Mini Tummy Tuck Enough for Loose Skin and Diastasis Recti?

I recently had lipolaser done to remove a small amount of excess fat and loose skin at my belly. I have a 1 inch diastasis and a small hernia after my twins that has never fully healed (12 years later). My plastic surgeon said she could repair the diastsis w/ a mini tummy tuck yet everything I'm reading suggests otherwise. I do still have some extra skin -- not a lot, mainly by the belly button that I would like tightened. Is a mini tummy tuck okay for this?

Doctor Answers 15

Full tummy tuck

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A full tummy tuck is required if you have any loose skin above your belly button. A mini would work however it would only correct anything below your belly button. Therefore, a full would probably be more appropriate for you.

Mini tummy tuck for loose belly button skin

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Generally for loose skin above and below the belly button, a full tummy tuck is indicated.

If the amount of skin around the belly button is relatively small, there are tummy tucks that tighten the entire diastasis, remove a small amount of skin, and repair the hernia.

It is not necessary to perform a full tummy tuck just to tighten the diastasis and repair the hernia.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

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I would not recommend a mini tummy tuck if you have diastasis recti. If the fascia is tightened below the belly button and not above the belly button, then you may get a protuberance above there the fascia is not tight. It is best to do a full abdominoplasty so that the entire diastasis can be repaired and the skin maximally tightened. Good luck.

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Limited incision yields limited results

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I think you would get a satisfactory result with a standard abdominoplasty and diastasis recti repair. I would not recommend a limited procedure because you will get limited results.  The skin will be removed in an elliptical pattern from the umbilicus to a point just above the pubic bone.  The stretch marks above the umbilicus will look better when the skin is stretched tight but the will not be removed just lowered down.   There is always a possibility of making a bad scar but attention to detail and using standard plastic surgical techniques can keep this to a minimum.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck?

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Be careful-  unless the correct diagnosis and treatment plan is designed  you may be dissatisfied with the end results of your 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 to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve your chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

A MINI Tummy Tuck is a lousy operation for Anyone with a 1 inch muscle diastasis and a small hernia

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All real Plastic surgeons fully understand the futility of attempting to use the limited capabilities of a Mini-Tummy Tuck (which can only improve matters below the belly button) to correct a 1 inch muscle separation (diastasis) and skin looseness above the belly button. But some Plastic surgeons fear antagonizing and losing patients who insist on lesser, even ineffectual treatments and give them what they ask for.

There is no way that a Mini-tummy tuck, liposuction (laser or otherwise), Thermage, exercises, yoga, meditation, dietary supplements or anything else out there would taken in an expanded abdominal wall and correct a 1 inch muscle separation. While some skin shrinkage may be achieved it usually falls far short to what can be achieved with a well done full tummy tuck.

A standard Abdominoplasty (tummy Tuck) will flatten the tummy, narrow the waist, remove all loose tummy skin, elevate a sagging Mons pubis and even lift the anterior thighs correcting cellulite dimpling.

Your hunch is right. For the result you deserve, you should have a full Tummy Tuck.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Mini Tummy Tuck

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Again, NO PHOTOS?! I can say YES, but I really do not know what you look like. So if you are really wishing an expert opinion please send photos. Regards.

A full tummy tuck for loose skin around navel.

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SEE VIDEO BELOW. Women with lax skin and diastasis are best treated witha full tummy tuck for optimal results. A mini tummy tuck is rarely used and, in my experience is typically used as a major C-section scar revision operation.

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

Few good candidates for mini tummy tuck.

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Mini tummy tuck is done because it sounds less scary, often with disappointing results. Based on your description, I thiink you will only be helped by a full tummy tuck. The mini operation is only useful to correct skin overhang above a C section scar.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Mini Tummy Tuck inadequate for Diastasis Repair

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My mini tummy tuck is not a procedure suited for diastasis repair although your plastic surgeon may have a different definition. In my experience you would benefit greater from a full abdominoplasty especially after a twin pregnancy. This would address both your excess skin as well as the diastasis.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville 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.