Full Tummy Tuck Vs Modified?

Was told by plastic surgeon that I have weak muscle tone and not enough skin in the upper abdomen to have full tummy tuck. Was offered modified tummy tuck with lipo. What is the best way to go? Seems like I would still have the bulge in the upper abdomen after the modified tummy tuck.

Doctor Answers 7

Full or Classic Tummy Tuck Vs Mini Tummy Tuck or Modified Tummy Tuck

There are four choices for most people interested in improving their stomach area.

  • Classic Tummy Tuck. All the skin from the belly button down is removed. The muscles are tightened. Results are often excellent.
  • Mini Tummy Tuck. Varies depending on the surgeon. Smaller amount of skin removal. No belly button incision. More liposuction. Potentially all excess skin is not removed.
  • Modified Tummy Tuck. Totally varies and is dependent on the anatomy of the patient and the surgeon. Usually a combo of the above.
  • Liposuction. Removes fat but not great for loose skin, especially after babies.

Most people will find the classic Tummy tuck has the highest chance of giving them the flattest stomach. Mini or modified procedures have a greater chance of leaving some skin or bulge behind which can be frustrating if you have spent a lot of money already.

Mini Tummy Tuck procedures can be good for those with minimal loose skin. 

Review the options with your surgeon.

This way you will pick what is best for you!

Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Tummy tuck

It would be helpful to see photos of your abdomen to answer your question. However, in general, very few women are good candidates for what you describe and what most surgeons would call a mini tummy tuck.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck options

Thank you for your question.  It is difficult to answer this question for you without an in office exam (or at least photos).  If you are uncertain about your opinion, I would search out the opinion of another Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performs a lot of Tummy Tuck surgeries.  A modified TT with liposuction can be an excellent option for the right patient so I would not discount it as an option, but get another in office opinion before proceeding if you are uncertain.  Good luck to you!

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Full tummy tuck is best for 99% of patients. Usually combined with liposuction.

Your instincts are likely correct.  Usually the full tummy tuck is best.  If you have had a child, you have enough skin to have a full tummy tuck.  And liposuction is best done simultaneously to treat the extra fat of the upper abdomen (a common error is inadequate liposuction of this area).  A mini-tummy tuck involves just removal of skin from above the pubic area with no skin tightening of the upper abdomen.  Usually women need a full tummy tuck because they have a roll they can grab and they want the most effective correction, plus tightening of the abdominal muscles in the midline.  Bottom line, full tummy tuck is best.  I do few minis.  Most women are worried about the extra scarring of a full tummy tuck.  That is why the scar needs to be kept down low, within the bikini line.  If placed properly, women have no problem with the scar after surgery and they are delighted with how their tummy looks.  Attached is this section of my website if you want to look at the results and scars.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Candidate for tummy tuck

If you have excess abdominal skin and stretch marks with a weakened abdominal wall you would benefit from a traditional tummy tuck. If you do not have sufficient skin, you may be a candidate for a modified or mini-tummy tuck. I would recommend consulting with one or two more board certified plastic surgeons to get another opinion as to which procedure is best for your particular anatomy.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

It depends of upper belly or lower belly protrusion/ dependera de la protrusion superior al ombligo o inferiior a este

yes you are wright it will persist the upper belly protrution unless you attack  upper belly and lower belly at same time during a simple TT with lypo procedure.

si estas correcto, persistira la protrusion supraumbilical al menos que ataques el vientre inferior y superior al mismo tiempo con TT mas lypo

Ramon Navarro, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

When to consider a mini tummy tuck

The 2 most common versions of a tummy tuck are  "standard" and a "mini" so it is hard to be certain what the term "modified" means in your question. In a standard or full tummy tuck, the skin below the belly button is removed, so the upper abdominal skin has to be able to expand all the way down to where the scar will be. If the upper abdominal skin is in good shape but there is some laxity and stretch marks only in the lower abdomen, then a mini might be considered. This involves removal of only skin in the lower abdomen without affecting the upper half at all. However a variation on the mini called an "umbilical float" allows for access to the entire abdomen to do a muscle repair, which may improve the contour of the upper portion. That along with lipo could be a good improvement in certain cases.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 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.