tummy tuck on you because you will be very unhappy with the results.

The incisions for a full tummy tuck can be very well hidden if done right, and hidden enough that you can wear a bikini to the pool or beach and not have them show.

You can review the journal entry on my site here for more of a description about mini vs. full tummy tuck:

Consider Extended Mini Tummy Tuck

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If you are concerned about the length of the incision or scar than you will be very unhappy with a TOO short of mini scar that has 'dog ear' deformities at each end of the too short incision. You have excess skin that does not end in a short horizontal dimension. I would recommend an extended mini tummy tuck. Regards.

Answer to full or mini tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): How do I choose? Part I

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You have asked this question twice and have shown two different pictures. Interestingly I have two different answers based on different photographs. From the other picture I would say a mini is an option. However, this picture reveals significant upper abdominal laxity (it looks like you may have had previous liposuction due to the irregularities and waves. Based on this photo, I believe you woudl get a superior result with a full and would be disappointed with a mini because it would do little if anything for the upper abdomen and possible make it worse.

Dr. Moelleken is a proponent of a specialized form of a tummy tuck. Others might conisder an intermediate tummy tuck referred to as a marriage abdominoplasty (marriage of mini and full).

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.