Tummy tuck or mini-tuck and /or with liposuction to abdomen and flanks? Which would be the best for me? (photo)

I am 5'9" 156lbs, I've had 3 kids (youngest is 2yrs old), I have stretch marks and saggy skin on my abdomen. And my belly button looks saggy to me. Which procedure would be best to give me a defined waistline and to remove the extra skin/fat and stretch marks ( all below my belly button)? Also would tHe belly button still appear wrinkly and saggy with the mini tuck? Can the abdominal muscles be tightened with only a mini tuck? Thanks

Doctor Answers 11

Body contouring

Hi southerngirl. 
You have a nice figure already. What procedures you opt for depends on how shapely you want to get. A full tt with muscle tightening will give an excellent result.Your bb should look much better. I noticed your buttocks are flattish.  Fat injections at the same time will improve your contour as well.
I would not do a mini-tuck.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Tummy tuck

You would benefit from a full tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck can be done as a solitary procedure. Many times the results are enhanced by adding liposuction to the hip and love handle area. A tummy tuck is also done in combination with a breast augmentation in a mommy makeover.

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Mini-tuck or Full tummy tuck for me?

While I agree with most of these answers, I would make two recommendations that are additional. First of all I would recommend the technique utilized be a lipo-abdominoplasty similar to the Saldanha technique since it will give you a safer procedure with a better appearance to the abdominal flap since it will be thinner after the lipoplasty. Secondly, I would recommend you not have your muscles tightened since you appear to have good muscle tone, and avoiding sutures to the abdominal wall significantly shortens your recovery time, pain level,  and lessens the risks. This last recommendation is also contingent on your physical exam and the degree of abdominal wall laxity you have. The amount of skin above your umbilicus as well as the skin quality in your lower abdomen indicate you would have the best result with a classic Saldanha abdominoplasty. I use ultrasonic liposelection which would be applicable in your flanks although you really don't have a lot of excess. Most of your result is going to be from your abdominoplasty. Fat grafting to your buttocks is optional depending on your desires.

Grady B. Core, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck Vs. Mini Tummy Tuck - Depends on Your Muscles & Skin Laxity

Which procedure is best depends on both your anatomy and your expectations. If all of the issues are below the belly button and the belly button looks good, and the muscles are in good shape, then a mini tummy tuck is appropriate – it removes lax skin and fat on the lower abdomen and can be combined with liposuction for the upper abdomen and flanks.

 If the muscles are separated or you feel the belly button is saggy, then you would need a full tummy tuck to solve those problems. Liposuction can be done into the flank and thigh area with either procedure. Typically, after pregnancy, the full tummy tuck is needed to address all of the problems it causes, but everyone is a little different. Your best answer is to go ahead and get seen by a board-certified plastic surgeon to help you with a unique plan. 

Marie E. Montag, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Muscle tightening is best done with a full tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  You are in excellent shape but I understand that you want to tighten your abdominal skin and have your muscles repaired.  A mini tummy tuck will not address loose skin above the belly button and makes muscle repair difficult but possible.  A full tummy tuck provides access which allows and easier muscle repair and can tighten the skin around your belly button.  Please consult a board certified plastic surgeon.

Mini Procedures don't give Maximum Results.

Hi Southerngirl2014, “Mini” or modified abdominoplasties are reserved for cases where a patient has great muscle tone, and has a very, very small area of excessive skin with or without stubborn fat in the lower abdomen. And no, the muscle wall is not repaired with a mini tummy tuck. 

While I understand patients are always hopeful they will require a very minimal procedure, the majority of patients I see require a standard abdominoplasty. It is my observation that you would have the best outcome with a standard abdominoplasty (removing excess skin, fat and stretch marks) with possible liposuction to your hips (to give a defined waistline). It’s important to be realistic with yourself, your body, and your surgery outcome expectations. Unfortunately, short incision techniques for any procedure (“mini” anything) are not effective at producing maximum outcomes. All tummy tucks produce a permanent scar, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip. You will be advised at your consultation what you can expect in your specific case. Just be prepared! 

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Body contouring after childbirth: tummy tuck vs miniabdominoplasty

A full tummy tuck with remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles.  This will provide the best result with the flattest contours and will also narrow your waist.  Flank liposuction will add to the result by reducing fullness to accentuate the waistline.  

Fat injection into the buttocks can help add contour there but fat transfer is not perfectly reliable.  ADSCs (Adipose Derived Stem Cells) help a greater percentage of transferred fat survive (85-95% vs 50-75%).

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


Thank you for the pictures.

I believe that you make a great candidate for a tummy tuck with liposuction in the waist, upper and lower back with fat grafting in to buttocks.

Dr. Campos

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 252 reviews

Tummy tuck or mini-tuck?

A mini or modified tummy tuck, with or without liposuction, as well as one of a variety of full tummy tucks that exist can produce a good cosmetic appearance in the appropriate patient. A modified abdominoplasty with a floating of the umbilicus and repair of the abdominal muscles can produce a very nice significant result in many patients. The result depends on the extent of looseness of your tissue above the umbilicus (belly button), since there is a limitation of how much tightness you can get with that procedure and still maintain a normal appearing position of the navel.

Based on your brief history and photo but without examining you, you appear to be a reasonable candidate for a modified tummy tuck. If you plan on future pregnancies, you should wait to have surgery until you are done having children, since pregnancy will stretch out the skin and abdominal muscles again, usually undoing the repairs that were achieved with the abdominoplasty

Following the advice from a surgeon or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do based on two dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Mini or full Abdominoplasty

Judging strictly from your pictures, I think you may be well served with a mini abdominoplasty. The umbilicus can be floated downward slightly and the separation of the abdominal muscles can be corrected. Liposuction will be a nice adjunct. Of course, this will need to be discussed with your plastic surgeon.
Best wishes!

William H. Gorman, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 20 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.