Mini vs full tummy tuck? (Photo)

I went to a consult yesterday with a great PS. She recommended I get a mini tummy tuck. However, she never mentioned anything about muscle repair or lipo suction above the belly buttom. From all the research I've done, almost 100% had muscle repair or lipo suction or both. I'm afraid if I do a mini, my skin from up top would hang over my belly button because it wouldn't be as tight. Also, I'm not so worried about my stretch marks as I am my saggy loose skin when I sit or bend over! What do u think?!?!?!

Doctor Answers 14

Tummy Tuck

Hi bubbles31,

Thank You for your pictures and questions. Based on the pictures you submitted it looks as if you would benefit from a full Tummy Tuck. I suggest consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area. Best of Luck!

Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Tummy tuck

Thank you for your question, I would recommend a full tummy tuck with muscle repair, that will give you the best result,consult with a board certified PS, best of luck!

Mini vs full tummy tuck

  • Most people are not great candidates for a mini-tummy tuck.  You might be the luck one!  
  • So long as you don't have much muscle separation, then it appears that there is little excess skin above the belly button and no fat requiring liposuction.
  • Dr Rodger Shortt is a plastic surgeon in Oakville who cares for patients from Oakville, Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and the GTA.  He strives to be the best plastic surgeon and is one of the few plastic surgeons in Canada with 5-star ratings on RealSelf, RateMD and Ontario Doctor Review.  He is the director of cosmetic surgery training and an assistant clinical professor at McMaster University.

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck: Know your options

The plastic surgeon who has actually seen you and made a recommendation based on a physical exam is in the best position to offer advice, but it is always good to understand all of your options.Liposuction or direct fat removal during the surgery would be done depending on whether there is any localized excess fat. similarly for muscle repair, it is done when needed. Please see the link below for a description of the variations of tummy tucks.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Dr derby

Thank you for your question and the photo. You look like a better candidate for a full Tummy tuck instead of a mini. Best of luck  

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Full tummy tuck

While it’s a little difficult to see the skin quality of your stomach in the photo provided, if you do have saggy loose skin above your belly button as you mention I would suggest a full tummy tuck. When there is a lot of loose skin everywhere, only a full tummy tuck can correct this. 

Mini vs full tummy tuck?

Based on your comments, I would think that she would be happier with a full abdominoplasty. This is really a discussion to have with a surgeon in person at the same time as your examination. You may consider a second opinion before scheduling your surgery.

Mini vs full? Can be a tough decision!


The decision between a mini and a full can be a tough decision-- but just looking at your photo it looks like a full would be better for you... it looks like there is quite a bit of loose skin...

So the thing to do is " DO YOUR HOMEWORK" -- just like you are doing- but in the end, you have to fell comfortable about your choice.

Good luck.

Anne Taylor, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question.  The best advice you can receive is from an in-person consultation.  Based on your photograph alone, you may be a candidate for a full tummy tuck with liposuction.  This can be done through a low and short incision, all completely below the bikini line.  Your muscles can also be plicated resulting in a flat abdomen.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Full tummy tuck

The amount of excess skin typically determines the length of the incision required to remove that excess skin. As a general rule, a short incision only allows a small amount of skin removal. A longer incision and resulting scar (as in a full tummy tuck) will allow the surgeon to remove more skin and tighten the entire abdominal wall.  This is the important thing to consider when looking at this type of surgery. Don't compromise the results with a shorter scar if it won't deliver the results you want. A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon with an expertise in tummy tucks and body contouring should be able to show you what you can expect. 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. Good luck! 

Dean Vistnes, M.D. 

Vistnes Plastic Surgery 

San Francisco Bay Area

#realself #tummytuck #drdeanvistnes

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.