Mini Tummy Tuck VS Full Tummy Tuck. Advice and Opinions Please? (photo)

Hello, I am 25 about 5'1 and 110lbs. I have been pregnant 4 times and have had 2 children. I consider myself fit and I keep myself in the best shape as possible. I know exercising can only take me so far and I believe I've reached that peak. I've noticed the smaller and more toned I have gotten, the saggier my skin around my belly button and smaller my breast came to be ): Will a MTT fix what little I need done to get the smooth stomach I want and will my belly button be fixed as well..?

Doctor Answers 9

Mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck? Advice and opinions please.

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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 and liposuction laterally for additional contouring. 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. You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon well-versed in body contouring procedures at anytime to go over options to assist you in deciding which procedure(s) would be right for you. Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Mini vs. full tummy tuck

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Thank you for the photos.  The mini tummy tuck is good for extra skin under the belly button.  For skin above the belly button, belly button issues, separated muscles, excess skin above the belly button, a full tummy tuck is usually better.  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 tummy tuck will not rejuvenate your belly button

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Thank you for the question and photos.  You are a very good candidate for a full tummy tuck.  A mini tummy tuck for you would not rejuvenate your belly button nor would it remove enough skin/soft tissue laxity.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Limitation of Mini Tummy Tuck

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Mini tummy tuck is a wonderful procedure that improves the contour and appearance of your lower abdomen. However, the skin laxity in that upper abdomen remains and uncorrected with mini tummy tuck. Your photo showed that you have significant skin laxity both above and below the belly button. In your situation, if your goal is to have smooth and taut abdominal wall skin, then a full tummy tuck is the recommended procedure. 

Stewart Wang, MD FACS


Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck

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Your photos show more skin laxity below the belly button vs above. In addition, there is loose wrinkled skin all around the belly button. A Mini Tummy Tuck will address the skin laxity below the belly button. But this particular surgery will not smooth out the wrinkled skin around the upper part of the belly button.

Your best option is a Full Tummy Tuck. This does result in a scar around the belly button, as well as a long scar along the lower abdomen. Your entire abdomen will be smooth.

Another less popular option is to do the full tummy tuck and separate the belly button from the underlying muscle attachment. This will allow you to avoid an incision and scar around the belly button. You will still have a long lower abdominal incision and your belly button will be a little lower. But, the entire abdomen will be smoother.

Thank you for your question and photos. Best of luck with your decision!


Gregory C. Park, M.D.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck VS Full Tummy Tuck

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I think, based upon the photos, that a full TT is a better choice. A mini-TT if often requested, but is not commonly a best choice. An exception might be a women with a solid abdominal wall, and some excess skin overhanging a c-section scar. 

A mini-TT will do nothing to the upper abdomen, and there does appear to be skin laxity above the navel. 

When you ready for an in person consultation, 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 your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

 I think you would do much better with a full tummy tuck operation.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 hope this helps.

Full or Mini Abdominoplasty

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From the photo's I would suggest a full abdominoplasty would be best.  The objective is to tighten from the ribs to the pubic area and have the incision as low as possible.  As part of this there will be a scar around the umbilicus as well.  The final results in should be great in someone as fit as you.  

Glenn M. Davis, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Mini vs full tummy tuck

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You need a full tummy tuck. A mini-tuck will not deal with the looseness you have around and above the belly button. This will also make your belly button look better. Just be sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon, and look carefully at his or her post operative photos to get an idea of the quality of the work to expect.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill 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.