Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck? (Photo)

I'm 5'3" and 140 pounds. I had 11 pound babies by c section. I'm looking to have the excess skin and fat (overhang) removed as its pretty unsightly and bulges when I wear bike shorts to the gym. I have been told this can be achieved with a mini tummy tuck. I'm not too fussed about stretchmarks as I have them ALL over. I have been doing a lot of ab work at the gym and this has "pushed" my stomach out. Will the mini tuck with lipo be an option to remove the overhang and "flatten" my tummy a little.

Doctor Answers 10

Sometimes A Trade-Off Is Worth The Trade

Yours is a question that we receive frequently.  Part of the answer to it is a function of your expectations. Are you willing to accept less dramatic results in exchange for having a smaller procedure?

Given your history of multiple c-sections for the delivery of 11lbs babies, I do not believe that  your "ab work" has "pushed your stomach out".  Rather, you have a diastsis recti that prevents your abdominal wall from effectively restraining the mass of the contents of your abdomen from pushing forward through this opening , and giving your abdomen an overall convex shape.  

Secondly, the issue is not whether you are "fussed" or not about your stretch marks.  The real issue is that your abdominal skin has been stretched from your pregnancies and weight gain so that it has lost a good deal of its elasticity, and is now somewhat redundant and dependent.  

The reason for you to do a full abdominoplasty, rather than a "mini", is not to remove all the stretch marks on your abdomen, but to remove all of the excess skin, so that it drapes properly over your abdomen. A miniabdominoplasty will not allow your surgeon access to remove the appropriate amount of skin.  It will also not allow him to perform a complete repair of your diastasis recti.  

The result will be that you will continue to have excess hanging skin, particularly laterally, and your abdomen will continue to have an overall convex shape unrelated to, and never to be improved by, your sit up regime.  You would be far better served to undergo the appropriate surgery without cutting corners, and accept the trade off of a slightly longer scar for an overall improvement in your abdominal contour and aesthetics.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Full TT

Thank you for you question and your photo.

Based on your photos i can recommend you to have a full TT and combine it with a lipo to mold your body figure.

best of luck.

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

Hi angel9691,

Thank you for your pictures and questions. Based on the pictures you have submitted it looks as if you would be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck. I suggest you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options and goals. Best of luck!

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Full tummy tuck

From this pictures it seems like you have enough skin laxity for a full tummy tuck. See a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with an expertise in body contouring and tummy tucks for more individualized information. In my practice in the San Francisco Bay Area I have come to the conclusion that the happiest patients are those that have realistic expectation on what a procedure will and won’t do for them.

Dean Vistnes, M.D.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Francisco Bay Area

#realself #drdeanvistnes #tummytuck

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on your pregnancy history, photographs, and stated goals, you will do best with a full tummy tuck operation. In my practice, I would not offer you a mini tuck operation. Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.
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 the vast majority of patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieve the types of outcomes you would be pleased with. You may find the attached link, dedicated to tummy tuck surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Full tummy tuck provides maximum, longlasting shaping

Hi angel9691.  Thanks for sharing photos.  If you have bulging of the abdominal wall above the belly button, you will not get full correction with a mini tummy tuck.  Yes, the mini tuck will remove skin overhang and flatten your tummy a little.  A full tuck will require a longer scar, and will permit reshaping of your belly button. An in person examination of abdominal muscles is necessary to know for sure.  Good luck!

Vaishali B. Doolabh, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck


Thank you for your question.

Based on your goals, you may want to consider a full abdominoplasty.

I'd recommend booking a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to determine what your options would be.

Take care.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck is Often Best #tummytuck #minitummytuck

  • Based upon the photos that you have provided, you would benefit from a full tummy tuck.  Tightening your lax abdominal muscles will definitely flatten your abdomen. 
  • You will likely be disappointed with the results from a mini tummy tuck.
  • I reserve mini tummy tucks for a small subset of patients who do not have any excess skin above the navel. In my experience this is not very common.
  • Definitely meet with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to find out more and to be evaluated.
  • Thanks for sharing!

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

Thank you for your question and photos. You appear to be a candidate for a full tummy tuck. The skin excision and muscle tightening could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Liposuction could be used to better define your flanks and hips at the time of tummy tuck surgery. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Mini tummy tuck only improves lower abdomen

In general, the benefits of a mini tummy tuck are limited to the lower abdomen. However, if there is a muscle separation extending into the upper abdomen, it can be corrected with a mini using the umbilical float technique.

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.