Was a Mini-tummy Tuck the Best Option for Me?

Currently I am 36 yo and weigh 195 lbs. I lost about 60 pounds and had excess skin and fat that hung over my belt line. I had a modified mini-tummy tuck in March, 2010. It has been 2 months and I'm pleased overall but there is still a fair amount of skin above my belly button. Would a full tummy tuck have given me better overall results given the scaring around the belly button in that operation? Any advice or reassurance would be appreciated. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

Weight loss and abdominal procedure

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Most likely with a 60 pound weight loss a full tummy tuck would have been beneficial and allowed for better redraping of loose skin especially of the upper abdomen.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

MIni versus full tummy tuck following considerable weight loss

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In most individuals, a mini tummy tuck is a good operation for localized loose abdominal skin, fat, and muscle BELOW the belly button. In individuals with massive weight loss the full abdominoplasty is generally a better option

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

Mini tummy tuck vs. full (standard) tummy tuck

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Based on the information you provided, it sounds as though a full (standard) tummy tuck would have given you better results. Many woman benefit significantly from a full tummy tuck to improve the abdomen area after significant weight loss. In order to address the concerns of the patient, during a full tummy tuck procedure, the rectus muscles are repaired and loose, excess skin is removed, providing a tightened tummy. I recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the best and safest possible options for you if you are considering revisionary surgery.

A mini-tummy tuck the best option

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NO PHOTOS!!!!! I guess no mini will work for a 60 pound weight loss but you forgot to post photos. Sounds more like a full Tummy Tuck is best for you.

Dr. B

A MINI Tummy Tuck is RARELY "The BEST Option" with Hanging skin after Large Weight Lss

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"...I ... weigh 195 lbs. I lost about 60 pounds and had excess skin and fat that hung over my belt line. I had a modified mini-tummy tuck in March, 2010....there is still a fair amount of skin above my belly button. "
A Mini Tummy Tuck is seductive. It is Sexy. It is Simple. And it is the wrong operation for women who have had multiple pregnancies, and/or lost a lot of weight (IE YOU) and / or have a lot of skin over-hang (IE YOU).
As Plastic surgeons we need to educate our patients that they have options. The options are NOT equal. Some choices are better than others. But the choice will determine the output. If you choose poorly, you will get a substandard result.
Few things in Plastic surgery are as sad as the good road NOT taken. When a patient insists on and chooses a worse option, there is no coming back. We cannot reverse a poorly indicated Mini-Tummy Tuck with a Full Tummy Tuck and get the same result as if the Mini was never done.
From your description, with a FULL Tummy Tuck, your tummy would have been COMPLETELY flat with an "innie" belly button, narrower waist and even some smoothing of anterior thigh cellulite dimpling.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

The difference between a full and a mini

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Based on your description but without your pictures to evaluate, a true tummy tuck would have dealt with the 3 problems that you had - extra skin, too much fat, and muscle separation.  A mini is only a good surgery in the correct patient - usually a woman with problems below the belly button.

It is very important to match the operation to the problems to get the best result.  Many patients will only accept a "mini" but expect a "full" result. This is unrealistic and can lead to an unhappy patient.

David Shuter, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon

Mini-Tummy Tuck vs Abdominoplasty

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A mini tummy tuck is just that - mini.  Thus, it will only correct a portion of what a full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is designed to address (just like there is an extended tummy tuck, and even body lift for the most extensive cases).  Mini tummy tucks generally only treat the lower abdominal "pooch" and skin beneath the belly button only.

Thus, if you had excess skin above the belly button (as the vast majority of patients would with 60 lbs of weight loss) then you may have been under-treated.  At 195 lbs (depending upon your height), however, it is possible that the skin wasn't evident at that time.

Tummy tuck surgery comes in a number of different varieties to treat the different presentations we see in the office.  The surgery chosen, should be based upon what your particular problems are at the time of your consultation. I frequently see patients who only want a "mini" procedure for downtime or a number of other reasons, but I never see a patient who wants a mini result.  Thus, choosing the proper procedure should be the most important decision, and this is based upon numerous factors.

Communication is the key, and you should address this with your surgeon, perhaps there is a perfectly good explanation at the heart of the issue.

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 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.