Mini Tummy Tuck Primarily for Stretch Marks - Am I a Candidate?

I've heard that very few women are good candidates for a mini tummy tuck. That being said, I am 30 years old, 5'3" and 122lbs. I am in pretty good shape and exercise often.

I gained nearly 50 lbs during my pregnancy 10 years ago and I HATE....I repeat....HATE my stretch marks. While I do have some loose skin, it's not to the point that it's saggy or wrinkly. Overall, I'm mostly unhappy with my stretch marks. Any thoughts?

Doctor Answers 13

Mini tummy tuck usually yields a mini result

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

You appear to have loose abdominal muscles and stretch marks above your belly button - I think a mini tummy tuck might not be the best operation for you. Consider a standard abdominoplasty - you'll be much happier with the long-term result.

Removing stretch marks

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

Overall, your tummy is in good shape. As the stretch marks extend up to the belly button, a mini tummy tuck will not be able to remove most of them. There will be some improvement in the overall appearance because of the tautness of the skin, but I have a feeling that you won't be satisfied with that. A full tummy tuck is the only way to remove all the skin up to the belly button, but in absence of much laxity in the skin, the surgeon will struggle to bring the skin edge from above the belly button to the pubic area. In effect this means that you may have a small amount of stretch marks still left, but it will be closer to the pubic area and therefore less visible. 

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Full tummy tuck to remove these stretch marks.

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

Thank you for your question and the photos. From your pictures, the stretch marks extend above the level of you belly button. The only effective treatment for them is removal, and thus your best option is a full tummy tuck. It is important to know that even with a full tummy tuck, you may still have a few stretch marks remaining. In some women, there is not enough laxity in the upper skin to perform a full tummy tuck, even if that is what is necessary to remove all of the stretch marks. I recommend that you consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to fully explore your options.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Stretch marks and tummy tuck

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

Since the stretch marks go up to above the belly button, a full tummy tuck will be most appropriate to remove most of them. This would involve making a new belly button. The decision to tighten the muscle depends on how much discomfort, downtime or risk you are willing to accept.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The simple answer is that you need to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine which technique is right for you. For most women, a full tummy tuck is a better option. Although there may be longer scars, you are able to address loose skin of the upper and lower abdomen and the belly button tends to stay in a more normal anatomic location than with a mini tummy tuck which may lower it. You may be happy with a mini-tummy tuck, but your surgeon should be able to show you the differences at a consultation.

Mini tummy tuck vs traditional tummy tuck

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

In order for you to get rid of the stretch marks above your belly button you will require a full tummy tuck. You also have some abdominal laxity which will require sutures to be placed to tighten your core.  You certainly appear to be in good shape, but my recommendation is to go with a full tummy tuck.  I would speak with a plastic surgeon and relay your concern about limiting the length of the incision.  The only way to know if this is possible, is to meet with a plastic surgeon and have a full physical exam performed.  Good luck!

Candidate for a mini-abdominoplasty

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

You may be a candidate for a mini-abdominoplasty

  1. Your skin looks relatively good with nice elasticity
  2. You skin redundancy is totally below the umbilicus
  3. You have only a  moderate about of excess fa
  4. The only problem that I see is you may have laxity of the fascia above the umbilicus i
  5. If you want to get rid of as many stretch marks as possible consider a full abdominoplasty, for a little longer incision you would get a much better result

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

Mini tummy tuck for stretch marks. Possible?

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

Thank you for the photos.  I think you have some loose skin and the stretch marks seem to go up to your belly button.  A full tummy tuck with plication of the muscles would afford you a better result.  Please seek out a board certified plastic surgeon.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Mini vs full tummy tuck

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

Hello Sara. Based on your photos, your abdomen seems to be in pretty good shape for having gained 50 pounds and being pregnant. Mini tummy tucks only treat loose skin and muscles below the belly button, and can only remove the lower stretch marks above the pubic area. For these reasons, a mini tummy tuck may not be the best option for you.


I advise you to visit with at least one board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your situation in more detail. I hope this helps and wish you all the best!

Mini-tuck can address stretch marks below the umbilicus

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

You do have stretch marks above the BB, but most of them are below.  I think you are a borderline case and it might be possible to alleviate some of your concerns with the mini-tuck.  I think you will find, however, that you will get a much better overall result from the full abdominoplasty and that, once you have made a decision for surgery, it is worth exploring all of your options before going forward.  Good luck.

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.