Mini Tummy Tuck for a Few Inches of Loose Skin?

My only concern is the very loose skin over my c-section scar, like 3 1/2 to 4 inches of wrinkly skin that I can grab between my fingers, and of course the stretch marks but I wouldn't like to carry a full tummy tuck scar for the rest of my life.

Will a mini tummy tuck be enough for me?

Doctor Answers 59

Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck

The full tummy tuck scar is a little longer, but it removes a lot more skin. Most patients (~80%) are very happy with the full tummy tuck because it meets their expectation as to the amount of stretch-mark removal and tightening of the muscle layer. I think many patients are disappointed with the mini-tummy tuck because they want a small scar, full tightening of the muscle layer and most of the stretch-marks removed and that's just not possible with a mini tummy tuck.

I recommend that you have a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
They have formal training in abdominoplasty surgery and will probably give you the same advice.


Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck for loose skin

Short answer is yes. Mini tuck is a great way to rid of loose skin below the belly button area, especially after C-section. However, we like to combine this procedure with liposuction to help sculpt the entire abdomen including the pubic area. This is called mini Lipoabdominoplasty (mini tuck). Lipoabdominoplasty is an advanced tummy tuck technique that safely combines extensive liposuction with tummy tuck procedures in a way that achieves results far superior than those achievable by either procedure alone. It offers a greatly improved abdominal appearance due to the aggressive liposuction and a shorter, less noticeable scar for many patients. There is less chance of "dog ear". In Atlanta, this is called the ATLTUCK. Lipoabdominoplasty is often combined with liposuction of hips and back. This combination provides an ideal cosmetic surgery solution after weight loss, pregnancy, or aging. It allows us to place the scar as low as possible.
Experience, training, and results matters a lot during Lipoabdominoplasty. Non Plastic surgeons (cosmetic surgeons) tend to charge less than Plastic Surgeon.

Based on your photo, you may be a great candidate for Mini-lipoabdominoplasty. Do your research and find a real Plastic Surgeon and book a paid consultation. Free consults are just a sales pitch and does not work in your best interest.

Below are other criteria to use when selecting a Plastic surgeon.

Questions to ask (Answering NO is a big red flag)
1) Are you a plastic surgeon? (Do you know difference between cosmetic surgeon & plastic surgeon)
2) Are you board certified in Plastic Surgery?
3) Will the procedure be performed at a fully accredited procedure room or ambulatory surgery center
4) Do you have hospital privilege to perform liposuction and tummy tuck? Which Hospital?
5) Do you offer complication insurance (it does happen, it better to be safe)

The most important decision is to do your homework well. Good luck.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

The difference between a mini-tummy tuck and full tummy tuck is the amount of vertical skin removed

The lengths of the incisions from side to side (or hip bone to hip bone) would be comparable for your problem as seen in your photograph. Both would run above the pubic bone level horizontally. The amount of loosening from the pubic area above this area determines full versus mini-tummy tuck.

Mini-tummy tucks do not loosen the tissue above the belly button and, therefore, remove less tissue than a full abdominoplasty. Full abdominoplasties loosen the abdominal skin higher than the belly button, allowing removal of more skin, producing more tightening, and also permitting horizontal tightening of the abdominal muscles.

Based on your photograph, these additional advantages should be something you consider for the full tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck may be a shorter duration procedure with less cost, but it will not produce the improvements of a full abdominoplasty. A one on one consultation with examination by a board certified plastic surgeon is necessary to help you make your choice. Good luck!

David N. Hing, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Consider combined Lux IR Deep and Starlux 1540

As the doctor above stated, a mini tummy tuck will leave behind not only a scar, but many stretch marks.

You do not have enough skin for a full abdominoplasty to remove all of the stretch marks.

There is a new combined therapy using the Palomar LuxIR Deep and the Starlux 1540 laser which can remove stretch marks and tighten the abdominal skin. If fat removal is needed new laser lipo with SlimLipo also tightens skin.

These options avoid the scarring which concerns you.

These are very new techniques so you will have to do some research to find them.

Mini Tummy Tuck for Loose Skin

If the small amount of loose skin just above your c-section scar is, literally, the only think that bothers you, then mini-tummy tuck will address that.  However, a full tummy tuck, although requiring a longer incision, will correct all of the issues with stretched skin and loose musculature.  

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

A Modified Mini might be best

You do not appear to have much loose skin, but you do appear to have laxity of the muscles. We can use a shorter incision. cut across the base of the umbilicus, tighten the muscles all the way to the ribs. and resuture the umbilicus. You will avoid the scar around the umbilicus and have a shorter scar. I prefer this technique if I cannot excise all of the skin from the top of the pubic hair to the umbilicus.

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Depends on how long C-section scar is

On exam, your surgeon (hopefully you are going to go to a ASPS Board Certified Plastic Surgeon), will be able to tell you if he/she can keep within your C-section scar. It look like most of your strecth marks are below your belly button which makes it easier to give you a good result.

Good luck. Hope this helps.

Andrew Y. Kleinman, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck is better

You have stretch marks above the belly button and also you have muscle separation above the belly button. With mini tuck you will get mini result and if you are OK with taht then mini tuck will be ok. You need to discuss your concrns with your plastic surgeon and make sure to get more than one consultation.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Understand the tummy tuck scar before you choose the surgery

The term "mini" in tummy tuck is a bit of a misnomer and is frequently misunderstood. The incision is not mini per se, what is done under the skin is less than a full tummy tuck.

Traditionally, a mini tummy tuck removes less skin/fat and only tightens the muscles between the pubis and navel, compared to the full tummy tuck. The length of the skin scar will be determined by how much tissue is removed between the navel and pubis.

Even if you just get 2 to 3 inches of tissue removed, you will have a long scar.

A mini tummy tuck is indicated for people who don't have a lot of excess skin, and who have a weakness of the abdominal wall between the navel and pubis. Although a side and quarter view would be better for me to judge, from the front view, it appears that your deformity extends above the umbilicus, and therefore, you might be a better candidate for the full tummy tuck. Only an exam can tell for sure.

Mini tummy tuck is a trade off - shorter scar, less stretch mark removal

A mini-tuck will tighten the abdominal skin below your belly button and should satisfy you regarding the 3 1/2-4 inches of wrinkling skin you talk about. This will give you the shortest scar as opposed to a full tummy tuck.

However, it will not remove all the stretch marks, since your stretch marks extend to and even above the belly button. In order to remove the stretch marks, you would have to do a full tummy tuck. But with the full tummy tuck, the resulting scar is quite a bit longer. In either case, your scar is permanent.

Discuss these options carefully with your plastic surgeon.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.