Mini Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck to Remove Loose Skin

I am 25 years old and have had 2 kids, i ended up with stretch marks on my lower abdomen. I also had my tubes tied so i have a scar from that also on my lower abdomen, would a mini tummy tuck work better to remove the loose skin?

Doctor Answers 13

Tummy tuck vs mini-tummy tuck

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Whether a mini-tummy tuck or full tummy tuck makes sense depends on two things: the amount of looseness in the skin above the belly button and the position of the belly button itself.  If therer really isn't much looseness above the belly button and/or the belly button is high, a mini-tummy tuck is probably a good idea.  In your case, while it's hard to tell fromathe photo how much looseness is above the belly button and where exactly the belly button is, my guess is that you'd most benefit from a mini-tuck with some liposuction.  Your best bet is to check in with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.

Reston Plastic Surgeon

Mini Tummy Tuck versus Traditional Abdominoplasty

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A traditional abdominoplasty will always provide a better result than a mini tummy tuck. A regular tummy tuck will result in more skin removal, greater removal of stretch marks, and better plication of the abdominal muscles. The only disadvantage of a traditional tummy tuck is the increased scar length, but either scar can be easily hidden under a bathing suite or underwear. Only patients with minimal skin excess beneath the umbilicus, minimal or no stretch marks, and little or no abdominal wall laxity are candidates for a mini tummy tuck. 

Mini-tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck

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Based on your photo, I think you will have a better cosmetic result from full tummy tuck.  Full tummy tuck will do the followings: 1) Removing all excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, 2) Tightening your muscle from  both the upper and lower abdomen. The advantage of mini-tummy tuck is a shorter scar.  However, your contour will be better with a longer scar, ie. full tummy tuck.  You have to know that you are exchanging your contour with a scar.  A plastic surgeon should be able to make your scar fairly low under your bikini line.

Mini-tummy tuck vs. full tummy tuck

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It is impossible to give recommendations without a formal physical assessment/exam of your belly. Having said that, I would like recommend a full tummy tuck especially to correct the post-pregnancy changes. After multiple pregnancies, l'd likely recommend a full abdominplasty with liposuction of the waist. A tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a very popular cosmetic surgery procedure. A tummy tuck can be an effective tool for shaping and sculpting the body for better body appearance and improved self esteem.

Sometimes no amount of diet and exercise can create a flat tummy. Tummy tuck plastic surgery actually tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area to create a tighter, slimmer, smoother belly. A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures such as liposuction of your waists or flanks (i.e. love handles) to fine tune your result

Patients choose abdominoplasty cosmetic surgery for a number of reasons, including:

Excess abdominal skin following weight loss; Weight gain (beer belly or spare tire) from a sedentary lifestyle; Abdominal fat that is resistant to diet and exercise; Stretched stomach muscles from pregnancy; Desire for a thinner profile; Desire to look younger and fitter; Desire to fit into clothes better

I recommend you visit with an ASPS member plastic surgeon to further explore your options and to find out if you are a candidate for this procedure

Mini-Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy-Tuck - The Trade-off of Scars vs. Amount of Abdominal Improvement

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The conceptual difference between a mini- and full tummy tuck is that the more limited procedure produces less of a result but has a smaller and lower placed horizontal scar. The key question is which trade-off can you live with better...a flatter and more complete abdominal result but with a much longer and higher horizontal scar (full) or a less long lower placed horizontal scar but with some stretch marks and loose skin still left around the belly button area. (mini-) There is also a belly button scar difference as the full tummy tuck will have one and the mini-tummy tuck will not.  It really comes down to which aesthetic trade-off  (scar vs amount of improvement) is more important to you.

Mini tummy tuck ALWAYS equals less.

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Any mini procedure is designed to appeal to the patient who wants LESS scar, cost, risk, and recovery. What must be understood is that a mini tummy tuck ALSO means less skin tightening, less stretch mark removal, less muscle wall tightening, and yet surprisingly, still requires the same length of time healing and the same restrictions in activity! In other words, an 8 inch long scar still takes just as long to heal as a 14 inch long one, and requires the same limitations in activity and the same length of time for the scar to soften and mature.

By your photos, you would be best served by a full tummy tuck. Though this involves a longer scar and more cost, it removes the most loose skin and stretch marks, tightens the abdominal wall musculature from breast bone to pubic bone giving the flattest profile, and gives the smoothest skin result.

A mini, well, gives a mini result, but you still undergo an operation, recovery, and (minimal) risk.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Am I candidate for a mini-tummy tuck

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I think the best aesthetic result for you will be a full tummy tuck.   This will treat your stretchmarks, loose skin, and lax muscle that resulted from pregnancy.   

A mini tummy tuck works well for a small area of skin excess confined to the lower abdomen with limited muscle laxity.   I believe that you have too much loose skin to get a nice result with a mini-tummy tuck.

I wish you a safe and happy recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Mini tummy tuck verses a full tummy tuck

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Generally women want  a small incision  which is what makes a mini tuck desireable.  The problem with this concept is that it is dificult to remove all the excess skin which is presentbelow the belly button without  a long incision. Furthermore, the mini tummy tuck doesn 't adress any lose skin or muscle diastasis above the belly button. The best candidates for this operation are women who are relatively thin, who only have a small skin excess and who have a small diastasis recti, which means that most women are not good candidates, or will not get the results they were hoping for. 

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck

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Different plastic surgeons have different definitions for a mini tummy tuck.  Having said that, a full tummy tuck will always tighten skin more than a mini and will remove more skin.  The risks and down time as well as the expense are slightly higher with a full tummy tuck, but almost all patients will see more benefit with it.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Mini Tummy Tuck or Full Tummy Tuck to Remove Loose Skin

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From the photo posted I recommend an extended mini tt with inferior MR + Smart Lipo/lipo upper abdomen. From MIAMI DR. Darryl J. Blinski

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.