Should I Go for Mini-TT or Full Tummy Tuck?

I am scheduled on April 24 for a Mini-Tummy Tuck and upper abs liposuction. My stretch marks were all the way above my belly button. I am 5'4", 125 lbs and had 2 kids ages 14 & 15. My PS said I am not a good candidate for a full TT but I am worried I won't get good results with just a Mini-Tummy Tuck.

Doctor Answers 11

Should I go for Full or Mini tummy Tuck.

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Thank you for your question and photos.  Of course, an exam would be needed to make a final determination.  It looks like you would be a good candidate for a traditional tummy tuck.  At that time, the rectus muscles can be sewn back together, (plicated).  Mini tummy tucks are usually reserved for those with extra skin between the umbilicus and pubis.  The loose skin is trimmed off.  These patients are usually quite thin.  Best to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Together you will come up with a plan.


Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Abdominoplasty: options for treatments

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Abdominoplasty candidates have:
•excess abdominal skin which may sag
•a disproportionate or protruding abdomen
•weakened or separated abdominal muscles
•excess fat concentrated in the abdomen
Other tummy tuck patients may recently have lost a lot of weight and need to have excess skin and tissue removed. Many women choose to have an abdominoplasty following pregnancy. Older patients may be candidates for a tummy tuck due to reduced skin elasticity, family traits, age, immobility.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

It is difficult to give you an answer based on just photograph.

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If you don't have any loose skin above the belly button and no laxity of your abdominal wall then you are a good candidate for a mini-tummy tuck and liposuction.  The advantage of mini-tummy tuck is that the scar can be placed very low and it can be easily covered by a low bikini bottom. You also wouldn't have a scar around your belly button.  It is important to know that "mini" does not refer to the length of the scar as the length of the scar can be very similar to full tummy tuck but the quality of the scar should be better in a mini-tummy tuck.

Should I go for mini-TT or full tummy tuck?

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Hello! Thank you for your question and photos! 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. Looking at your photos, I do believe that you would be an excellent candidate for this procedure in order to 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. Also, a continued healthy and active lifestyle prior to the procedure and afterwards is recommended in order to maintain the benefits that the procedure has given to you.

Once you are ready for the procedure, I would likely recommend a full tummy tuck with abdominal wall tightening. This would remove the excess skin/soft tissue and stretch marks while contouring your belly. The mini tummy tuck has limited usefulness and limited candidates as it truly only addresses excess skin in a small area above your pubis. It will not address your abdominal wall and the tightening of such, frequently needed to achieve a shapely abdominal wall. While the recovery time is shorter, the benefits afforded to you by a full tummy tuck are much greater and will optimize your result.  Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Full versus Mini Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for you question. When I evaluate the abdomen, I assess:

1. The amount of loose skin

2. The volume of fatty tissue

3. The degree of muscle laxity.

I evaluate this in each of 3 areas:

1. Upper Abdomen

2. Area around the Belly Button

3. Lower Abdomen

MINI TUMMY TUCK: If a patient has loose skin, fatty tissue, and muscle laxity limited to the Lower Abdomen, then I recommend the mini tummy tuck. In order to qualify for this, the patient must have good skin and muscle tone in their upper abdomen and area around the belly button. I will frequently perform liposuction of these areas with my Mini Tummy Tuck to enhance the overall contour.

FULL TUMMY TUCK: this is for patients who have loose skin and muscle laxity of the upper abdomen, belly button area, and lower abdomen. This procedure tightens all 3 areas with a bikini line incision. I often encorporate liposuction with my full tummy tuck as I feel it offers a superb end result.

EXTENDED TUMMY TUCK: This works well for patients who have loose skin that extends over the hip bone into the flank area. I will perform extensive liposuction and skin excision to the hip and flank area combined with full tummy tuck.

BODY LIFT/BELT LIPECTOMY: this is essentially a 360 degree tummy tuck which involves removal of loose skin and fatty tissue of the lower back and buttocks, in addition to the extended tummy tuck.

I wish you a safe recovery and amazing result!!

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Need a standard abdominoplasty not a mini result mini abdominoplasty

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There is no question that you would be very dissatisfied with the limited results that you would achieve with a mini-lift.  This type of abdominoplasty  has a very limited application.  You need a standard abdominoplasty with anterior abdominal wall fascial repair.

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

Mini vs Full tummy tuck?

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Based on your photo, I think you're a better candidate for a full tummy tuck. You appear to have loose skin above your belly button.  Mini tummy tucks only treat loose skin and muscle below the belly button, not above.

I suggest you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your situation in more detail and wish you all the best!

Tummy tuck choices

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Although a proper exam is in order, just from your profile it looks like you would be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck.  Mini-tummy tucks do not treat the upper abdomen or usually tighten the abdominal muscles above the umbilicus.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mini tummy tuck versus a full tummy tuck

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Tummy tucks are a very popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. As no two patients are the same, in our practice note to tummy tucks are the same. The most important point is to work with a plastic surgeon glass great deal of experience in abdominoplasty, liposuction, and body contouring and can help customize the surgery to meet your personal goals. The difference between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck may depend on the amount of skin and fat that is removed during the surgery. Discuss with your plastic surgeon the areas that you would like to have treated and ask him or her the length of incision that they recommend to adequately treat these areas.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Advantages and disadvantages of mini tummy tuck (tt) versus full tummy tuck (tt or abdominoplasty)

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The benefits of the mini will be lower placement of the scar. The disadvantage will be incomplete eradication of the stetch marks and inability to address upper abdominal skin and muscle laxity. The benefits of the full tummy tuck are the ability to treat upper and lower skin and muscle laxity. The disadvantages aer usually a longer scar and a higher placement of the scar.

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