Mini Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck to Remove All Stretch Marks?

After pregnancy, I returned to my normal weight of 110. But I was left with a little bit of loose skin/stretch marks. Would a mini TT get rid of all the stretch marks on my abdomen or is a full TT needed? If I'm going to go through the surgery I want flat, stretch mark free belly.

Doctor Answers 15

Only the Full TT has a chance to remove all your stretch marks.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I cannot precisely see the full extent of the stretch marks on your abdomen from the photo. It appears that they extend to the level of your navel and possibly above it. Only a full Tummy Tuck will provide the possibility of removing the majority if not all of the your stretch marks. However, you will be trading in these for the traditional Tummy Tuck  scar and a scar around the navel. If your stretch marks extend above your navel then in all likelihood there will be some remaining even after a full Tummy Tuck.

You will then have the usual scars plus some remaining stretch marks. This may not be the trade off you are looking for. If your stretch marks fortuitously fall in the right distribution below your navel then they can all be removed and the full Tummy Tuck would be the perfect operation for you. The resultant scar can be hidden in a two piece swim suit. You will need to have an in person consultation with a plastic surgeon to determine if the full Tummy Tuck will in fact remove all your stretch marks. I do not believe a mini Tummy Tuck will do you any good.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Full tummy tuck vs. mini tummy tuck for stretch marks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

For patients with stretch marks who want them "gone", there are some difficult decisions.

To remove a significant number of stretch marks, a full tummy tuck will be necessary.  Except a full tummy tuck will result in a high and long incision.  So the patient must decide which is preferable, scars or stretch marks.

There are various in-between procedures that can also apply, but only a full tummy tuck will remove a great deal of stretch marks.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

A full tummy tuck is best for global abdominal skin laxity

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You appear to have stretch marks rising above your belly button. A mini-tummy tuck will not address any laxity above the belly button. Very few people are good candidates for a mini-tummy tuck, since most people have more global skin laxity above and below the belly button.

Neither procedure can remove all stretchmarks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Typically a mini-tummy tuck will remove only a portion of the skin just above the pubic area, whereas a full tummy tuck can remove all of the skin below the belly button and therefore more stretchmarks will be removed.  From your photo, it appears that a mini-tummy tuck would be most appropriate as you don't have a large enough amount of skin to justify a more major procedure.

David J. Levens, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Mini tummy tuck will not reach stretch marks around the belly button

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

One of the key differences between a mini and a full tummy tuck is umbilical trans-location. What this means is that the skin around the belly button in a full tummy tuck is moved all the way down to the pubis. In a mini tummy tuck, only the lower skin laxity, that below the belly button, is tightened and the lowest of the stretch marks will be improved and removed. If stretch marks are your concern, especially around the center of your tummy in the umbilical area, then the full tummy tuck is the best procedure for you. From the appearance of your photo, you may not have enough loose and lax skin to reach this goal. Stretch mark free is probably not within reach.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Removal of stretch marks with a tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First of all before you embark on a tummy tuck, must decide on not becoming pregnant again. Looking at your photo, it seems to me that your stretch marks extend superior to the belly button as well. A full abdominoplasty will remove most of them, but you will end up with some stretch marks in the lower abdomen. It is impossible to tell how much loose skin you have and how much can be removed without an examination. You should set up a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can discuss all your options. It is difficult to impossible to give surgical advise based on one photo.

Mini Tummy Tuck for stretch marks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Typical candidates for a full tummy tuck are women with drooping abdomens after pregnancy, women and men who've lost a great deal of weight, menopausal women, or older people with loose skin due to age. In the tummy tuck, the skin from the rib cage down to the pelvic area is tightened, and the navel is moved up and secured in a new positon. A mini-tummy tuck is especially effective for people who look pretty good from the navel up. The main difference between the 2 procedures is that the mini-tummy tuck doesn't require moving or reconstructing the navel and the incision is shorter than the one made in a full tummy tuck.

You might be a candidate for a non-invasive procedure called Thermage (no incision!) that can tighten skin and stimulate your body to make healthier collagen—the building block that provides structure to your skin. The procedure uses radiofrequency technology called ThermaCool that has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift skin. Fast and easy, Thermage requires no downtime from normal activities. And unlike laser treatments, Thermage can be performed on patients of all skin types. Thermage can be used not only for sagging facial, neck, and eyelid skin; but also all over the body, including the abdomen. You can tighten and lift without surgery, injections, or downtime.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

My definition of a mini-TT removes a lot less skin than does a full TT.  Although it is difficult for me to see the extent of stretch marks or striae in your photo, I feel that you are a good candidate for and will be happier with a full abdominoplasty.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Mini or full tummy tuck depends on skin laxity

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The decision about whether a mini or full abdominoplasty is best depends on how much loose skin there is and where. If it is localized to the area below the belly button then often a mini will work, and if the skin above the belly button is tight then a full TT wouldn't even be possible. This is independent of where the stretch marks are, so while everyone wants to get rid of all the stretch marks it depends entirely on other things.

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

Tummy tuck- full or mini?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A side and quarter view will be needed, and better quality at that.

However, it looks like your marks extend above the navel.  A mini tummy tuck will not handle that, and even with a full, you may have a few small ones left.

Based on your goals and photo, looks like a full would be the better bet.


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.