Mini Tummy Tuck Scar Vs. Full Tummy Tuck Scar?

Is it possible to avoid a scar with a mini tummy tuck? Is the scar from a full tummy tuck more noticeable than from a mini tummy tuck? 

Doctor Answers 24

Scarring Following Abdominoplasty

Sometimes a mini tummy tuck scar is not as long as a full tummy tuck scar.There are a number of patients who require the same length of scar in the performance of a full or mini abdominoplasty.Just because it is a shorter scar it should not be expected to be less visible than a longer scar.Achieving fine line scars is dependent on many factors.These factors include the expertise of the surgeon, the quality of the skin, and the possible occurrence of any postoperative complications.

For a simple and illustrated explanation of tummy tuck and body contouring procedures, watch my video.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Scars mini vs. full tummy tuck

You cannot avoid a scar for a mini or a full, but I am not a big fan of mini tummy tucks because most patients require tightening of the muscles above and below the umbilicus and are usually also bothered by lose skin above the umbilicus.  These are all best treated by a full tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Mini vs. full abdominoplasty

Both procedures have to leave a scar, because the scar allows the surgeon to remove loose skin.  Without a scar, the best a surgeon could do would be to firm up the muscles with imbricating sutures.  A mini abdominoplasty will also shorten the scar to some degree, and may also spare having to have a scar around the belly button.  If a scar had to be made around the umbilicus( belly button) it would not be to relocate or move the belly button.  Having a scar is much less important than having the significant improvement that a tummy tuck would offer.

Mini tummy tuck is not good for most women.


1)  The scar is just a little shorter, and patients are often not happy after mini tummy tuck because there is no improvement in the upper abdomen.  In fact the upper stomach now looks worse, because the lower stomach is flat. and it is not in proportion.

2)  It is true that the scar does not go away, but it fades.  The secret is to put the scar  VERY LOW  inside the pubic area.  It looks much better there, and you can wear anything.  Most women are very happy after a well done full tummy tuck in spite of the scar.

3)  Also tummy tucks have gotten better even since we did the video ( no drain, minimal lifting of the skin, internal quilting stitches, surrounding liposuction, better pain control).

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Mini tummy tucks are rare

The postpregnancy tummy almost always has issues above the belly button and a mini TT does nothing up there.  Consequently, it is a rare operation when patients are honestly counciled by a reputable plastic surgeon.  Of course, all patients want to think "all they need is a mini" but they are typically deceiving themselves and so are their doctors, many of whom aren't even real plastic surgeons (they learn a mini at a weekend cousre).

The true tummy tuck addresses all of the abdominal issues, from muscle laxity to skin excess and has a scar that is only about 25% longer than a mini.  So to get 100% improvement for a 25% longer scar is a good tradeoff in my opinion.  You only want this done once and there are many patients out there who have made the mistake of getting a mini and now have a buldgy unattractive upper abdomen from pressing in on the lower ab muscles but leaving the uppers loose - like squeezing a tube of toothpaste in the wrong place.

Of, course an in person exam is required before any medical advice can be given...

Mini or full tummy tuck?

Thank you for the question. A mini tummy tuck will leave you with a shorter scar than a full tummy tuck. A word of caution: be careful you do not trade a better end result of  surgery for a shorter scar.

In my opinion, the mini tummy talk 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.
It is important  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

Scars with tummy tucks

All tummy tuck variations will involve some incisions and permanent scars therefore cannot be avoided.  With tummy tucks, the scars can be variable in their location, appearance and length.  Every situation is a little different, so it is necessary to consult with your surgeon.

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck Vs Full TT scar

All surgery unfortunately involves scars though Plastic Surgeons do their best to minimize them. Here is some general information about various tummy tuck procedures. 
Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only (shortest scar). Liposuction or an Umbilicoplasty can also be performed at the same time if desired.
Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions usually below the umbilicus where the muscle wall and the abdominal skin requires repair. Variations of this procedure depend on each patients needs.
Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar). It also reshapes the belly button.
Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the hips/flanks towards the lower back).

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

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 scar vs full tummy tuck scar?

Thank you for your question! I hope that these answers help! Tummy tuck is an excellent method for shaping the belly and create a flatter and sculpted abdomen after the procedure. It will remove the excess skin/soft tissue of your lower abdomen and contour the areas of your belly. Also, abdominal wall tightening may optimize your result. Stretch marks to the level of your umbilicus will also be excised. I would highly recommend continued diet and exercise prior to any consideration for body contouring as getting down to your ideal weight prior to the procedure will certainly give you the best results. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle will be needed in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

You should consult with a plastic surgeon at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result. The scar is often shorter than with a full tummy tuck.  Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.