Will a Mini Tummy Tuck Be Enough to Get Rid of Excess Skin from Pregnancy? (photo)

5'2 130lbs Muscular 3 children I am worried about being down and out for weeks.

Doctor Answers 10

Mini tummy tuck advantages

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Mini tummy tuck advantages will depend greatly on what procedures your mini tummy tuck includes.  Skin excision only, skin tightening with Cellulaze only ( see CellulazeCenterOf NY.com) for more information, or either or both of these combined with abdominal muscle was repair.  

Abdominal muscle repair and tightening will require the longest recovery time 8-10 weeks before returning to strenuous, full and unrestricted activities like power sit-up or rock climb.  Other less strenuous activities  such as spinning, treadmill walking will need 3-4 weeks of restriction.

If the muscle repair is not done then the restrictions are shorted  to a week for some activities like treadmill.

The decision should be primarily based on your anatomy, and what will give you the best result, rather than recovery time.  A longer-lasting better result is usually worth the wait.  

I suggest your have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who will examine you and discuss the option that best meet your needs.

New York Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck or Minitummy Tuck

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Tummy tuck is far superior for your concerns.  Although a scar is involved, a short scar tummy tuck has the same length scar as a minitummy tuck but removes skin above the belly button and tightens your muscle.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Mini VS Full Tummy Tuck

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Without more photos of different views of your abdomen, it's difficult to say but without a physical exam, it looks as if you would benefit from a full abdominoplasty with liposuction to your waist/flanks.  If you need muscle tightening, that can be determined at your physical exam and be done at the same time as your tummy tuck.  It would be a shame to waste your valuable recovery time on a procedure that you may be unhappy with.  Do it right the first time can save you more expense and recovery in the future.

Andrew Smith, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

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Thanks for the question and picture.

 Although your concern about recovery time is understandable, please be careful that you undergo the best operation possible;  otherwise you may be disappointed and potentially require additional surgery.

 Although precise advice would require in-person examinations some general thoughts may be helpful to you.In my opinion, the mini tummy tuck is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

I will also add some advice I give patients who are undergoing tummy tuck surgery:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

Will a Mini Tummy Tuck Be Enough to Get Rid of Excess Skin from Pregnancy? (photo)

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It's hard to tell from just one photo but I would think that you would do better with a Full tummy tuck.....I would also combine it with some Lipo of the tummy as well if you want a more aggressive result with your tummy but just the 5 centimeters of skin removal may not be enough....The recovery is a lot but the result is bigger too....

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Mini vs full TT

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From the pictureyou submitted, it seems you have significant stretch marks on the lower abdomen.  It also seems that your belly button is realtively high on your abdomen  and the stretch marks extend above the belly button which may make their complete removal impossible.  You don't have too much extra skin, however I don't think a mini-tummy tuck will be worth the results.  I'd either do a full tummy tuck or nothing.  Just my opinion.  A better more complete answer is possible after an in person evaluation

Guy Cappuccino, MD
Mount Airy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Will a Mini Tummy Tuck Be Enough

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The skin changes from your pregnancy extend up to and a little above the bellybutton. It would take a full TT to correct this to the best possible result. Mini TTs are rarely a good choice, and a significant numbe of those patients later wind up back in surgery to complete the job.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck, Liposuction or Zerona™

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The only way to tell what you need between a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck and liposuction is with a direct examination and measurement of the excess skin both above and below the umbilicus. While you may, indeed, have excess skin, it does not show on the picture. You appear to have mainly stretch marks and a little extra fat. Nothing will help the stretch marks, but the fat could be treated with liposuction or Zerona™. See a board certified Plastic Surgeon who can offer you all options.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Mini tummy tuck results

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A mini tummy tuck removes a small amount of skin (think 2 inches or so above the pubic hairline). Most women after childbearing have a lot of skin excess most obvious when you bend over. Mini-abdominoplasty surgery would be a major under-correction of your skin redundancy. If you want your abdomen flat, and you are looking for considerable improvement in the skin excess, you will be disappointed in the results of a "mini" procedure which equals a "mini" result. Recovery is close to 2 weeks regardless, and you will have exercise restrictions with both procedures. In order to "speed up" recovery, you could consider a "skin-only" abdominoplasty where the muscles are not tightened. However, most women after childbearing however want the flattest and narrowest waistline possible. 

Will a Mini Tummy Tuck Be Enough to Get Rid of Excess Skin from Pregnancy

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It would be better to answer this based on a physical exam, but it looks like you might a one of the occasional patients for whom a  mini-TT would be a good choice. It provides no treatment to the upper abdomen, so there must be little or no upper skin laxity or abdominal wall laxity. That may be the situation based only upon this one photo. 

Best would be a consultation with a plastic surgeon. RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S. Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.