Can You Have a Full Tummy Tuck if a Mini Left You with Skin Laxity?

I had one done on 5/6/2010 and as of today I still have laxity in my lower abdominal area especially with folds on both lateral sides. What do you suppose happened did they not pull enough or cut enough should the incision be extended longer/laterally initially? Can you have a full after a mini has been done? What options do I have now?

Doctor Answers 10

When to revise a mini tummy tuck

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It will take at least 6 months to a year for you to see your final results from a mini tummy tuck. It takes that long for all the swelling to resolve and for your incisions and surgery to completely heal. I strongly advise you to wait at least 6 months before considering a revision or a full tummy tuck.

You should stay in communication with your plastic surgeon and discuss your goals and concerns. I hope that helps and wish you all the best.

Can one have a FULL Tummy Tuck after an Unsatisfactory MINI Tummy Tuck

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Can one have a FULL Tummy Tuck after an Unsatisfactory MINI Tummy Tuck? - It Depends on the remaining skin laxity.

In Surgery, the first operation holds the best chances for success. Subsequent revisions may be successful but have higher rates of failure due to scarring and other limiting factors. With a Tummy Tuck, skin laxity determines if the belly button can be relocated higher without a vertical scar (for where the belly button opening used to be).

In your case, it is hard to say what the best course may be without an examination, much less a photograph. Folds on the sides can mean extra fat, extra skin or both. Neither of which can be adequately addressed with a Mini Tummy Tuck which is designed to smooth a small amount of skin excess under the belly button area.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Mini tummy tuck helpful for very few women.

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It sounds to me like you need to wait a few months, and then consider a well performed full tummy tuck.  It is not as scary as it seems.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Mini tummy tuck doesn't really do what's needed.

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I agree with Dr. Esmailian. Usually, even in thin women, a full abdominoplasty approach is needed to restore the patient to prepregnancy state. I have seen a number of women who were disappointed with the 'mini' operation their surgeon did.

Leland Deane, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Full tummy tuck after mini is possible...Except...

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You certainly can have a full tummy tuck after a mini but I would wait at least 5-6 months to let everything settle down and heal.  You may be happy with the result in the end and not want to go through a full tummy tuck.

The exception to this is if the doctor released the belly button from inside and changed the location - lowered it.  In that case the plastic surgeon must be aware and you can have a problem with belly button dying from lackof blood supply.

Scar revision following tummy tuck

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The real question: is the loose skin to the outside portions of the incision or just above it. If it is the latter, then a scar revision can treat these. Wait at least 3-4 mnonths before revision. IF it is loose skin above the scar then that is more difficult and may require a full or mini revision but wait at least 4 months.

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

Full Tummy Tuck after a Mini

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I usually tell my patients that a mini tummy tuck gets mini results.  If you are interested in a big improvement then a full tummy tuck is what is needed.

I would wait until you are about 4-5 months out from surgery.  If you are still unhappy about your results afterwards, then yes you can get a full tummy tuck done.  You may only need excision of the lateral "dog ears". 

Just be patient and see how things look later.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

MIni Tummy Tuck May Mean Mini Result

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My practice is focused on breast and body procedures, and I have probably done 5 mini tummy tucks in 10 years.  There are just very few women who are truly good candidates for "minis."

The most common reason for this is excess skin off to the sides of the incisions by the hips. Failure to remove this by using a long enough incison results in "dof ars" or residual skin laxity off to the sides.

The correction is either extension of the incision, or conversion of the mini into a full tummy tuck. A lot depends on the condition of the muscles and whether or not they were fully repaired as part of the original surgery.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Dog ears after a mini tummy tuck may be improved by liposuction or scar revision

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It sounds like you still have fullness at the side ends of the incisions after your mini tummy tuck. This area of fullness is often called a dog ear. At 6 weeks after surgery you probably still have swelling that may be making this area look full. This may continue to improve over time but if it does not you may be a candidate for scar revision, liposuction or a combination of both. A revision to a full tummy tuck might also be appropriate but all of this is best determined with an in person evaluation. A surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery should be able to address your situation and advise you on the best treatment plan for you.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Full tummy tuck if a mini left you with skin laxity

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Yes but a photo helps us determine if you are really a good candidate. What happened is you were not a candidate for a mini but were sold on it. You may ONLY need a "dog ear excision". From MIAMI DR. B Happy 4th

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.