Full or mini abdominoplasty? (Photos)

Hi.. a little info first..I am 4'11, 105 lbs..just dealing with some excess skin due to 2 pregnancies. I have some consults coming up but was curious whether I'd qualify for a mini tuck, or if a full would be a better option. Thanks

Doctor Answers 17

Full Tummy Tuck

You have great tone for having had 2 kids! Your stomach looks pretty flat and it appears the biggest issue is loose skin, as you mentioned. Because you have some loose skin above your belly button, you’d probably benefit most from a full tummy tuck. A mini would probably not suffice.

Full or mini abdominoplasty?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Great job, after two pregnancies (probably through careful attention to diet and exercise) achieving a very good-looking abdominal wall.  Having said that, 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. 

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck

Here are some of the details of all of the different procedure options that I share with patients in my office. I would say from looking at the photos you have provided that there is not an extreme amount of loose skin or fat to be removed, so there would be no need for the two more serious procedures, and you would likely be okay with the mini- or modified abdominoplasty.Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall and skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only (shortest scar). Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair. Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles above and below the belly button. The scar can be altered or lowered to be hidden by most panty lines and bathing suits. (Standard scar). Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.) A general anesthetic is most common, although mini-tucks may be done with local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. A standard abdominoplasty is generally an outpatient procedure, but extended abdominoplasty may require a short hospitalization of 1–2 days.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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Full tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and photographs.It is important when looking for a plastic surgeon for a tummy tuck that you find one who is board certified to obtain the best results possible. From the photos you have posted and your pregnancy history, you do look like a candidate for a full tummy tuck to correct the loose skin and tighten the abdominal wall. During pregnancy, the diastasis muscle stretches out along with some weight gain. When I perform a tummy tuck, I tighten the diastasis rectus muscle which brings in the waist. I think you would be happy with the results from a full tummy tuck. If you are worried about the scar associated with a full tummy tuck, there are topical scar creams as well as laser treatments that can diminish the look of the scar and make it finer and less noticible. I hope this helps!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS

James Fernau, MD, FACS
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Mini vs full tummy tuck

a modified tummy tuck, removing skin and replacing the umbilicus might well give the best results. Seek a board certified plastic surgeon.

Robert V. Mandraccia, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 6 reviews


A full tummy tuck would address your loose skin, stretch marks and tighten from the inside.An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations. 

Tummy tuck

Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you are a great 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 or mini tummy tuck

It is hard to decide whether a full or tummy tuck would be better for you without a physical exam and knowing your expectations. A full tummy tuck has a larger scar, but gets rid of all the excess skin and abdominal wall laxity. A mini has a smaller scar, but does not give a complete correction. Good luck in your consultations.

Ryan Hoffman, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck

in my hands you would be either a modified but more likely a full tummy tuck. looks like you have too much skin for a mini.

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Full or mini-abdominoplasty?

Thank you for your question.  Based on your photos, I would strongly recommend a full abdominoplasty to maximally correct your abdominal wall and skin issues.  Mini-abdominoplasties are, in my practice, a rarely-used procedure.  Most patients have global muscle and skin laxity after pregnancy, so a mini procedure limited to the lower abdomen is inadequate to get ideal correction. Find a board certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience in body contouring procedures for a consultation.

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.