Would I do well with a mini tummy tuck, or is a full tummy tuck absolutely necessary?

I am 41 yrs young, mom to four children ages 22, 20, 19, and 7. I'm 4'11" and weigh 105-110. I have always been in good shape, but the stretched skin on my stomach is very depressing to me. I can "hide/tuck" the skin in a bathing suit if the bottom comes up to about my belly button. Sometimes I feel like a huge scar from hip to hip wouldn't be worth it, so I'm hoping a smaller incision (or mini tt) would work for me? I'm not bothered by the stretch marks themselves, just the hanging skin!

Doctor Answers 10

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck #tummytuck

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Great question! There are so few patients that qualify for a mini tummy tuck. If you have extra skin or laxity to the abdominal wall muscles above the belly button you usually require a full tummy tuck. A mini will only address the skin below the belly button. Most patients that want a tummy tuck have so much laxity above the belly button that it requires a full. From your limited photos it seems a full tummy tuck will give you the best result. A mini tummy tuck would be cutting you short on your result. Especially having 4 children I assume the muscles above the belly button are lax and will need to be tightened with a full tummy tuck. The real answer has to be from a full in person consultation because direct physical exam is the only way to really know.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Full vs mini

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Thanks for your question and photos. Although a full TT may give you a better result it is really impossible to determine this from a photoo alone.

Mini Versus Full Tummy Tuck

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Dear KLGin TX, Congratulations on achieving the results you have accomplished with exercise and diet. While it is very challenging to offer advice based upon photos alone, because of the bunching and crowding of the skin and fatty tissues around and above your belly button, a mini-tummy tuck may not be your best choice. A full tummy tuck does require the longer incision and a somewhat longer recovery time but the results are usually smoother and more uniform than in a mini-tuck alone. I strongly suggest a consultation (possibly a few consults) with a board certified plastic surgeon(s) who can help you learn your options based upon an examination and review of your goals. Hope this helps.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Full vs mini tummy tuck: How to choose

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The first thing to keep in mind is that the determination about which type of tummy tuck is best requires an in-person examination. However, the majority of cases do better with a full tummy tuck, and I would guess from the photos you posted that you would be in that category. When the skin laxity is confined to only the lower abdomen, and the tone in the upper abdomen is good, then a mini might be considered. Most swimsuits and pants styles are low rise now, so it is better to have a longer but well-placed scar and have the entire abdominal area smooth and tight.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Tummy Tuck Options?

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There are a variety of surgical procedures or combinations that can produce good results in patients with abdominal laxity, depending on multiple factors including their anatomy and degree of desired improvement: A mini tummy tuck, an umbilical float modified tummy tuck, a full abdominoplasty. Each of these can be performed with or without liposuction. They produce different degrees of improvement.

Following the advise of anyone who would presume to tell you what to do based on two dimensional photos without taking a full medical history, examining you, feeling and assessing your tissue tone, discussing your desired outcome and fully informing you about the pros and cons of each option would not be in your best interest. Find a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and one that you trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

A full tummy tuck not many may give you a better result

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Thank you for your question and photograph. You are in excellent shape but do have loose skin of your abdomen both lower and around the belly button. A full tummy tuck will give you a more satisfactory result based on your photographs. A mini tummy tuck will tighten the lower skin but will not tighten the skin around your belly button or upper abdomen.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in tummy Tuck, Andrew is an excellent reputation and your community.

Tummy tuck to remove excess skin

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First of all, congratulations on staying in shape after having four children! It does look like, from your photos, that you would get a good result from a "mini" tummy tuck which would not require the hipbone to hipbone incision required in a full tummy tuck. The incision for a mini tummy tuck is much smaller but still allows for the excess skin to be removed. You probably would be able to remove some of the stretch marks and repair your abdominal muscles resulting in a flatter stomach with a full tummy tuck, but that would definitely result in a longer scar.

Tummy tuck choices

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It looks from the photo like there is some looseness of the skin up to and around the belly button area. Patients with this situation generally do better with a standard tummy tuck, rather than a mini, in my opinion. Yes - there is a longer scar, much the results are much more impressive.

Full or mini tummy tuck

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Based on your photos, it appears that you will benefit more from a full tt. Very few patients are good candidates for a mini tt because most patients need to address their upper and lower abdomen. There are many scar treatments available to help minimize the appearance of the scar but it is definitely a commitment that you need to be ok with. Take some time and think about it. Look at many photos of fresh scars and scars that are a year out. Ask your surgeon to talk to another patient who had the same procedure so you can talk about how they feel about their scar. ac

Angela Champion, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

Depends on the goal

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To get the best result with the tightest skin a full tummy tuck is needed. A mini tummy tuck only addresses skin in the lower part of the abdomen. You need to think about what kind of result you are looking for and if the tightest, smoothest skin is desired ( which is usually the case), then a full tummy tuck is needed.

Sam M. Sukkar, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 40 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.